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CowichanVal
solid stain issue

Read the painting tips at http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,202236-3,00.html and seen some things did wrong but I accidently posted my help under discussion instead of asking for your help! We bought an old cedar house that had orignally had a dark stain on it. We sanded it down and then put on a solid stain which took about 5 coats before it quit soaking in the stain. Now most of it looks great however we have mildew growing on some of the clapboards including the majority of the northside. What is the best at this point to do? We are in the damp north-west. Suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

ordjen
Re: solid stain issue

Cowichan,

It should not have taken 5 coats of solid hide stain to cover your house. You don't state whether the old stain was oil or latex, but in any event, it was obviously very dry. After a thorough cleaning with a detergent and bleach to kill that mildew, you should have primed the old finish with an oil based primer after sanding it smooth. The primer could have been tinted to the finish color to lessen the number of finish coats to make the color change. I would have then top coated with a 100% acrylic solid hide stain. Acrylics are much more color fast than oil stains.

The reocurred mildew can be cleaned of with a good bleach solution and detergent. A product I like for such cleaning is Jomax. A quart bottle of Jomax is mixed with 4 gallons of water and 3 quarts of household bleach. It contains an additional mildicide, detergent and an ingredient which makes the bleach more effective. It is relatively mild and will not damage the paint or foundation plants when used according to directions.

Unfortunately, the cleaning may be an almost yearly routine in the NorthWest. I personally live in Portland and know of what you speak. Also, if you used a linseed oil containing oil stain, be advised that under the right conditions, linseed oil is a nutrient for mildew. More good reasons to make sure the mildew is dead before trapping it underneath a linseed oil containing film. Just another reason to go with acrylic over oil based stains.

CowichanVal
Re: solid stain issue

Thanks. Wish we had your advice before we started. Will see about using your mildew solution to solve the problem. I have to make sure it will not harm our well water which is about 25 feet from the house.

A. Spruce
Re: solid stain issue

Bleach won't harm the well. It is commonly used in wells after a flood to cleanse the well of bacteria that may have seeped into the casing.

ordjen
Re: solid stain issue

Cowichan,

Spruce is right about bleach. It is a very time tested mildew and germicide. I used to clean my RV water tanks with it before every season as I was drinking that water! Clorine is also injected into municipal water supplies. I recommended Jomax, but I would be concerned about using too much of it around a well head. I used Jomax mostly for more controlled uses.

For general house cleaning as prep before painting a house, I used generic household bleach bought at the supermarket when it was on sale. I would wipe them out of their stock! As a super safe detergent, I would open the bleach bottles and add as much Ivory Dishwashing Soap as I could fit in the top of the bottle. It is a natural soap which won't damage any household surfaces or foundation plants. It also had the advantage of sudsing up when it was sprayed onto the surface with my pressure washer. I knew that whereever I saw the suds, I had also hit it with the bleach. The average house took between 4 and 6 gallons of bleach, but I never had a complaint about stunting the plants. After you have finished your bleaching overhead, thoroughly rinse the leaves of all the foundation shrubs and plants. What goes into the ground does not seem to harm them.

I used a high pressure downstream nozzle rather than the low pressure injectors that come with most pressure washers. Such a nozzle allows you to throw the bleach up 30 feet onto the highest part of most homes.http://www.cmcpwe.com/accessorycheminjectors.html The tips are a little pricey at about $100 though. ( see Power Chem Nozzle by Cat Pumps). If you inject clorine bleach, make sure your injector is "downstream". You don't want to have bleach passing through the pump inself, but rather being siphoned "downstream".

CowichanVal
Re: solid stain issue

Thank you for all the advice. Now to make the time!

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