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Stain or paint on exterior cedar siding?

Posted by annemouse (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 15:34

We are in the process of getting estimates for powerwashing and then stainig or painting our cedar house. The house is stained now but the stain is fading. The first painter highly recommends painting (he would do one layer paint) as this would be easier to upkeep and would keep the carpenter bees away. He says for those reasons nobody is staining houses anymore - he used to do it far more often 10 years ago. The second painter would only use stain on a cedar house like ours. Stain would not peel or blister and be the perfect application for our roughened wood (he would apply 2 layers). Both seem convincing... Any advice? Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Stain or paint on exterior cedar siding?

Stain it! We have cedar and stone on our house and a large cedar deck. The body of the house is stained and looks lovely and doesn't have to be done often.

DH was talked into painting the cedar deck and it looks awful in one season. I would gladly wring the neck of the contractor who talked DH into it! The paint wears off quickly but the stain penetrates the wood and is protective of it. We had the house stained five years ago and it looks as good now as it did then. Not so with the deck!.


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RE: Stain or paint on exterior cedar siding?

I too vote stain. Just had our place re-stained (solid latex stain)after 15 years. I'd use a high quality or you may regret it. Latex stain will flake, but it doesn't peel like paint. Oil stain is different, you won't get either. However, I had oil on mine at one time, and I did get algae from where the sun doesn't hit on the siding (north side). Someone explained to me of why it happens with oil stain. If I wasn't so lazy, I could look it up! :)

I'm not real crazy about the idea of power washing any wood. Real easy to force water into the fibers and destroy the wood.

I don't believe paint will keep carpenter bees away. A relative has painted cedar, and there are bees galore. I spray my place down every year with an insecticide, but you have to be careful around flowers, don't want to kill those bees. I have no problem with carpenter bees.



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RE: Stain or paint on exterior cedar siding?

I appreciate your feedback, holly-kay and Roof35. Your experience is exactly what I needed to finally decide for stain. We will need a good wash since there is some dark stuff on the walls that never get sun. I will ask what kind of stain will be used, too. Thanks also for the suggestion to spray with an insecticide to prevent carpenter bees drilling holes - so far we have only been dusting stuff in the holes but then the damage was already done :(


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RE: Stain or paint on exterior cedar siding?

You want to use 100 percent acrylic stain. I use several brands from several manufacturers and they all seem the same. Mold, mildew, algae, etc prefer to grow on the surface of an oil based coating over a latex one. Oil based coatings also will yellow and fade faster. Anyway, this doesn't matter much....no painter would recommend using an oil based solid stain for cedar siding these days unless he was a total idiot. Acrylic stain is far superior in all categories.


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RE: Stain or paint on exterior cedar siding?

We are redoing our siding as I speak.
We used Jomax, by Zinsser, stain and finish stripper
(brush it on and wash off with a power washer) has taken 12 years of finish/dirt off.
Resealing with Olympic Maximum Clear Waterproofing Sealant (Brings it bak to its original cedar color.

Our house was looking a dark brown from resealing and dirt build up. Both are doing a great job. Looks like a cedar house again.

My only question is what trim color to use. Don't like what I used previously


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