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exterior maintenance coat

My cedar-sided house has been primed with oil based primer and coated with solid color stain. It's time for a maintenance coat and we want to know if it is necessary to reprime the entire house before doing one coat of solid color stain or are two coats of stain sufficient enough for durability? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Timothy Miller
Re: exterior maintenance coat

Are you sure it is not painted? as oil base primer is paint not stain....

Re: exterior maintenance coat


Was the existing solid hide stain oil or latex based? If it was oil based, I assume that it is showing some blotchiness. Oil stains oxidize leaving a light oxide coating on the shingles or siding. This is one of the drawbacks of oil stains vs. acrylic/latex stains.

If the stain was oil, you should try to clean the oxide off through a vigorous powerwashing, but not TOO vigorous! Cedar is soft and can be gouged by a too hard stream of water. Also, when power washing, shoot at a slightly downward angle to the siding so as not to inject water up under the clapboards ( horizontal siding). I always used a mild soap and bleach through the injector on my power washer to aid in oxide and possible fungus removal. Such a cleaning is also advisable if the existing stain is latex based. You always want to stain or paint a clean surface!

Stains are generally self priming. However, cedar does contain tannic acid. If you have bare cedar showing, it would be adviseable to spot prime with either an oil primer or an acrylic primer which is rated to stop tannin bleed, especially if you are using a light color. Tannin bleed shows up as a yellowish/reddish stain which is very noticable on light colors.

I personally would follow up with a coat of solid hide acrylic stain. As stated, acrylic stain is much more color fast than oil stain. For years I had very good results with Cabots' stains.

If the new stain covers in one coat, I would only do the one coat. One of the advantages of stain is that it does not cause an unneccessary build up , as would paint. Paint hides the texture of the cedar. Also, every additional coat of paint or stain contributes to the vapor barrier character of the coating.
You do not want a vapor barrier on the exterior of your house. When the house can no longer breath, peeling is a result.

One addtional advantage of acrylic over oil paints or stains is that they breath much better. The moisture which a house generates internally can continue to migrate to the outside without being trapped in the wall cavities or the siding itself.

I hope I haven't given you information overload. The short answer to your question is that you do not have to prime the whole house if the old stain is in genrally good condition. And no, you do not have to second coat the stain if it is covering the old color.

Re: exterior maintenance coat

^I agree with him, hit it with a light wash before you try and go over it

Tacoma John
Re: exterior maintenance coat

Solid body stains are just cheap paint. Sounds like you have a few coats on already and depending on method of application, you have lost some if not most of the detail in the wood. If this is true, wash, oil prime and use a eggshell latex paint. It will last longer and not chalk like a flat paint or stain as quickly. If you oil prime to prevent the tannins from bleeding through, use a slow dry primer. It wont become brittle as quickly as a fast dry primer.

Re: exterior maintenance coat

i would go with the cabots solid stain (waterborne) you will only need 1 coat

Tacoma John
Re: exterior maintenance coat

Wish I knew what type of siding it was. I know cedar, but is it rake, lap smooth, lap rough, or shake? I stand by my previous post. Latex paint, eggshell or higher sheen will last longer. I put SW flat paint on my own house and am sick. It chalked and stained in less than five years. Waterborne stain is cheap paint, five years and you will want to repaint. I have gone by homes I painted 8 years ago and look as good as the day I painted them. Here in the NW that is a feat. I used Kelly-Moore 1245 low sheen (eggshell) paint on those houses. If you like painting your house use the waterborne stain, if not use quality eggshell paint. I do give a 5 to 10 year guarantee depending on siding and age of house using this product. Highest in the industry. Your choice, 15 to 20 years or five years. PS I have a 4.92 star rating, (highest in the country for jobs done), on Service Magic and 5 star on city search.

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