Exterior Stain for Cedar Siding
Due to the high commercial popularity of red cedar siding, there are lots of exterior staining products sold in stores to keep them in good condition. But are all these products as true to their words? Not quite!
There are three main stains available for exterior wood sidings; a natural look, red coagulated, and plastic laminate. All three will give you the same results, but how do they vary? With all these stains, one important factor to be aware of is how they will interact with your wooden board siding. In short, will a natural, red or brown stain effect the durability and overall look of your sidings?
Natural Stains – As the name implies, a natural stain will bring out the natural beauty of your wood, without any additional treatments. The color or shade of the stain will be determined by what grows on the wood, whether it be lichen, moss, or insects. Once a year you can clean off the excess with a water hose. Be careful however, if the excess solution runs into the water line, you run the risk of causing damage to your home’s siding or foundation, and in some cases, may require a replacement of your sidings. The good news is that most uv rays will not harm your wood once it has been treated.
Red Coagulated Stains – These are the standard product line for exterior cedar staining products. They use a combination of borate and calcium thioglycolate. (Borate is derived from the ground limestone, while calcium thioglycolate comes from magnesium salts.) Together these compounds will form a film which will protect your wood from becoming damaged by the sun, and will prevent the growth of mold. Unfortunately, they are also capable of staining your cedar very quickly, so regular cleaning of the stains may be necessary. Depending on how heavily the stain has been applied, it may also be necessary to apply varnish to help repel mildew.
Semi-Transparent Stains – A popular alternative to the standard cedar stain, a semi-transparent coating will allow you to choose a specific part of your exterior to paint, while concealing the rest of the piece. For example, if you wanted to paint the door jamb, but not the siding, you would paint the door first, and the siding last. Another great thing about these type of stains is that they do not need to be touched up unless there is a serious problem. However, this type of stain can be difficult to apply, as it will not create an “out of sight, out of mind” sticker like other types of stains would. Because of this, these types of exterior coatings will not last as long.
If neither of these options is right for you, or you simply do not have the time to spend applying these two coats of stain, you may still be in need of a good exterior coating for your cedar siding. The best exterior stain for cedar siding is one that is made from a wood preservative, such as polyurethane. These types of products will not scratch or affect the finish of your cedar siding, but will not mar it either. Also, since these products are generally odorless and colorsealed, you do not have to worry about them staining your surrounding wood. This is a huge bonus when considering the time and money you would have to invest into cleaning up any staining left behind if you used traditional wood preservatives.
If neither of these options is right for your house, or you simply cannot find the stain that you need or afford the price, you can always settle for a urethane based stain. This type of product will give you the same protection as the above-mentioned stains, but will come in a lighter shade. This is a perfect option for those who are hoping to lighten up their exterior home furnishings while still maintaining their aesthetic value. UV protected urethane stains are also great for protecting cedar siding from UV damage, but they may not be the best choice for people who live in an area with high levels of ultraviolet light.
Whether you choose urethane or some other stain, you will definitely gain a level of protection from it that is unmatched by any other product on the market. You will have a level of protection that not only protects your beautiful wooden surface, but also protects your expensive and delicate wooden boards. Stains will protect the surface of your wooden surface, but you also have the added benefit of an additional layer of protection. This layer will help keep your wooden surface free of stains for a longer amount of time than just any paint or stain could do. Stains can sometimes have a negative impact on wooden surfaces, and this protective layer can help prevent that from happening. You will definitely get the protection that you need without overdoing it, and you can maintain the natural look of your house while increasing its beauty at the same time.