DIY: Staining Wood Siding

Wood siding can be stained a variety of colors to fit almost any exterior color scheme. When choosing a stain, look for an exterior waterproof stain that will protect against fading. Once you have chosen a color, test the stain in a small, unnoticeable section, or a piece of spare wood. This will allow you to test the actual color of the stain on wood. When you’re pleased with that, it’s time to stain.

Before beginning, make sure your exterior wood siding is in good repair. Replace any pieces of wood siding that have begun to rot and patch any holes in the siding. Keep in mind, however, that new wood siding may require an extra application of stain to ensure that the exterior of the building has a uniform color.

Step 1: Clean the wood siding with a sponge and liquid wood cleaner. If you cannot find cleaner specifically made for wood siding, a wood deck cleaner can also be used. A soft bristled scrub brush can be used to remove mold and moss on the side of the wood siding. Allow the wood siding to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 2: Protect the surrounding trim and other exterior features from the stain using painter’s tape and drop cloths as necessary. This is particularly important if you would like to use a paint sprayer for this project.

Step 3: Apply the first coat of wood stain on the wood siding with an exterior paintbrush. You can also use a paint sprayer if you have access to one. Allow the stain to dry on the wood siding.

TIP: If you are using a paintbrush, start painting from the top and work your way down towards the bottom. This will allow you to clean up any drips as you work without disturbing the areas of wood siding you have already stained.

Step 4: Apply a second coat of stain on the wood siding, using the same technique used to apply the first coat.

Step 5: Apply additional coats of wood stain if needed. While two coats of stain is usually sufficient, darker stains applied to lighter wood may require four or more coats to achieve the necessary color.

Staining may be a final or extra step in your woodworking projects, but it is essential in elevating the appearance of your output and protecting it as well. If you want to know more about staining and other woodworking processes, Woodworkers Guild of America is a great place to start.

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