Paint, stains

Published on February 1st, 2017 | by Henri

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Paint, stain, or ceramic coating for cedar siding

Q.    Our home is about 28 years old and we have had the siding (Cedar) painted with semi-transparent stain using Maxum. The last painter used Sherwin Williams Solid Woodscapes Acrylic stain. The siding was power washed, scraped, primed and then painted.

The siding began peeling shortly after the warranty expired and I would be billed for any repairs. I have done some scraping, priming and touch-up, but the time has come where the entire house has to be painted. I am considering a product called “Rhino Shield” which states it is an exclusive ceramic coating system with a 25-year transferable warranty against peeling and cracking.”

I plan on getting references before making any commitment but, I am curious if you have had any experience with this product or company. Thank you for your time and assistance.

A.    Sorry, I have no experience with this product or its manufacturer. I am always leery of extravagant claims. These extended warranties have bitten a number of people over the years. What does the warranty really cover? Will the company be there when you file a claim or will they find many reasons why the product was not applied properly? So if you choose to go ahead with Rhino Shield, you are on your own unless you can find references from other trusted sources.

Solid color stains are really thin paints, having about half of the viscosity of true paints. They are used to hide the color of the base material, but leave some of the texture visible.

Semi-transparent stains are used to reveal more of the wood grain than with solid color stains. Paints are used to completely hide the grain and texture of the wood, and thus have greater viscosity.

In my experience, painting red cedar, one of a species containing tannin, is seldom satisfactory, as the tannin makes it difficult for coatings to adhere. These wood species are best stained with a clear or as light a stain as possible.

Cedar is readily available either as white or red cedar. White cedar is not especially attractive in its natural form and is commonly painted, using an oil-base primer to enhance adhesion, followed by one or more coats of quality latex paint.

Red cedar is so beautiful that it is a shame to paint it. It is best to apply a clear stain or a semi-transparent one.

Your poor experience with the paint on your cedar siding makes me think that you have red cedar. If so, would you consider removing all paint and staining it instead? If not possible, use the recommendations above for white cedar. Meanwhile, if readers have had experience with Rhino Shield, let us know whether it seems worth the extra costs.

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