Whether it’s a new house or an older existing one, choosing between paint and stain is not always a straightforward decision. Either way, wood siding is a classic way of providing both protection and beauty to your home, especially for those who want that traditional, warm feel. In order to ensure durability and preserve the natural beauty of the wood, you need to apply and regularly maintain a coat of paint or stain to the home’s exterior.

A protective coating prevents moisture from getting in contact with the wood, minimizes wood rot and keeps your home looking its best. Many homeowners in Amador County, California always find themselves having to choose between paint and stain –and they’re not sure which option is the best. Below are some of the factors to keep in mind when making your choice.

1) Surface Preparation and Application
Both paint and stain require a clean dry surface when applying, and they can be applied using either a brush or a roller. Painting may, however, take a little longer to apply because it requires a thorough surface preparation process. This is to ensure proper paint adhesion, which prevents blistering, cracking or peeling.

If you’re painting exposed wood, which is the case with exterior painting, you need to first treat it with a water-repellent preservative before painting to prevent moisture damage. You also need to apply a coat of primer before painting for enhanced adhesion and better coverage. In the case of staining, you can safely skip the priming, and it generally requires much less surface preparation.

2) Coverage and Appearance
Stains and paints differ significantly in terms of appearance and coverage. Stains are generally classified into three main types: Solid stains, Semi-transparent stains, and transparent stains. Both transparent and semi-transparent stains get absorbed into the wood and don’t form a film on the surface. Transparent stains don’t alter the color of the wood while semitransparent stains slightly alter the wood color, but without obscuring the wood grains and knots.

Solid stains, on the other hand, don’t get absorbed into the wood, instead, they form a solid film on the wood surface, obscuring the wood grain – more like paint. Paint forms a surface film that completely covers the wood grain, but doesn’t penetrate deeply into the wood’s pores. Additionally, paint tends to be thicker than stain and is the best choice if you want to hide surface imperfections or access limitless color options.

3) Level of Protection
Both painting and staining offer protection against sunlight and moisture, but their level of protection differs. One coat of a primer and two coats of paint can offer up to 9 years of protection. Two coats of stain, on the other hand, can offer up 7 years of protection while one coat of stain offers only 1-2 years of protection. Generally, paint forms a thicker, more protective, and longer-lasting layer than stain.

4) Maintenance and Durability
Stains generally require more frequent applications to keep your home’s exterior looking great. Clear and semi-transparent stains penetrate the wood without forming a film on the surface, so they don’t peel, crack or blister. Conversely, solid stains and paints, form a film on the surface, which may peel or crack as it ages and weathers. Refinishing stain in most cases only requires cleaning the surface, while repainting requires that you remove the old loose peeling paint first.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, both paint and stain are viable options when refinishing your wood siding. However, the above considerations, as well as your preferences, should guide you in choosing between the two.

If you’re considering hiring a painting contractor in Amador County, California to handle your exterior staining, Hines Painting Company can be of help. Just contact us to book an estimate and we will take over everything from there on.

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