Comparing Different Finishes for Wood Siding | Big Easy Siding

Comparing Different Finishes for Wood Siding

When it comes to the exterior of a home, wood siding is one of the most popular materials used for its classic aesthetic and long-lasting durability. But with so many different finishes available, how do you know which one is best suited for your home?

Whether you’re considering painting, staining or sealing, there are countless options out there when it comes to finishing wood siding. Each one offers unique benefits depending on what type of look you’re trying to achieve as well as how much protection from natural elements such as UV rays, moisture and insects you need.

By comparing different finishes side by side, you can decide which product fits your needs while still having the beautiful wooden facade that makes any house stand out from the crowd.

Benefits of Different Finishes

The benefits of different finishes for wood siding depend on the desired look and maintenance requirements. Each option offers unique advantages, so choose wisely according to what works best for your home’s needs.

Paint Vs Stain

Paint and stain both provide protection for wood siding, but there are key differences between the two. Paint covers up the grain of the wood, giving it a glossy finish that won’t show any imperfections or scratches on the surface. Stain is designed to penetrate into the wood, highlighting its natural texture and color while also providing waterproofing properties.

When choosing between paint and stain, consider these factors:

wood siding painted green


  • Paintable stains offer more versatility than traditional deck stains by combining the water-resistant qualities of an oil-based product with the ease of application of a latex-based one.
  • Solid stains work similarly to paintable stains but they allow some of the underlying wood grain to be seen through them.
  • Wood stains come in many colors and varieties; however, they cannot hide existing damage as well as exterior paints can.


Exterior paint provides maximum durability since it layers on top of a solid material like aluminum or vinyl siding instead of penetrating into it like a stain does. On wooden surfaces, though, neither type offers great longevity unless you apply multiple coats over time. The best solution will depend on your climate and budget considerations.

Without further analysis of each material’s features and benefits, it is difficult to know which option will perform better for your particular needs. Regardless of what choice you make, proper maintenance is essential for maintaining lasting beauty and protecting against weathering effects such as fading or cracking.

Primer and Sealers

Primer provides a base coat that helps the exterior painting adhere better to the surface while helping to level out any irregularities in color or texture. Sealers act as weatherproofing solutions that help protect against UV rays, water damage, and rot. The use of these products can also aid in maintaining an even finish over time and provide additional wood protection.

Primer and sealers are important components when considering how to best treat wood siding. A proper application will ensure longer-lasting results with less maintenance required over time; it’s just one more step towards ensuring your siding looks great for years to come!

Clear Coats and Varnish

Clear coats and varnish are two of the most popular finishes for wood siding. A clear coat finish is a transparent protective coating applied to seal in raw wood while allowing its natural grain, color, and texture to show through. Varnish on the other hand provides both protection and color enhancement by adding an attractive layer that highlights the details of the wood’s surface.

Depending on your needs, there are different types of varnishes you can use:

  • Water-based varnish: This type of varnish offers good water resistance as well as UV resistance due to its acrylic composition. It also has low odor making it ideal for interior applications since it won’t leave strong fumes behind after application.
  • Oil-based varnish: These types of varnishes provide superior durability compared to their water-based counterparts but they tend to have higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which could be toxic when inhaled or ingested over time. In addition, oil-based varnishes require more effort when cleaning up spilled material due to their slower drying times.
  • UV-resistant varnish: This type of varnish is designed specifically to stand up against harsh ultraviolet radiation from the sunlight without fading or yellowing as some other varieties might do over time. They offer excellent gloss retention as well as great scratch resistance so they’re perfect for outdoor applications where sun exposure is inevitable.

No matter which finish you choose for your project, make sure that it meets all your requirements before investing in materials and labor.

Oil-Based Treatments

Oil-based treatments are one of the more popular finishes for wood siding. These oil-based colors, sealers, primers and stains provide a deep, lasting finish that can protect against weather damage. It is also easy to apply and doesn’t require any special tools or materials like some other types of treatment.

Oil-based treatments are known for their longevity and resistance to wear better than many others on the market today. They offer great protection from UV rays as well as extreme temperatures and humidity levels. The downside is that they must be applied properly in order to achieve maximum results; if not done correctly it could lead to cracking or fading over time.

Natural Waxes

Natural waxes offer a unique finish for wood siding that is both protective and aesthetically pleasing. Beeswax, vegetable wax, carnauba wax, paraffin wax and montan wax are some of the most common natural waxes used to treat wood materials.

  • Beeswax is often considered to be the best choice because it penetrates deep into the wood’s grain and creates a glossier appearance than other types of natural wax. It also helps repel moisture and prevent water damage.
  • Vegetable wax provides similar protection but may cause discoloration in certain woods due to its higher acidity levels. Carnauba wax has excellent waterproofing properties while still allowing the wood to breathe naturally.
  • Paraffin wax works well on softer woods like cedar or pine since it won’t penetrate as deeply as beeswax does and can easily be removed with mineral spirits if desired. Montan wax provides an even more durable layer of protection without sacrificing any aesthetic qualities.

Overall, natural waxes provide great versatility for finishing different kinds of wood siding with minimal effort involved in their application and maintenance.

Polyurethane Coatings

They provide long-term protection against damp conditions and UV radiation, plus chemical resistance. This makes it an ideal choice for areas with extreme climatic variations or close proximity to bodies of water. The downside is that these coatings have a tendency to yellow over time due to sunlight exposure. Plus they need frequent cleaning and reapplication in order to maintain their effectiveness.

All things considered, when wood siding needs strong protection from moisture and other environmental factors, polyurethane coatings may be worth considering as an alternative to natural waxes – provided regular maintenance is part of the plan.

Pros and Cons of Each Finish

When comparing different finishes for wood siding, there are pros and cons to each type.

Oil-based paint is the most common finish used on wood surfaces.

  • It offers long-term protection from weathering and offers a variety of colors to choose from. However, this type of finish does not provide any longevity benefits when compared with other options such as stains or sealants.
  • In addition, oil-based paints have a greater environmental impact due to their volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Stains and sealants are great alternatives that offer both aesthetic appeal and durability without the VOC emissions associated with paint.

stained finish wood siding

  • They penetrate into the surface of the wood providing longer-lasting protection against water damage and scratches.
  • The downside is that they do not come in a wide range of colors like paint does. Additionally, some staining products can be difficult to apply correctly which results in an uneven finish.

Overall, choosing between these different finishes will depend on personal preference and what works best for your home’s needs.

Cost Comparison

When looking at a price comparison of different finishes for wood siding, homeowners should keep in mind the costs associated with both materials and labor.

Here are five key points to consider when comparing the cost of each option:

The initial cost of purchasing supplies may be higher or lower depending on what type of finish is chosen.

  • Professional installation can also vary greatly in price based on which finish is used.
  • Consider whether any additional maintenance will need to be done over time due to wear and tear caused by certain finishes.
  • If opting for paint as a finish, factor in how often you’ll need to repaint your wood siding to maintain its appearance.
  • Research local contractors‘ rates so you know exactly how much money you’re spending on professional services related to wood siding costs.

For Best Results, Hire Big Easy Siding

When it comes to wood siding, getting the best results should be a top priority. Hiring a professional ensures that you have access to expert advice about different finishes and cost comparisons for each one. With our help, you can make an informed decision on what finish is right for your home:

  • Professional installation of wood siding will last longer than DIY projects
  • Professionals are aware of the limitations and complexities of working with various types of woods
  • They understand which finishes work best in certain climates and environments
  • Their experience allows them to provide helpful advice on how to maintain the finished product over time

Hiring a professional like Big Easy Siding for your wood siding project eliminates any guesswork or potential mistakes that could arise from a lack of knowledge or inexperience. Our, skill set provides the most value when looking to achieve optimum results. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

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