Last Updated on September 30, 2022 by legacy450

The exterior siding and trim options can seem endless when building a new custom home or remodeling your current home. The selection process does not have to be complicated when it comes to natural wood siding. First, you need to know which siding profiles have a rough-sawn texture and which have a smooth face (sanded face). It’s important to note that all wood profiles can be sanded smooth. However, this additional process will add a level of cost and will impact lead times. Second, will the same color stain look different on a rough-sawn profile versus a smooth face? What type of finishes is available for my project? Finally, what wood species are these siding profiles available?

Wood Siding Profiles with a Rough Sawn Face:

The following siding profiles are readily available in a rough face (rough sawn) texture, including Bevel Siding, Board and Batten, Shiplap, Channel Rustic, and Rabbeted Bevel (also known as Dolly Varden). Tongue and Groove siding is one of those patterns that can have a rough or smooth face. These profiles are great at producing a rustic look for your project.

Wood Siding Profiles with a Smooth Face:

A smooth face means the front of the board has been sanded smooth during the milling process. Siding profiles such as Nickel Gap (tongue and groove profile), Dutch Lap, Bevel Back, and Beaded Bevel Pattern 145 are all designed to have a sanded smooth face. All of these profiles will produce a modern look, whether you stain it or paint it with a solid color. Both the Bevel Back and Beaded Bevel profiles are historical wood siding patterns used for hundreds of years on colonial homes.

Stain Finish on Rough Vs. Smooth Face

It’s important to know that a stain color will look different on a smooth face product versus a rough face, even if they are the same wood species. Smooth face profiles tend to absorb less stain, which leads to a difference in final color versus a rough face profile. The images below are of three different stain colors (Walnut, Caramel, and Dune Gray) and show the color difference between the smooth face (top) versus the rough face (bottom). Since smooth face products don’t require as much stain to cover the same area, they will need more attention to maintain their desired appearance. The maintenance schedule depends on many factors, including sun exposure, moisture, and your overall visual preference.

Finishes for Wood Siding

Depending on your preference, you can go with a toner, stain, or solid color finish. A toner will change the color of the siding and allow most of the natural wood grain to show through the color. A toner will require a higher level of maintenance to protect the wood and look good. A stain penetrates the wood, protects it from moisture, and changes the overall color. A semi-transparent stain will show some of the wood grain, while a semi-solid stain will let very little grain show through the stain. If you prefer a low maintenance schedule, you can prime the wood and then coat (2 coats) with a high-quality latex exterior paint.

Prefinishing Your New Wood Siding

To provide maximum protection for your new wood siding, prefinishing (also known as factory machine finishing) is the best option. With our process, we can simultaneously coat all sides of the board (face, edges, end, and backside). If this seems like a new process, please read our “What Is Prefinished Siding” story, as it should answer almost any question(s) you may have. The material arrives at your job site, ready to install—no more masking off windows, doors, and other surfaces to protect from overspray or drips.

Custom Home – Cypress Vertical Shiplap Siding

What Species of Wood?

Depending on your location, typically, the top 3 choices of wood siding are CedarCypress, and Douglas Fir. All three wood species make excellent siding materials and are easy to cut and install. They take a stain very well and are available in various siding profiles. 

Nothing beats the warmth and beauty of natural wood for a home’s exterior. Find the siding profile that best fits your visions, select your favorite color, and then choose your wood species. Most of all, be sure to get a sample for approval before you start so you don’t get surprised when the job is complete. If you have any questions at all, please give us a call or drop us an e-mail. We are happy to help.

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