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Staining over stained wood siding

What do I need to have done to restain exterior cedar siding?  Used Behr stain 2 years ago and it looks horrible.  I called the painters to see what they had to say, their work is guaranteed for 1 year. Do I need to have it  pressure washed to bare wood , it has been pressure washed before (too much) I is really blotched, spotted and dull. and several different shades of cedar.  Any suggestions.  It really looked nice after completion. I used Behr stain because it was recommended.  Any suggestions??

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Posted 2014-01-12T19:32:16+0000  by lsrtx lsrtx

Thank you for your reply.  I figured it was ruined. I will file a complaint with Behr.

Best Answer

Posted 2014-01-13T16:28:18+0000  by lsrtx




You should direct your complaints directly to Behr at 1-800-854-0133, Ext. 2.


Even the least of Behr's exterior stains is guaranteed for 2 years on verticle surfaces, the better grades up to eight years. Unfortunately, as is the industry standard, the guarantee only provides for reimbursement of the material cost, not labor costs, the far greater amount.


Most of Behr's stains are acrylic, water  based , transparent or semi-transparent stains, the assumption of which is that you used. Once failed, acrylics do not lend themselves to re-staining, but must be stripped to bare wood. Pressure washing is not sufficient, indeed, it may actually cause irrepairable damage to the soft grain of the cedar. The alternative is chemical stripping, a messy, time consumining operation using caustic strippers and acids to neutralize them.


If the failed stain is tight to the surface, a possible solution would be to go over the it with a solid based acrylic stain. A solid hide stain is like a light bodied paint. You would able to see the texture of the cedar, but not the actual grain.

Solid hide stains hold up much better than transparent or semi-transparent stains because they block the UV rays of the sun. They block rainwater, yet let the house "breathe", not trapping water vapor generated within the house in the wall cavities.


Years ago, my brother, a life long painting contractor, had his house resided with beautiful horizontal cedar clapboards. He used a national brand transparent oil stain. Trying to keep ahead of the greying of the wood, several repeat applications of stain were applied over the years until it had the appearance of solid hide stain. He actually chemically stripped the house back to bare wood and restained it. Finally after repeated coats of transparent stain and again a solid appearance, he finally gave up and stained the house with an acrylic solid hide stain. The point is, even a professional painter can finally make the judgement that trying to maintain that natural cedar appearance is just not worth it the cost and effort!  Incidentally, the cedar toned solid hide acrylic has given him years of good service.


Hope this has given some insight as to what your options might be.




Posted 2014-01-13T04:56:09+0000  by ordjen

Sorry to learn of your problem isrtx!


Although a practice for many years, pressure washing stained decks will damage both the stain and the wood underneath.


Bleach is normally the agent applied while pressure washing.


Bleach makes the wood fiber brittle.


When followed by a high-pressure jet of water, the combination typically shreds the wood fiber on the surface.


Modern stain prep is done with products like Behr All-in-One ... a product containing a mild oxidizing agent; oxalic acid.


This diluted acid will kill mildew without damaging the wood fiber.


The instructions say, "Do Not Use High Pressure."


In fact, you simply brush-on with a stiff bristle brush, allow the product to clean for no more than ten-minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with nothing more than a garden hose.


Do not allow this or any other cleaning agent to dry on the surface.


Rinse thoroughly and air-dry before applying stain.



What you get with this prep process is a surface free of mildew while also removing about one-third of the existing stain.


This opens the pores of the wood and allows the next coat to absorb evenly.


Preparing the wood properly will result in a much more even coating, a surface that absorbs stain properly into the wood, and stain that will survive much longer on the surface of your home.



Dip your fingers into a cup of fresh water and spritz onto the surface.


If the water absorbs quickly, you are ready to stain.


If the water beads up, you should repeat the process.

Posted 2014-01-23T15:55:37+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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