Are there any upsides to using oil stain versus acrlyic latex stain?

Answered by Jeffrey ~ August 27, 2010 ~ Comments

As I talk with painters about re-staining the exterior of my cedar sided home, everyone recommends latex stain... Over the years I always used oil... there must be some advantages to oil over latex?

Tom H. ~ Denver, Colorado

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Tom, One big advantage of using oil based stain instead of latex in your situation is that if you already have oil based stain on your cedar siding, it should be completely primed with an oil based primer before you put a latex stain over it.

One of the reasons so many painters and DIYers like using latex paint and stain is because it is so easy to work with and clean up after using. Exterior painting is tough enough without having to mess around with cleaning up your brushes and roller covers after using oil based paints or stains. There are however some advantages to using oil based stain on your home.

There are basically two types of exterior oil stains, penetrating and opaque. If you have used a penetrating oil stain on your cedar siding in the past, then it should have soaked into the boards and allowed the natural grain of the wood to be on display. A penetrating oil stain also does not flake over time as it's inside the grain of the board and not sitting on the surface. Penetrating oil stain is also good for adjusting the color of your siding slightly.

Opaque oil based stain is more of a solid color and coats the surface of your cedar siding rather than soaking into the boards. This type of stain may require several coats on your siding and can partially cover up the wood grain. It dries very hard and the finish can crack easily with the expansion and contraction of wood that I would think is quite common with the weather around Denver, Colorado.

Latex exterior stains are available in opaque and semi-transparent. The opaque stain is going to require several coats just like the opaque oil based stain and will cover some of the wood grain, but the latex stain is a little more elastic than the oil based and shouldn't crack as much. The semi-transparent latex stain is just what the name states, it allows the natural wood to show through with just a little color tinting. However it doesn't soak into the boards and can be prone to flaking over time.

Since you already have oil based stain on your cedar siding I think I would stay with an oil based product, but if I was starting with new wood, I would probably go with the oil based penetrating stain if I wanted to display the beauty of the natural wood. However if I wanted a solid stain, I think I would go with the latex opaque.

One Response to “Are there any upsides to using oil stain versus acrlyic latex stain?”

From the Reliable Remodeler Directory

You may be interested in these Colorado Home Improvement Contractors: