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From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three

Oh siding… You will be the death of me!

I must admit that I haven’t been good about blogging lately primarily because I can use speech to text in a Facebook post much easier than on the blog. It’s just too hard to type with one finger on my right hand! LOL

Needless to say, we are just about ready to start putting the siding on, but my brain is not letting me move forward. I can’t seem to find the right color of stain or paint for either the beetle kill or the board and batten. The board and batten paint is too light and looks mostly light blue to off-white versus light gray with subtle blue tones, and so far everything I thought would work for the beetle kill only makes the blue more brown no matter what brand I seem to use. I just can’t win on this! I’m so frustrated I’m contemplating using our expensive beetle kill as flooring on the inside of the house, or maybe the walls, just so I don’t keep ruining what should be a beautiful blue-gray by turning it brown with stain. I’m just running out of ideas here.

Left is the Penofin oil treatment vs. the natural grey-blue of the beetle kill pine.


I thought I could declare victory with finding the right stain and posted as such on Facebook that some Olympic Elite semi transparent in dark ash was going to work, but I just took two small pieces that were nothing but the blue fungus stain, put it on them, and they instantly turned dark brown. Granted they will probably lighten up some as they dry, but I’m not willing to risk ruining all of my siding with that stuff. What to do, what to do…

We thought this would work…

…but it made the all-blue/gray piece look dark brown. Lame.


Brandy gave me grief last night saying I was developing “paralysis from analysis” because I’m so stressed about making sure the outside of the house looks good, and while I don’t disagree with that assessment, the fact remains that I’m not willing to ruin all of our beautiful wood by just grabbing paints and stains and throwing them on without taking into consideration how well they will work together or not. One thought is to get a standard tinted stain with a blue hue and use that, but it certainly won’t be the Minwax that I have on hand that I just tested. It turned the wood neon blue, and that is definitely not what I want. They do have lighter colors, however, so that may be an option. I just don’t want to keep wasting the small pieces that have such beautiful blue staining in them just to test this theory, but I have to use the ones with the blue or else I won’t know what they will look like. We were expecting much more blue staining than we actually received, though don’t get me wrong and think that I’m don’t find the wood beautiful. It is lovely, but I had a very specific look in mind when I chose it, and it’s just not working out that way. I refuse to paint the beetle kill because that would defeat the entire purpose of it, but if I can’t find a stain that will work properly and not ruin the look I may just move it indoors. Not my idea of a good time considering how much I spent on it, but at least it would still get to shine through the way it was intended to. Of course that means I then have to find more siding for the bottom half of the house, and that is a whole other kettle of fish.

So, the Minwax was a total fail, as was the clear waterproofer (top left) and the 2nd piece I stained with the Olympic we thought we liked (bottom). Second from the top was a coat of the Olympic that turned brown that was then dry brushed with the Minwax. Better-ish, but still a definite N-O.


Another idea would be to scrap the idea of the outside being a blue gray tone and just run with the more brown tones. I don’t like the idea as much because it doesn’t coordinate with the roofing quite as well, but it would at least let us use what we have on hand and would still look quite lovely. It would give it more of a rustic cabin feel versus the cottage look we are going for, but I’m not wholly opposed to it. I know Brandy’s frustration level is going up because of my frustration level increasing, and the last thing he needs before finals is to have vicariously induced stress. Still, I’m just not willing to throw the house together without thoroughly thinking it through to make sure it’s going to be something we both love and can live with. Yes, It is small, which makes redoing the entire outside a bit easier, but it doesn’t make it any less painful and time-consuming in the end. I just want to do it right the first time, and it seems like I can’t find the right combination of paints and stains to do that.

For grins I held up three pieces that were raw against the side of the house, and then I flipped them over to show their backsides stained with Penofin to see how the more “rustic” side looked. We still prefer the raw side. Now to find a stain/sealer/WTFE-er that won’t turn them brown!



I picked up three colors of Sherwin Williams polyurethane based stain to see if it made any difference to delete the oil from the equation, and so far we do like these better. The middle color was supposed to be more gray, but the other two are definitely the best so far. We are going to try sanding the wood a bit to see if that helps it soak up the stain more, because by comparison the Penofin oil penetrated the wood extremely well.

I’ll get less yellow images in the morning – was working inside the house by this point. Left color is Blue Shadow and right is Harbor Mist.




I also went on and ordered some Benjamin Moore sea gull gray stain to try as the following image is EXACTLY the look we want. Too bad there doesn’t seem to be any oil based BM stain, so hopefully what I ordered will work. Here’s hoping!


The last thing to do is to find an alternative for the cedar. The paint we picked is too bright, and I’m not sold on the SW stain as an alternative.

The top shows both the smooth and rough sides painted Lighthouse somethingorother from Valspar, and the bottom two show both the rough and smooth sides stained with the SW stains. The smooth side didn’t soak enough in, but I do kinda like the way the rough side ended up.




Anyway, off to bed with me to await the arrival of the Benjamin Moore stain. In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Either comment below, or go to our Facebook page and comment there.

After Brandy finishes his finals tomorrow maybe we can FINALLY start getting some work done on the TH… Yeesh!

5 comments on “Oh siding… You will be the death of me!

  1. Libby Anglin
    January 13, 2015

    Thank you so much for your writing on beetle kill pine staining! It is the most comprehensive analysis of the effect of stains and sealants on the bkp that I’ve found. I am using bkp on an interior wall and have just begun the search for a sealant that will protect it from UV discoloration while not changing the natural color of the wood which I love so much. I have some time so will excitedly wait to see how the Benjamin Moore Seagull Grey works for you. My first attempt was with the Minwax water based Polycrylic in clear satin and that seems to be the best I’ve found so far, (Danish oil was a tragedy), but it does remove the bluest of the blues. Its tempting to not seal it at all, but I’ve read that as it ages, unsealed pine will turn more yellow so I guess it’s a must.
    Again thank you!

    • meg & brandy - TH43
      January 13, 2015

      Hi Libby, thanks for writing and for the compliments! I have good-ish news: I have stained our completed side of the beetle kill with the Benjamin Moore and have pics to prove it! It is actually a little too monochromatic for our taste now that we have so much cedar on the house (the look has really taken on a life of its own as we’ve added in some elements not in the original plan), so ironically we will be adding Penofin back into the mix to add some low-lites back into the wood. I know, it sounds weird, but it’s going to look great! Right now there are pics on both our FB page and our Instagram showing the Sea Gull Grey and the Blue Shadow (Sherwin Williams) that I’ve finished the beetle kill with, but if you aren’t on either of those services just check back later tonight and I’ll try to get some more photos posted on here. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about the siding status anyway, and you’ve provided the catalyst I needed to stop procrastinating. Best of luck with your own staining endeavors! Oh, and I’ll find the name of the totally clear waterproofer we used on the backs of some of the wood, too. Might be a good option of you really, truly want it to look unfinished and yet be protected from the elements. 🙂

      • Libby
        January 13, 2015

        Hey! Thank you for the response and I’ll be looking forward to your pics and posts! I’m also going to try the new ‘Mist’ color of Penofin Verde before I commit, but I’d be utterly lost in this journey of finishing beetle kill pine without your blog! Enjoy your tiny house! 🙂 Libby

        Sent from my iPhone


      • meg & brandy - TH43
        January 13, 2015

        Hey, my pleasure! I’ve got the post up, so take a peek. Let me know how your Penofin trials turn out, too. It really is good stuff – we’re just indecisive! Ha!

  2. Pingback: Things That Make You Go… Oops… | TinyHouse43.com

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This entry was posted on December 7, 2014 by in Tiny House Building Plans & Progress and tagged , , , , .

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