Paint or Stain?

Paint or stain? How to decide…

The question as to whether your house should be painted or stained depends on several factors. Both have advantages and disadvantages. New England weather can have extreme changes in temperature.

In New Hampshire, house painting and staining should be done every 5 to 7 years. If you have a new home with cedar siding or shakes, wood stain is probably your best bet. Stains have an infinite number of colors and transparencies that allow you to see the wood grain or be totally opaque as in a solid body stain. Solid body stains look no different than paint. If your home has been painted in the past, you'll probably want to stay with paint because the entire body and trim would have to be sanded to accept stain. This is labor-intensive and cost prohibitive.

An advantage to stain is that it absorbs into the wood and provides protection deeper, as opposed to paint, which forms a skin or vapor barrier on the outer surface. Because of this, stain does not require a primer coat to adhere. The disadvantage to stain is that it can be hard to tell when it has lost its effectiveness and moisture resistance. A stained house that has been let go too long can develop rot and mildew issues, which can be expensive to repair.

Exterior house paint puts a beautiful rich finish on your house that can last for just as long as stain. Paint forms a protective vapor barrier to seal out moisture. You know that it's time to repaint when you see peeling and blistering. Better to plan to repaint every five years, then to wait too long and end up having to do a lot of prep work sanding and priming an existing house. Paint allows you the option to change the color, regardless of what is underneath. This is difficult to do with stain.

If you're not sure whether you have a solid body stain or paint on your house, or you'd like to know when you should plan to paint your homes exterior again, call us to come and give you a free home exterior assessment. It's always better to plan for your house painting, then to wait until it's too late!

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726 East Industrial Park Drive,
Unit 9
Manchester, NH 03109
(603) 432-0013

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