Common Painting Problems
At Student Works Painting, we do a great deal of stain work. It is important to understand a few basic principles about stain, where different stains are to be used, and how stain is to be applied.
Types of Stain
Stain is manufactured in two different bases, in two different finishes. Stain is made in either a latex base (water), or an alkyd base (oil). Newer products on the market are called acrylic, which contain properties of both latex and alkyd stains, but wash up with water. These are excellent products for both coverage and protection.
Stains also are available in either solid hide (solid), or semi-transparent (semi). Solid stains have higher concentrations of colour pigment than semi stains, Solid stains hide the surface below, while semi stains allow the grain of the wood below to be seen. We can put a solid over a semi to hide the wood grain, but it is impossible to regain the wood grain appearance once applied.
Lap marks are the result of inconsistent application of stain. If an area is permitted to dry, and then partially recoated, a lap mark will appear. Lap marks are permanent, and can not be removed. Your crew will be specially trained to keep a surface wet, and not stop a board mid way. By employing these methods, we can ensure lap mark free stain work.
Solid Hide Stain
There are two kinds of solid stain; latex and alkyd. Because alkyd dries slowly, is intended to penetrate the surface, and therefore should be used on wood only, not on any non porous surface. Latex stain dries quickly, and therefore sits on the surface like paint does. As such, any use of latex solid stain should be over a primer, preferably an alkyd based primer. Solid stain, provides excellent protection from ultra violet rays, but very little protection from water penetration as it has no, or very little resin content, and therefore has no barrier to water penetration. Because of this, stain does not blister or peel, but will fade with age.
Semi -Transparent Stain
Uniformity is the more difficult to achieve working with semi transparent stain than solid because of the inconsistency of the stain itself. Our painters stir the stain frequently to ensure that the stain is applied as consistently as possible. If the wood has not previously been painted or if the old stain has weathered, one coat may not result in adequate coverage. It is always advisable to prepare for two coats or the first coat will appear uneven. Semi transparent stain should only be applied to bare wood or wood already been stained with the same semi-transparent stain. A colour change is virtually impossible because of poor hiding of the previous colour. With numerous coats, you will eventually be able to hide the old colour but it will have a “solid stain look” due to the numerous coats and build up of pigment. If the wood has weathered it may be wiser to choose a solid stain to hide imperfections.
Staining the Deck
There are special “DECK” stains available in semi transparent and solid hide which contain extra water repellents. Because these surfaces receive more wear and exposure to rain, we recommend two coats, or one maintenance coat per year. As decks are usually quite dirty, we will wash your deck with TSP or a more environmentally friendly alternative to unclog the wood pores before staining.