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Stain Vs. Paint

Stain Vs. Paint

A common question we are asked is “what is the difference between paint and stain?” Without going into the chemistry involved, it generally comes down to appearance and personal preference. With a stain you expect to see a certain amount of the substrate, whereas with paint, you don’t expect to see any of the substrate.

Exterior stains are typically classified as semi-transparent, semi-solid, and solid (or opaque). With semi-transparent stains we expect to see the wood grain and texture while also changing the color of the wood or concrete. Semi-solid stains hide more of the wood grain while solid color stains hide all of the wood grain, but the texture is still visible.

Stains are formulated to penetrate the surface and this allows the texture to remain visible. On the other hand, paint is meant to stand as a completely new surface. A paint job often requires primer and multiple coats. Stains typically do not require a primer coat unless there is concern about the severity of discoloration from tannin bleed-through.

Semi-transparent and semi-solid stains have much less pigment than paints or solid stains. For exterior applications (wood siding, concrete, treated lumber) semi-transparent and semi-solid stains do not require a finish coat. However, most interior applications (floors, doors, cabinets, trim) will require a clear protective coating of polyurethane.

If you have questions about stain vs. paint, don’t hesitate to call us at 1.800.663.4944. We’d be glad to provide a consultation on which system is right for your home.

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Why Customers Choose Beach Painting

  • Expertise - we have the experience and versatility to take on the most demanding painting and residential construction projects.
  • Integrity - we only use the highest grade materials and take the time to do the job correctly.
  • Dependability - our employees are directly employed (not subcontractors) and covered under our liability and workers' compensation policies.
  • Professionalism - we carefully measure all components of the work and provide a detailed scope in our estimates and proposals.
  • Longevity - with over 20 years of steady growth, we have become the largest full-service painting contractor on the Outer Banks.
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