Monthly Archives: May 2016

UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PAINT AND STAIN

Once homeowners have made the decision to build a new home in Fairfield County or take on a large renovation project, the decisions start to pile up. They often find solace in connecting with a qualified contractor that can help guide them through the process and help make choices easier. One of the decisions they’ll be faced with is paint color and the type of exterior finish to choose.

Paint Stain

The two most popular options for covering wood siding are traditional paint and solid stain. The primary type of traditional paint found on Fairfield County, CT home construction sites, as well as with do-it-yourselfers, is latex. In fact, over 75 percent of paint sold today is latex. Because this type of paint is water-soluble, it is much easier to manage and clean up after. More important, it has several durability and aesthetic benefits Latex paint has better color retention and chalk resistance. And because high-quality latex paint is made with 100 percent acrylic binders, they do not crack and weather as easily as oil-based options do.

Through the years, stain has become more popular for exterior siding. Although semi-transparent stains exist, and are used for certain applications, solid stain includes more pigment and thus will protect the wood better. Solid stains are used more often for home exteriors because of their durability. The main reason for using semi-transparent is typically aesthetic. The transparency allows for more of the wood grain to show through.

Stain soaks into the wood more. As a result, the wood grain and minor, natural imperfections of the siding will show through in contrast to paint. This can provide a more natural aesthetic that some CT residents are looking for. Another appealing benefit is the way stain weathers. It does not crack and peel like paint does. For this reason, it can be easier to prep and refinish when it comes time for a fresh coat. The major downside is that it does not last as long as paint and thus will need to be reapplied more often. Solid stains come in latex and oil-based varieties.

If you’re adding onto an existing structure, or building a renovation that has resulted in the removal and replacement of siding, this can be a good time to repaint the entire house. When repainting, you have the option to change finishes. The key is to prep the surface thoroughly to remove any dirt and mildew, and scrape and sand off the cracked or flaking finish. If the home is older, and there are multiple layers of paint, it may be worth considering sand-blasting the exterior to start with a new, clean finish.

Choosing between stain and paint typically comes down to aesthetics and longevity. Either way, a good thorough job will help protect your home’s finish for several years.