• The Path to Beautiful Exterior Staining*

    It's really is hard to beat Mother Nature and the materials she creates. Home designers and architects know that when they seek to unite character, charm and drama for the exterior appearance of a home, the obvious solution is wood. Properly finished, woods by Mother Nature win hands down in creating spectacular appearance and eye-popping appeal. Homeowners, however, need to appreciate that wood, more easily affected by sun, rain and time than other building materials, does need regular upkeep to maintain its built-in beauty.

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    Keeping the gray away
    Over time, exterior wood surfaces do age and lose some of their attractiveness. The beauty of the grain that was originally enhanced with a semi-transparent stain, for example, loses luster, fades and begins to ‘gray-out.’ This happens more slowly when a hardwood such as oak, ash, cherry, or teak is used as decking or railing, explains CertaPro Painters®. “But most often exterior siding, windows, fencing, decks and other areas are constructed of less expensive softwoods, such as cedar, fir and pine,” he says. “These woods are prone to absorb greater amounts of moisture, age more quickly in sunlight, and attract and hold a greater amount of dirt and dust. But proper preparation of the wood followed by careful re-staining will enhance the substrate wood dramatically.”

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    Seeking balance
    According to CertaPro, the key to great staining jobs is balance. “When a re-staining job comes our way, I first examine the wood on site to see how it was previously stained, whether it was sealed, how sunburned and dry the wood is. This is critical to know,” he says. Sometimes an application of a wood brightener is needed to achieve balance in the appearance of the wood before re-staining can occur. These brighteners are often successful in restoring the wood’s natural luster when followed by a light, careful power washing.

    “When the prep work is complete, we work closely with the homeowner to select the best staining material, whether it’s a semi-transparent stain to restore as closely as possible the original tone and color, or a blended stain to re-color the wood with a new finish. When the wood surface has been too long between staining, a solid color stain may be the best solution.” As a rule of thumb, CertaPro Painters® advises homeowners to consider two top-coats of stain to blend and balance the overall appearance, especially when a home’s southern exposure has seen more aging than northern, eastern or western exposures.

    “Restoring and re-staining wood to as close to its original beauty as possible is an art as well as a science,” notes CertaPro Painters®. “It can be a lot of work, but when the homeowner sees the results, they know it’s worth every minute.”

    For more information about staining exterior wood or painting any part of your house, contact your local CertaPro Painters®.

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    © 2012 CertaPro Painters®
    *As seen in CertaPro Painters® Envision magazine

 

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