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Primer or two coats of solid stain.

GeorgeP's picture

The photos show the peeling solid stain on my house clapboards that I am taking down to bare wood.  While replacing cracked boards I found out that there is no vapor barrier over the sheathing.   I was going to use an oil primer before I restrain with a latex solid stain but now think that a latex primer would be best.  I've also heard that no primer is necessary with solid stain, just two coats of the stain.  Any opinions?  I want to get this right.


What is the stain that is (post #215400, reply #1 of 4)

What is the stain that is currently on the house, oil or latex?  What type of wood are the clapboards?  Where is the house located?  Not sure if no house wrap over the sheathing is the source of the problem.....I keep reading Martin Halladay's articles in FHB and the more I read the more confused I get.  I have 29 yeard old red cedar clapboards on my house.  It was put up as a spec house with no house wrap over the sheathing. The original stain job was oil.  Every stain job after that was latex.  Never had any peeling problems. That type of peeling looks like a moisture problem.  What type of wall insulation?  Vapor barrier under the drywall?

How old is that paint/stain (post #215400, reply #2 of 4)

How old is that paint/stain job?  And do you know the brand used?  Olympic, in particular, sold some really lousy stuff back when.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

HI there,  If you will be (post #215400, reply #3 of 4)

HI there,  If you will be taking the clapboards back to raw wood and the material is cedar you really need to start with oil primer.  Then 2 coats of latex "stain" would be best.  Arborcoat by Ben Moore for the tinted oil primer, and the latex topcoats is my go-to.  I doubt the claps are back-primed which can add to premature finish failure.  Not much you can do about that, but I would try to keep the siding as dry as possible with good gutters, cutting back trees and shrubs, etc.  Best of luck

Not back-primed (post #215400, reply #4 of 4)

Your siding probably was not back-primed. Moisture from inside the house is passing through. Leaky nail holes and cracks are allowing moisture in from outside. You have a situation where the outside face of the siding is super dry and the underside is potentially moist. Thus the cupping and blistering. Your brand of stain/paint is not nearly as important as controling moisture. This can re partially remedied with caulk, but can not be fully addressed until you take down the siding. If you do choose to power wash (I don't recommend it), make sure you aim the jet of water downward, so that no water gets behind the siding. Let the siding dry. Sand down to bare wood. Prime with oil. Fill nail holes and caulk. Prime a second time with oil. Let dry thoroughly. Follow with one or more coats of paint (Sherwin Williams Duration)..or use solid color stain (not something I normally do). prepaired to repeat this process 5-7 years down the road. If you do choose to tear off the siding, consider fibercement board replacement...painted. It holds up beautifully!

Mel Fros