Staining Versus Painting

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In the case of wood versus paint, it’s less about what looks nicer and more about the materials in question.  Below you will read a few different sections.  The first section is about what paint is, how it works, etc.  The second section is about wood stain and how it works.  The last and final section(s) are about the best materials to use with stain and or wood, but let’s be honest, wood is primarily the main material when it comes to stain just because of the type of material it is.  You wouldn’t really want to or need to paint a wall with stain!

What Is Paint

Paint is probably one of the best and most useful house products ever created.  But, paint is not something that was just created in the past 100 years, it’s been used for thousands of years, just in a different way.  Indians for example, use pigments from different plants and berries as a way to “paint” walls or make animal skins decorative.  In the last 100 years though, more and more people are using the paint you know of, and in the past 20 years more and more paint colors, types and options are becoming available every single day.  Heck, they even have mold protectant and killing paint and primer these days!  Paint is essentially a thin film that can be painted on to a service.  The formation of the thin layer is great for all sorts of materials, but it’s largely used on wood and walls.

The layer helps to hide blemishes on things like walls and even wood which sort of eliminates the need to sand anything down.  It’s a huge time saver.  Of course if you have huge holes or cracks, this will need to be taken care of, but if you have small little blemishes like nail holes or surface scratches, the paint will be used as a filler to fill those small blemishes in.  If the wall or wood is older, you may need to place a coat of primer and you may also need two coats of paint.  But paint is by far and wide the most cost efficient and easiest way to “decorate” a wall, add color to a room, or just spruce a material up and make it look and feel newer.

Paint tends to have a high drying time – it usually takes about 8 hours or more for 1 layer of paint and up to 24 hours for 2 coats of paint.  Paint is also one of those products tat is usually painted on using a roller or brush, however, this is not the only option you have.  Some people use things like paper bags, plastic bags, burlap bags and even cloth materials dipped into the paint or dragged across the wall once the paint has been applied to create all sorts of awesome designs and textures in the paint!  Paint also comes in limitless colors.  Not only do you have regular colors like red, orange, yellow, green, black and white but mixing these solid colors up to create even more colors will leave your head spinning at the sheer amount of options available!

What Is Stain

As mentioned above, stain, in my experience, is never used on walls.  But, it is primarily used on wood.  Now with stain and wood one thing you have to remember is that the grain will be visible when “painting” wood with stain.  In a lot of cases the grains showing is part of the allure and why someone would rather stain wood than paint it to show that grain off.  But, you also have to remember that if you have gouges, deep scratches and blemishes, those will show up once you stain it.  This also might be an allure for some people, but for others its not which is why most people will sand the heck out of wood before adding in the stain.

Stains can be placed on to wood by using a brush, sponge or rag, but the most popular and the easiest way is by way of a brush. Just dip it in the can of stain and go.  While you won’t need any undercoat of primer lie you would with paint, you will need a varnish or a sealer after you are done staining your wood.  Varnish tends to be much stickier in consistency and gives it a hard coverage, however, sealer is actually what is going to protect the wood underneath over time because sealer actually soaks into the wood itself whereas varnish is sort of a top coat and that’s about it.  So sealer is more about protecting the wood, varnish is more about looks.  Varnish tends to be used in unison with sealer on things like wood furniture, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the same for things like wood decks, cabinets, etc.

Materials For Paint vs Stain

Lets be honest, paint can be used on any material.  But a rolling list includes; Brick, Ceramic Tile and Porcelain, Concrete Slabs, Concrete Block, Drywall, Fabric, Fiber-Cement Siding, Fiberglass Exterior Doors, Glass, metal, Laminate Countertops and Cabinet Faces, Vinyl Flooring, Vinyl Shutters, Plastic, Vinyl Siding, Wicker, Wood and Wood Paneling.  Whew!  Long list!  The list for stain is much much smaller.  Wood, Composite Wood and Concrete just to name the most common.  Yes, you can stain concrete!  This option is getting more popular with people that want to stain rather than paint their garage concrete flooring.  This takes a lot of work, but it has a pretty cool look afterward if you are interested in putting in the time or hiring a interior painter in New Jersey to do it for you.  A top interior painter will be able to answer all of your questions when it comes to staining and will, in most cases suggest options for you to choose from.

Hopefully this explanation of stain versus paint helped you out a little bit and helped you understand the uses for each product versus the materials they work best for.  Obviously you can try and test out paint and stain on different materials, but for the most part the materials listed in each section are the ones you should stick with for the best results.