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Staining Cedar Shingles
Oil stains are the recommended finish for Western Red Cedar shingles as they allow natural moisture to escape without causing blistering and cracking of the coating film. Quality stains are formulated with penetrating type oils, usually providing a flat finish.
There are four basic types of oil stains, distinguished by the amount of pigment contained:
Transparent stains are virtually clear and will enhance the natural color variances in cedar. These clear products provide very little protection against UV rays, so the cedar will turn gray without regular maintenance or refinishing every couple years.
Semi-transparent stains are our normal recommendation since they permit the natural wood grain and texture of cedar to show, while enough color pigment provides protection against ultra violet rays for several years.
Semi-solid and solid stains are used when an opaque, colored appearance is desired. They provide more protection against the weather and require less maintenance.
It is important to use any stain in accordance with the directions of the manufacturer. Proper mixing and application are essential because of the thin consistency of the product. Frequent mixing is imperative to assure uniform dispersal of pigments across the entire job.
For a natural, silvery gray appearance such as that seen on old shingled buildings exposed to the sea air, there are a number of weathering and bleaching compounds to speed the natural weathering process. These finishes are also best applied as early as possible.
"Weathering" stains provide protection for the wood while allowing it to develop its natural coloration. These are usually soft gray transparent stains, providing a transition to the eventual weathered color without hiding the beauty of the cedar's natural color and grain.
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