exterior painting, exterior staining

Wondering whether to stain or paint your wood siding in the Woodlands, Texas? Wood siding is a great way to provide both protection and beauty to your home. While it’s a durable and attractive siding material, wood requires protection from moisture, sunlight, and bugs. There are two main exterior coatings used for finishing wood siding, i.e. stain and paint.

Both stain and paint are great options for finishing your wood siding, but each has some unique properties. The best product depends on a number of factors such as the condition of the siding and your preferences of the siding appearance. In this article, we will take a look at some of these factors and how they influence your choice.

Level of Protection
Whether you choose to paint or stain, you will get some level of protection against sunlight and moisture, but this level of protection differs. Painting includes priming and applying at least two coats of paint, which can provide surface protection of 7+.
Two coats of stain, on the other hand, can provide up to 7 years of protection, but a single coat of stain will only provide up to 2 years of protection. Subsequent coats will generally last longer than the first one. Overall, since paint forms a film over the wood, sunlight and moisture can’t easily penetrate, providing more versatile protection. Stain, on the other side, forms a thinner film which may not provide the same superior protection.

Coverage and Appearance
When it comes to coverage, paint forms a solid film on the surface of the wood siding which covers the wood siding completely. Since the coating is thicker than stain, it’s better at covering surface imperfections but doesn’t penetrate deep into the pores of the wood. If your wood siding has stains, it’s discolored or old, paint might be the best option.

On the flip side, stains penetrate the wood siding and offer varying levels of coverage. Solid stains have a high concentration of pigments and tend to cover the color and grain of the wooden siding. Translucent stains have a moderate amount of pigments which slightly change the color of the siding, but still, allow the wood grain to show through.

Surface Prep and Application
Both stain and paint require that you start with a clean and dry surface. Paint generally takes longer to apply because it needs thorough surface preparation. Without proper surface prep, paint can’t adhere to the substrate as required and may start to peel and bubble much sooner. If you’re working with exposed wood, you need to apply a water-repellent preservative before painting to prevent moisture penetration.

Painting also requires applying a coat of primer to provide a base that promotes proper paint adhesion. In some cases, the primer can be used to block the old paint from bleeding through the new paint. Staining requires much less preparation for application because you can skip the priming step without the risk of the finish peeling or cracking.

Durability and Maintenance.
Maintaining stained sidings generally takes less work, but they require more frequent application compared to paint. When stain ages, it fades gradually and fairly uniformly with no defined patches. Refreshing a stained siding can be as simple as washing the surface and applying a new coat of stain.
Solid stains, however, form a surface film and may show aging signs similar to paint such as peeling and cracking. Similarly, paint may crack and peel as it ages, which makes your siding look unappealing. Refinishing painted surfaces requires that you scrub off the loose old paint before applying a new one.

Bottom Line
As you can see, both painting and staining your wood siding are viable refinishing options. You want to make a choice based on the level of coverage and protection you want, as well as appearance and personal preferences. If you need any help painting or staining your home’s exterior in the Woodlands, Texas, we can help. Book a free estimate below to get started, or contact us today for more info.