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Should you Paint or Stain your Exterior?

The exterior look of your home plays a crucial role in increasing its curb appeal and earning a few good looks of appreciation from neighbors and friends. Therefore, when it comes to painting it, you need to make a decision that works best for the type of look you are going for, the level of protection your home needs, and the amount of time you can set aside for maintenance.

Plus, paint is usually more expensive than stain, so you need to decide the one that comes under your budget. To make the decision of choosing between both easy for you, we have discussed a few factors you can consider before making the decision, let’s have a look at them:

Look and Coverage

If we talk about paint, then it creates a surface film that covers the wood grains completely but doesn’t go deep into the pores of the wood. And we are talking specifically about wood because most of the houses have wooden exterior. The benefit of using paint is that its coating is good for hiding imperfections or the old age of wood because of thickness.

As for the stain, it not only penetrates the pores of wood but offers a few more options when it comes to appearance. Opaque or solid stains have a high pigment concentration, which means they obscure the colour and grain of wood while semitransparent stains have moderate pigments which alter the colour without hiding the grains of wood.

Surface Preparation and Application

You can apply both the stain and paint using a roller and need to have a clean and dry surface for the proper application of both. However, it takes a little longer to apply paint because you need to prepare the surface for proper paint adhesion to prevent blistering, cracking, or blistering.

You also need to treat exposed wood using water-repellent preservative before painting or staining for moisture prevention that can make the wood shrink or swell. Furthermore, a coat of primer is necessary before the paint application to achieve good adhesion.

As for the stains, you have to do all of these things as well, but you can just skip priming because stain can stick on its own.

Durability and Maintenance

Paint doesn’t really require frequent applications and can last a long time if properly taken care of. However, stain requires frequent application as it can slowly fade away with time. Although you can always provide it with a newer and fresher look with another coat of stain, that would cost some money, of course.

As for the durability, if you use the semitransparent oil-based stains, they penetrate into the pores of the wood. This will help them stay adhered to the wood and not peel or blister.

But we cannot say the same for paint as it will start to peel and crack as it weathers, which can make the siding look old and unappealing. However, you can always remove loose paint using sandpaper, apply a coat of primer, and repaint.

Level of Protection

The most key question to ask is which one will protect your home’s exterior from harsh environmental elements like the UV rays, dust, dirt, or rain? Well, both the paint and stain offer protection, but there is a difference in the level of protection.

A siding that you prime and coat with two paint coats can give you up to 10 years of protection. However, it is different with the stain. You can expect 1-2 years of protection with one coat of stain, which is not really bad because you can always apply more in the future.

But the reason why paint offers greater protection is that it creates a barrier in the form of the film between the wood and sunlight/rain. This barrier offers better protection than stain, which has a lot thinner coats.

Which one should you choose?

Now the million-dollar question; which one should you choose for your house’s exterior? Well, the answer is not simple, and you will have to be the judge of that. If you want to cover raw wood or concrete surface, then stain can offer a natural, rustic and warm finish. You can choose the type of stain that is an exact match to the natural colour of your exterior surface or get a tinted stain for enhancement.

But if you like a more dramatic and bolder look, you may be better off with paint. Plus, it offers more durability and protection than stain if you keep it well maintained. And if it starts to come off from anywhere, just sand that area, apply primer and repaint.

The ultimate decision between stain and paint is, of course, yours to make, and it comes down to your personal taste and what goes better with your exterior surface. You can always discuss your needs with us, and we’ll be happy to provide you with some expert opinions.

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