Stain on the Brain

If you added up all the work experience of the Reddy brothers, it’s over a century! You get the benefit of that experience in every estimate, every job, and if you don’t watch out, in every (potentially lengthy) conversation. Recently, a customer asked us about staining techniques and practices and here is what happened.


The customer supplied a link to a video about stain and Patrick had his senior team members watch a thrilling 15 video sponsored by a painting manufacturer (PPG) about stain. For many years, Patrick has gone to the annual PPG trade meetings. Even though today PPG Industries a 15-Billion-dollar giant, we are familiar with the former president of PPG who lived only about 3 miles away from our office in New Canaan. Patrick and he had spoken many times as they enjoyed talking shop. Patrick and the Pound Ridge Painting staff live this stuff! He fills our head with what the components of wood are, their function and what the drivers for stain longevity are. Hopefully, as we do this, you don’t have to think about it!


What is the take-a-away for the home owner? Stain is going to last depending on weather, the UV protection of a given stain, and preparation/maintenance. Some years the weather is tougher than others, and there is not much we can do about that. UV protection, like with our skin, is what we want for our wood. Some stains provide more protection than others, but we need to find a stain that is also attractive. It’s just like a person; a thick layer of suntan lotion isn’t the prettiest thing. Preparation of your siding and decking is also key. Wood is made of cellulose, hemicellulose, and a “glue” called lignin. Lignin is degraded by micro-organisms including fungi and bacteria. Once lignin, which holds the wood together, decays, that layer will become soft. At that point, that layer is no longer a good foundation for the stain (or paint). It’s Just like a skin peel; this is why we often sand away the top layer. To keep those bad microorganisms away, we power wash the home.


The major paint companies’ processes are in agreement with our practices. We know you and your family will help by allowing us (or another qualified firm) to do annual maintenance. The rest of it is in our experienced hands. Preparation is key and that is why we use professional power washing equipment (not a hose, not Home Depot grade gear) to start the job. Remember, there is a guarantee on our work as we are both competent and confident.


Once we have decided on the color, we can consider how transparent a stain we will use. We will prepare different samples and you can pick the one that is the best combination of durability and appeal.


If you have a question or concern, please let us know. We are here to help, answer questions, and find the best combination of colors, techniques, and care for your home.