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Incline Village.
Tahoe Donner.
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Transparent Acrylic Stains

Water-based exterior transparent stains have become common in most paint stores.  But they have not become the default choice, yet.  

Water-based coatings can achieve an enamel-like, durable finish while retaining the look of an oil finish.  Plus they are becoming cheaper than similar quality oil finishes.   And best of all, they don’t create that strong odor that most people in Tahoe are familiar with.

Problems with water-based stains tend to occur when they are applied over oil-based coatings.  Stains must penetrate the wood to adhere correctly, which is impossible when applied over oil.  So, when choosing a water-based coating it’s critical for the painting contractor to remove the previous linseed oil or other incompatible product that could cause the stain to peel.

Oil-based stains are generally less likely to peel or dissolve since most oils don’t set up quite as hard.  These durable oil coatings, or ‘high-build coatings’ are usually applied over oil, so there is less likelihood of peeling.  This is great for areas where snow slides across the surface, since the oil can’t be scraped or torn off.

If you have a difficult-to-remove old coating on your home, or you have areas with significant abrasion (ice damns, heavy snow exposure, deck surfaces) you may be unimpressed with a water-based coating.
The key to remember is that all stains will fade over time.  This is natural, and makes for an easy-to-maintain coating.   The goal is get the longest lasting finish, and to avoid failure, which looks bad and makes for difficult re-staining.

So as a rule of thumb:  Water based coatings are great for new wood, or on surfaces that are clean and can achieve a good adhesion.   And if you are living in the house during the staining, you won’t be bothered by the smell of oil.  New water-based products, if applied correctly, can achieve nearly the same look at their oil based counterparts, for cheaper.  These products will become the standard in Truckee and Lake Tahoe—the only question is when.

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The products we choose will be certain to retain their color, resist moisture, easily touch-up, prevent mildew growth, be easy to clean, and minimize odor and VOCs.   Call us today so we can offer our recommendation on your project, or email us at
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Exterior Paint & Stain
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