The Home Owner - Brant of Connecticut.
The Wood Species - Redwood Siding
The Wood Grade - Redwood Clear All Heart (CAH) - Graded to the smooth side
The Siding Pattern - 1x6 Redwood Tongue&Grove Siding
The Siding Finish - Australian Timber Oil- Mahogany Flame - Factory Finish
Brant called me one day with some questions. He had been given several cedar siding samples by a local lumber yard and was
trying to find a stain color he liked. He was puzzled because one of the cedar samples created a beautiful color with a stain he had chosen (Australian Timber Oil- Mahogany Flame) but all the other samples had turned orange under the same stain.
The worst part was that he loved the color of the one odd sample and had decided this was the look he was after but hated the orange effect of the other samples. We went back and forth a few times until I finally had him send me the sample he liked.
It was no wonder this sample stood out from the rest. It was old growth vertical grain cedar. The tight growth rings
and vertical grain alignment had given the timber oil an almost luminescent glow where the second growth flat grain cedar had turned orange in the areas between the growth rings. The fewer growth rings, the more orange the wood showed. Since most of today’s cedar is milled from younger trees, all of the other samples turned orange. What was worse, any non-vertical grain siding he bought would do the same thing.
CLOSE vertical grain (minimum of 8 rings per inch) means old growth trees. They have a tight grain because the trees grew
extremely slow in a competitive environment. Vertical grain woods are usually reclaimed from logs that were left when the forest was logged 100 years ago. Close vertical grain old growth cedar or redwood lumber is very rare and beyond expensive.
To achieve the stain result he wanted for a price he could afford I recommended Redwood Heart Mixed grain (some flat and some vertical) from 2nd growth redwood trees.
The picture above is Mixed Grain Heart Redwood stained with Australian Timber Oil - Mahogany Flame. The home used just over 4100 Linear Feet (approx 1730 sqft) of 1x6 Redwood T&G Siding. Clear Heart Redwood Siding Grade.
In the picture above I had Brant point out 2 pieces of our redwood that had close vertical grain (there is some mixed in with all heart orders). The great thing about this picture is that it shows how the grain difference affects the color. Brant was after the darker hue of the close grain and the glow it gave the wood. Look at the lighter hue of the open grain in the stick above.
Look at the open grain in the picture above. See how it is a lighter shade between the grain rings? This is where the cedar would turn orange. The redwood just looks lighter. This is a great example of what mixed grain means. You can see there is a little of everything in there. If you look at the different sticks you will see how the stain reacts differently to the different grain patterns.
To be honest Brant said he wasn't thrilled about the variation and that he had hoped all of his wood would be like the sticks he pointed out but he loves the overall look and he loves the fact that people stop on the street and ask him about it. Best of all no bright ORANGE! The picture below shows that particular wall and the effects of shading differences.
I told Brant when he stains it in a few years to keep his maintenance up he can blend the contrast by darkening the pigment slightly. Personally I hope he doesn't. I think the grain variation looks fantastic. Look at that wavy grain pattern. That is SEXY WOOD!
Understanding how stain reacts to grain is important in making your decisions on wood siding as it will affect the overall look of the house. However with a little planning and sorting you can have some fun matching shades and patterns and have a home that
sets itself apart.
Brant said he wanted to bring a little California to Connecticut and he did just that.
Buffalo Lumber Company Inc.