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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do I get Permacast Fiberglass columns - Roughsawn - to look like stained cedar?

.hbgcolumns.com/products/permacast-roughsawn/#product-tabs-sections

Instructions say to use a solid stain or a paint, but the pictures on their website show a real looking cedar finish. How do I accomplish that?

"For the finish coat, it is important to use a high-quality coating. High-quality exterior acrylic solid-body stains or
exterior acrylic paints should be used."
"NOTE: Do not apply oil-base solid stains, gel stains, semi-transparent stains, or transparent stains to RoughSawn®
columns. Do not apply polyurethane or other clear finishes to RoughSawn® columns. Do not use any finishes or
solvents containing acetone, lacquer thinner, or MEK. Failure to follow the recommended installation and finishing instructions will void the warranty."
 

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The pictures on the website look like they were done by dry brushing solid stain. If possible I'd practice on a column before it is installed and have a hose and scrub brush handy. If you don't like what you're seeing, hose and scrub it off and try again. With a little practice you should be able to achieve the look on the website. I wasn't overly impressed with the look on the website. To me it looked like solid stain dry brushed over fiberglass and not real cedar. But hey, many people don't have any idea how nice real cedar looks, so I suppose it will hold up to the scrutiny of the status quo.
 

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Thank you! These were 1/3 of the cost of cedar, plus they are structural. I just want them to look real from the street. If I don't like how they turn out, I think it will be easy enough to prime and paint white.
 

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Thank you! These were 1/3 of the cost of cedar, plus they are structural. I just want them to look real from the street. If I don't like how they turn out, I think it will be easy enough to prime and paint white.
Hi! We are considering getting the same columns and doing a gel stain and finishing with a clear coat. How did yours come out? Any recommendations?
 

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Hi! We are considering getting the same columns and doing a gel stain and finishing with a clear coat. How did yours come out? Any recommendations?
Every Fiberglas door I have ever stained has been done using the following:
Using gel stain. Apply multiple (very thin) coats to achieve a natural look.
Apply with a clean cotton rag (old t-shirt) moving "with the grain" - allow to dry overnight between coats. Usually 2-3 coats of stain ---> until it looks good to you.

Allow to dry 24 hours before clear coating with Spar Varnish.

Apply Spar varnish with a China Bristle brush (usually the disposable kind works just fine for what you're doing). 2-3 coats of Spar (allowing varnish to dry overnight between coats).

*It is important to keep up on maintenance with fiberglass. Please re-coat Spar every 3 years- more often if in direct sunlight (lightly abrade the Spar for adhesion and re-coat). Note- Fiberglass cannot be sanded without damaging the surface, so it is important to maintain the clear coat with regular maintenance coats.

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ALTERNATE METHOD with waterbased (I would use) Semi Trans. Ext. Stain (this appears to be the manufacturer recommendation for these columns):


A similar effect (as above) could be achieved using a semi-transparent exterior stain applied with a rag (directionally) to achieve the look of grain. Multiple thin coats will look better than one heavy coat. This will hold up better than the stain + varnish method, and be less maintenance.

Woodscapes - Semi-Transparent latex siding stain would be the type of product you want to use.

Wipe very thin coats (with the grain) wipe up excess. Allow to dry 2-4 hours or until not tacky.

(repeat) until happy with look.
 

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Every Fiberglas door I have ever stained has been done using the following:
Using gel stain. Apply multiple (very thin) coats to achieve a natural look.
Apply with a clean cotton rag (old t-shirt) moving "with the grain" - allow to dry overnight between coats. Usually 2-3 coats of stain ---> until it looks good to you.

Allow to dry 24 hours before clear coating with Spar Varnish.

Apply Spar varnish with a China Bristle brush (usually the disposable kind works just fine for what you're doing). 2-3 coats of Spar (allowing varnish to dry overnight between coats).

*It is important to keep up on maintenance with fiberglass. Please re-coat Spar every 3 years- more often if in direct sunlight (lightly abrade the Spar for adhesion and re-coat). Note- Fiberglass cannot be sanded without damaging the surface, so it is important to maintain the clear coat with regular maintenance coats.

---
ALTERNATE METHOD with waterbased (I would use) Semi Trans. Ext. Stain (this appears to be the manufacturer recommendation for these columns):


A similar effect (as above) could be achieved using a semi-transparent exterior stain applied with a rag (directionally) to achieve the look of grain. Multiple thin coats will look better than one heavy coat. This will hold up better than the stain + varnish method, and be less maintenance.

Woodscapes - Semi-Transparent latex siding stain would be the type of product you want to use.

Wipe very thin coats (with the grain) wipe up excess. Allow to dry 2-4 hours or until not tacky.

(repeat) until happy with look.
Thanks for the information. Would a clear coat be needed for the alternate method?
 
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