Questions about pre-primed wood: paint vs. stain? # of coats?
We are in major need of painting the exterior of our house in the Boston area, which was sided with pre-primed cedar clapboard in November (when it was too cold to paint.) The primer has now lost a bit of its luster, but it is still mostly intact. We have had a bunch of painters come by, and we are getting different opinions and prices from everyone. I would love input on a few questions. (If it matters, we are going for a medium gray-blue color for the house....)
1) Is it better to paint or to stain over the factory primed wood that has been exposed since November? If staining is better, should we still use primer? If so, would you recommend oil or latex primer? If primer isn't necessary with stain, how many coats would you recommend?
2) A few painters have suggested only using one coat of latex paint if we use tinted oil-based primer. They think we will have too much paint on the house if we use two coats. However, other painters have suggested that the primer might shine through with only one coat. Again, I would love some input.
Thank you so much!