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You’re Not Finished Without a Finish

July 1, 2016

Wood Stains are Essential to Protect and Enhance Any Wood Features

Don’t leave your wood naked! Unfinished and unstained wood can actually be dangerous and costly. Not to mention less aesthetically pleasing. Wood is a strong and useful material, but it needs to be protected in order to maximize it’s strength and longevity. Wood is particularly vulnerable to water and rotting. Wooden decks, or any other wooden structures outside, should be protected with a stain. Any wood inside of a building must also be protected because water and moisture will always find a way into the pores of the wood, unless its protected. The simplest and best way to protect wood is with a stain. Stain’s have the added bonus of adding greater aesthetic value to the wood as well.

You don’t have to spend a lot, to look like a lot. Meaning, you can make the interior and exterior of your building look extremely refined with wood stains and finishes. Stains come in varying shades and levels, and are the final step in making a door, cabinet, floor, etc. look sleek and finished. Think of it as the difference between a polished shoe and an unpolished shoe. Both are functional, but the polished shoe gives the appearance of taste and refinement.

What a Stain is

What exactly is a stain? A wood stain is a sub-category of paint. Stains consist of a pigment suspended in a “vehicle” of solvent and binding agent, such as acrylic, lacquer, resin, etc. The stain is designed to add color to the substrate of the wood, or other materials, while leaving the original wood mostly visible. One of the greatest advantages of a stain is that it can alter the color of the wood, while still leaving the grain and texture visible. Once that’s done, then the final step is to apply a topcoat, which is the finish.

Why Stain’s are Important

The vulnerabilities of wood were briefly mentioned above, but let’s delve deeper into the consequences of unprotected wood.

Waterproof – Living trees need lots of water to grow and thrive, dead trees in the form of wooden decks are ruined by too much water. Wood is porous, some types more than others, and water sinks itself into the pores and begins to rot the wood. This can also happen inside a building as well. Accidents happen constantly, whether it’s someone spilling a bit of water onto the floor, or the bathroom flooding. Regardless, interior wood is just as vulnerable as exterior. Stains combat this issue by coating the wood and closing the pores. That way, when water rains down, flows over, or mists about, the wood will be protected and will last for many years to come.

Rot Protection – Wood can rot from many things. Water, of course, is a huge cause of rot. Termites are less likely to contaminate and eat up your wood if there is a stain on it. Mold and mildew won’t occur if water isn’t allowed to penetrate the wood. Rotted wood is extremely dangerous because it could collapse at any time. Once wood has rotted the only solution is to replace it, which will be expensive. Save yourself the expense and the potential danger by staining your wood with protectants as soon as you can.

Sunlight Protection – Sunlight is powerful, and will wreak havoc on unprotected wood. If you have wood floors that are subjected to sunlight through large windows be sure to protect them with a stain. Over time the sun might begin to damage the stain, but the wood underneath will remain intact. Replacing wood is costly, getting wood stained is much less so. This absolutely applies to any outside wood structures.

While you’re figuring out what type of stain to get to protect your wood, take a little time to consider which stain and finish will provide the look you want as well. Wood is naturally beautiful, and finished work to enhance the natural beauty of wood. If you’re a property owner wanting your building to stand out to tenants, try a wood stain with a glossy finish to make your floors, cabinets, railings, etc. look more luxurious. If your building is historical, you can use specific stains to preserve and enhance the wooden details of your building. The aesthetic uses of wood stains and finished are endless. Not only are wood stains essential in protecting and preserving wood, they add a beauty and elegance to any building. If you need help selecting a stain and applying it, contact us today and we’ll get you started on your next stain project.

About General Coatings Corporation:
General Coatings Corporation provides an extensive line of services and products including painting, waterproofing and architectural floor coverings. General Coatings Corporation has been in business for over 30 years and services projects throughout all of Southern California. General Coatings Corporation is in full compliance with all OSHA training requirements and recycles all left over paint products. Learn more about General Coatings Corporation’s products and services at www.gencoat.com. Follow them on Twitter: @GenCoat and Facebook: www.facebook.com/GenCoat

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