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Old 05-23-2019, 02:23 PM   #1
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Default Exterior Stain or Prime & Paint?

I was just wondering if anyone knows of a study of what last longer for exterior trim? Stain or Primer & Paint?

Obviously stain is easier to use because it is basically just 2 coats over weathered or new wood. Using an exterior bonding primer plus two coats of an acrylic paint takes longer to apply. It's an extra step.

Every year mu customers ask what is better and what will last longer. My instincts tell me paint will last longer than stain. I can almost guarantee that my competitors only care how long it will take and don't care about durability.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:07 PM   #2
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I've never seen a stain job last 10+ years and still look good, like paint jobs do, (or should, at least)
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:15 PM   #3
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I like solid stain on rough cedar. Paint on smooth exterior wood, Hardie, etc.
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanV View Post
I like solid stain on rough cedar. Paint on smooth exterior wood, Hardie, etc.
me too. I also use stain for decks & fences. I'm liking the hybrid stains for fences the last few years.

In new housing all the painters are using stain for the trim. All the builders care about are cheap prices.
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Smith View Post
I was just wondering if anyone knows of a study of what last longer for exterior trim? Stain or Primer & Paint?

Obviously stain is easier to use because it is basically just 2 coats over weathered or new wood. Using an exterior bonding primer plus two coats of an acrylic paint takes longer to apply. It's an extra step.

Every year mu customers ask what is better and what will last longer. My instincts tell me paint will last longer than stain. I can almost guarantee that my competitors only care how long it will take and don't care about durability.
Stain is best for cedar. It never peels, does not need primer, and keeps the texture of the Cedar (which looks nice). Like you, I also like Solid Stains for fences.

Paint is appropriate for old pine houses that are already painted.

When paint fails, it peels. When stain fails it fades.
In midwest life expectancy is 7-10 years for stain, and 10-15 years for paint. However, when paint fails it compounds and looks terrible, and is much more work to re-paint.

Around here, many people Stain Cedar siding (Cedar is most common choice) or paint Hardiboard (New Cement siding), and will often paint the trim around windows whether it is wood or not.

Last edited by Holland; 05-24-2019 at 06:20 AM..
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:16 AM   #6
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Im assuming your talking solid stain. Not semi transparent. .also depends on what your painting. On new wood, I'm a firm believer in solid stain. It's just a better system for down the road and refinishing when it eventually fades.. If it's a repaint on a previously primed and painted house, You can stain with 100% Acrylic solid stain but it won't have the same look. Your better off at that point bridge priming and painting.
Don't get me wrong, if done in a controlled environment, a long oil primer and good paint will "theoretically last longer. But harder to Recoat later when it fails..



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Old 05-24-2019, 11:15 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=finishesbykevyn;1652009]Im assuming your talking solid stain. Not semi transparent. .also depends on what your painting. On new wood, I'm a firm believer in solid stain. It's just a better system for down the road and refinishing when it eventually fades.. If it's a repaint on a previously primed and painted house, You can stain with 100% Acrylic solid stain but it won't have the same look. Your better off at that point bridge priming and painting.
Don't get me wrong, if done in a controlled environment, a long oil primer and good paint will "theoretically last longer. But harder to Recoat later when it fails..


We have a lot of Cedar Homes in the area; Staining Cedar Homes accounts for the majority of the work we handle each year.

For new homes (prior to construction) it is recommended to use Semi-transparent oil-based stain.

Subsequent coats (future maintenance) we recommend switching to Acrylic Latex Solid Stain. Some customers don't like the look of Solid Stain (say it looks too much like paint). For this we recommend Semi-Solid or Transparent Latex Stain.

I will never recommend Paint over Cedar.
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Old 05-24-2019, 02:22 PM   #8
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stain to retain wood texture, prime and paint for a smooth finish. Alkyd stain or alkyd primer/acrylic topcoat on tannin staining woods. If the trim is a rough texture wood, stain it. If it is a smooth wood, prime and paint it. Not rules. Just what i was always taught.
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Old 05-24-2019, 02:25 PM   #9
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[quote=Holland;1652017]
Quote:
Originally Posted by finishesbykevyn View Post
Im assuming your talking solid stain. Not semi transparent. .also depends on what your painting. On new wood, I'm a firm believer in solid stain. It's just a better system for down the road and refinishing when it eventually fades.. If it's a repaint on a previously primed and painted house, You can stain with 100% Acrylic solid stain but it won't have the same look. Your better off at that point bridge priming and painting.
Don't get me wrong, if done in a controlled environment, a long oil primer and good paint will "theoretically last longer. But harder to Recoat later when it fails..


We have a lot of Cedar Homes in the area; Staining Cedar Homes accounts for the majority of the work we handle each year.

For new homes (prior to construction) it is recommended to use Semi-transparent oil-based stain.

Subsequent coats (future maintenance) we recommend switching to Acrylic Latex Solid Stain. Some customers don't like the look of Solid Stain (say it looks too much like paint). For this we recommend Semi-Solid or Transparent Latex Stain.

I will never recommend Paint over Cedar.
long oil primer and acrylic paint on cedar works fine if there is no moisture issues. Which is rare i know. It's a spec that has faded away for the most part. Although i still wouldn't really recommend an acrylic stain on bare cedar. But that is all you can get in some areas.
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:41 PM   #10
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[quote=PACman;1652027]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland View Post

long oil primer and acrylic paint on cedar works fine if there is no moisture issues. Which is rare i know. It's a spec that has faded away for the most part. Although i still wouldn't really recommend an acrylic stain on bare cedar. But that is all you can get in some areas.
Painting over Cedar sets-up the homeowner for increasing amounts of maintenance in the future as the painted layer ages. That is my big complaint, as I have seen Cedar houses that were painted over the course of my modest career, which have already entered the "peeling" stage. It is so much more work, especially in the soffit/fascia areas of the house, but really anywhere. Get ready to scrape/prime/paint (x)2 coats, when a maintenance coat of stain would have looked awesome!

Moisture can enter in through nail holes, gaps, bad rain diversion, snow sitting against the building for long periods of times, and anywhere else expansion/contraction allows intrusion.

That...and Paint minimizes the texture of Cedar, and replace it with a more "plastic" appearance, which (insert opinion) detracts from the inherently beautiful quality of Cedar.
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:58 PM   #11
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[quote=Holland;1652055]
Quote:
Originally Posted by PACman View Post

Painting over Cedar sets-up the homeowner for increasing amounts of maintenance in the future as the painted layer ages. That is my big complaint, as I have seen Cedar houses that were painted over the course of my modest career, which have already entered the "peeling" stage. It is so much more work, especially in the soffit/fascia areas of the house, but really anywhere. Get ready to scrape/prime/paint (x)2 coats, when a maintenance coat of stain would have looked awesome!

Moisture can enter in through nail holes, gaps, bad rain diversion, snow sitting against the building for long periods of times, and anywhere else expansion/contraction allows intrusion.

That...and Paint minimizes the texture of Cedar, and replace it with a more "plastic" appearance, which (insert opinion) detracts from the inherently beautiful quality of Cedar.
Like i said, moisture issues. Which pretty much means only in desert Arizona, California, and Nevada. Just like diy garage paints!
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