Sunday, January 18, 2009

Siding Stain Question

Q: I have a house with cedar siding [horizontal with vertical trim] that is about 13 years old -- I'm the second owner. I'm having the exterior restained. I had wanted it to just age but apparently I should have had it restained. I finally got a painter who seems very professional but I am not sure of what product to use. The back section gets lot of sun so I want good UV protection and I understand a solid stain will hold up much better. Two sides of my house get a lot of sun with no protection from trees.

There are two products that I am interested in. Olympic makes one and Sikkens makes the other. They are both a combination of acrylic and alkyd. There is a big price difference because the Sikkens is priced higher to begin with, and the store won't give my contractor a discount [I live on an island]. The competing building supplies store selling Olympic products will give him a discount.

I've been trying to find a comparison on the web between Sikkens Rubbol and Olympic Solid Color Stain but I've had no luck. My painter normally does not use these products. If you would be able to advise me I would be very appreciative.

British Columbia, Canada

A: Thanks for the email! Here in the midwest, there aren't a lot of homes that have your type of siding. Most of our stuff is little more than painted cardboard! I have done several of these projects, though. Honestly, if you really want it to last, use the Sikkens. There's a reason it's more expensive. With a properly prepared surface and proper application, you should get a couple of extra years out of the finish. It actually comes out costing a little less in the end since you'll use less labor in the long run.

Cedar siding will always be prone to a little peeling, at least that's been my experience. Keep your color as light as you can, dark colors absorb light and heat which will cause them to bubble and peel more readily. There are just so many places for moisture to get in, you can't keep is sealed. Moisture will try to escape THROUGH the siding when it warms up, causing the finish to release. Just be prepared for a little touch up every now and then and you'll be fine. Good luck, let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks!

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