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Question DetailsAsked on 7/2/2016

what is the best wood sealer/stain for rough cut larch siding

I had larch siding put on my house and I would like to seal it to keep its naturally beauty, I would like to go with a clear seal to put a sheen on it. Can someone please recommend a sealer, I have used Cabot timber oil products before but they do not seem to hold up, Thank You, Burlington Flats, NY

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Here is a prior response to a similar question FYI -

I agree on Cabot products.

Remember, if you put on a sealer with a sheen surface, that is going to xxxx natural evaporation from the siding (assuming this is plank siding) - which is necessary to prevent internal decay. Pretty much any product that provides a surface sheen and full covering is going to peel and crack in fairly short order - wood siding basically needs, unless in a VERY dry climate, a penetrating oil or resin-based finish that penetrates and seals the pores in the wood at depth to prevent rain penetration, but does not put a seal or cap over the surface so moisutre can still wick and evaporate from the surface.

The "sealer" and "heavy coat" and silicone based products may protect better initially, but they inevitably have cracks and holes in them that let water in (plus wicking and blow-in between the boards wetting from the edges and back), but will not let the moisture in the wood out once it gets in there - promoting mold and rot and string discoloration.

Note that larch is a VERY sappy tree (is tapped for the sap like birch and maple) so regardless of the finish, you are likely, especially if not aged several years, to have dark and light areas in the wood due to radically different finish penetration, and you will get permanently sticky spots where the sap is exuding. In fact, in the good old days Larch used to be used for siding because of good long-term performance without finishing - not as good as heart cedar or redwood but a fiar amount cheaper. In the Doug Fir forests, in the old days, the intermixed larch were set aside for use in making siding planks while the Doug Fir was used for structural wood and ship framing.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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