Staining Wood Features in Your Southwest Florida Home
Paint is the go-to coating product in southwest Florida for covering most interior and exterior surfaces, but some wooden features of a home are better served by coating with a stain. In particular, the natural wood used for some home features may be so beautiful that hiding it under a coat of paint might seem criminal. A stain, on the other hand, can enhance such wood’s natural beauty and significantly boost the character of a room or area. Critical wooden features in your home that may look better stained rather than painted include:
- Stairs and banisters
- Crown Molding
- Trim work
The professionals at Naples-based FCI Painting have been offering wood staining services to southwest Florida homeowners for more than 25 years. They have the experience and artistic eye to determine which wood in a home should be stained rather than painted and can give you tips about the benefits of using stain. Read on to learn more about staining wood features in homes, and then turn to FCI painting for your wood staining work.
How Stains Protect Your Wood
While not as much of a factor for interior wooden features, many people wonder whether stains provide as much protection for wood surfaces as paint. Decks and other exterior wooden surfaces need protection from rain, sunlight, mold, mildew, air pollution, termites, and other damaging elements that can significantly shorten their lifespans. While paint provides a protective cover over the wood, stains are absorbed into the wood, which provides protection both within and on top of the surface. As both offer a decent degree of protection, your choice will often come down to deciding whether you want to showcase the natural beauty of the wood.
Pros and Cons of Choosing Stain Over Paint
Along with highlighting the natural beauty of wood, stain has some other advantages over paint. It is usually less expensive than paint and easier to apply and then touch up when needed. It’s also much less likely than paints to peel, crack, chip, and flake.
That said, stains generally do not hold up as long as paint, meaning that stained wood will need recoating sooner than painted wood. Know also that some woods—particularly tropical hardwoods—do not absorb certain stains well. Such woods can be stained with specialty stains and/or with specialized pre-stain preparation. The final look of wood stains is also less predictable than paint, which means you may have to experiment with different stains to find the one that will deliver the surface look you desire.
Choosing the Right Stain
To choose the right stain for your home’s wood features, consider the beauty of the wood first. Examine the wood under different lighting conditions and assess how the color and wood grain work together to distinguish it. With this in mind, you can determine how light or dark you want the final finish, the extent you wish the wood grain to show, and other factors that can affect the final finish.
Depending on these decisions, you can determine how much wood grain you want to expose through the stain. This will help you decide from among five different opacities: clear, transparent, semi-transparent, semi-solid, and solid. Clear and transparent stains deliver the least color change while letting the wood’s natural beauty shine through the coating. Semi-transparent stains allow for minor to moderate changes to the hue, while semi-solids and solids deliver more variation, including a paint-like, non-transparent finish.
Stains also differ according to their base. Oil-based and water-based stains can both be used for transparent and semi-transparent coverages. Oil-based stains penetrate the deepest, but they are slow to dry and more difficult to clean up, while water-based stains provide wider variations of hue choices. They also work better on some woods, such as maple and pine, that are more resistant to oil-based stains. Water-based stains are easier to clean up, but a sealant should be followed up for exterior use. Varnish-based stains are the most similar to paint and are primarily used for the least transparent jobs.
Learn More with a Professional Naples, FL Painting Company
If you want to learn more about stain options for your home’s interior and exterior wood features, consult with FCI Painting. With more than 25 years of professional painting and staining experience in the Naples, Florida area, contact FCI Painting online or call us at (239) 435-1001.