Why Many Albertans Prefer Wood Stain for Their Cedar Siding

1×6 Tongue and Groove Select Tight knot Cedar Siding

Even the best cedar wood can succumb to ultra violet radiation, water, mildew, fungus, and insects. That’s because sawmills rob it of its protective bark. Varnish has been the preferred replacement since the 5th Century BC. That was when someone discovered how to make a varnish by mixing tree resin with a solvent. However, this did not contain any pigment such as we find in modern wood stain.


Varnish’s Biggest Drawback, It’s a Surface Application


Varnish adheres to the surface of the wood like paint. Hence the strength of attachment depends on the care taken with preparation. Its greatest threat however is thermal aging.

Researchers at Istanbul University found “Over time, the physical, chemical, and mechanical stresses on wood coatings cause a weakening in the strength of cohesion and adhesion in the film layer and decrease the expected performance.”

The wood is exposed to ultra violet radiation, water, mildew, fungus, and insects once again as the varnish dries out, cracks, flakes away, and eventually fails completely. Regular sanding down and varnishing is the only way to prevent this happening.


The Main Advantages of Wood Stain When Applied to Cedar Wood


Both stain and varnish comprise pigments, solvents, and binders. However wood stain has a greater proportion of solvents that are the ‘vehicle’ for the product. Hence, wood stain penetrates deeper into the wood providing longer-term protection.

Moreover, siding stain has added viscosity, making it more resistant to deformation caused by shear or tensile stress.  Hence, it is more like a paint that does not form a hard film. Its improved bind-ability combines with greater flexibility to create a protective cover that outlasts paints and varnishes.


The Beauty of Wood Stain is Also in the Eye of the Beholder


True varnish is a transparent gloss that preserves the natural colour of the wood. While this is the obvious thing to do with rare timber like walnut, many of our customers prefer to stain their cedar wood siding to a particular tone.

We are achieving stunning effects with wood stain that allows the natural grain to show through. Wood stain cannot chip, crack, or flake away leaving inviting recesses for water, insects, fungus, and mildew.

Valiant Exteriors makes a point of pre-staining our cedar on all sides before installing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Quality lives on longer and that’s what you need most for your cedar siding. Call (403) 829-1661 to arrange a site meeting in Calgary and your free quotation.

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Honey-Stained Skylight in the Eye of the Beholder: Daniel de Francesco BY CC 2.0


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