Exteriors Make Your Great Outdoors Greater

Keeping wood properly protected is a growing challenge, especially as homeowners have made it a top choice for exterior surfaces–not just siding, but decks, furniture and all the other accessories that are part of the extended outdoors lifestyle.

“Homeowners are upgrading their outside living and garden areas with unrelenting zeal,” says Kurt Denman, product manager of Benjamin Moore Paints. “Terraces, decks, patios, cabanas, pool houses, gazebos, and outdoor kitchens are additions that Americans spend $40 billion on annually.”

What’s necessary to keep all of this wood in tip-top shape as it faces exposure to the vagaries of Mother Nature?

“Performance is the chief characteristic a consumer should look for in an exterior stain,” advises Denman. “It should protect from the two major culprits affecting wood-water and UV rays.”

Responding to this growing focus on the expanded outdoors lifestyle, Benjamin Moore has developed a new, technologically advanced, premium Exterior Stain Collection that protects and beautifies just about every wood surface. The collection offers an extraordinary palette of hues, with a range inspired by organic life and the outdoors world.

“The best way to choose a color is to look at existing colors around your home,” adds Denman. “Consider the color of your roof, siding, trim, driveway, and surrounding plant life.”

When it comes to finishes, Denman advises that a clear finish is ideal for new or well-maintained wood. It reveals the beauty of the material without obscuring either its grain or texture. With more opacity, the additional pigments provide additional protection and color selection, but mask the grain of the wood while still highlighting the wood’s natural texture. Stains with more opacity are a good choice for older wood that is not in pristine condition or when additional color selection is desirable.

For every type of wood no matter its condition-new, worn, plagued by mildew or mold, or tannin-leached types like redwood or cedar–a preparation coating is available. To ensure your exterior wood assets are protected, they should be coated evenly with a clear finish, relatively soon after installation. Remember, proper preparation is the ultimate determinant of how long the beauty of a staining job will last.

For the best advice on selecting an exterior stain and preparation appropriate for the type of wood on the exterior of your home or other outdoor project, speak to an experienced professional. One last tip: Be sure to test your color selections on the surface to be painted to see if it’s accurate and exactly what you want. Remember that the natural color or grain pattern of the wood itself can greatly influence the final color.

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