Finishing XT Posts and XT Beams With Paint or Stain

Finished Posts

The natural warmth and beauty of wood is still a major draw for today’s homeowner. Nothing says “home” quite like a front porch flanked with solid wood columns. Many builders specify XT Posts and Beams in their plans and for good reason. These glulam products are engineered with design load capacities, exhibit high stability in their appearance characteristics, are competitively priced, and paint finishes work well. Unlike Western Red Cedar or Douglas Fir solid products, preservative treated XT Posts and XT Beams are warranted against rot and termites for 20 years. Finishing XT Posts and XT Beams has another major advantage in their ability to accept water based paints and stains to allow the wide range finish colors. This technical bulletin offers guidance for finishing XT Post and XT Beam products. (Link to XT Post product information – https://belcofp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Belco-SellSheet_XT-Post_Final_Web.pdf )

Recommendations For Best Results

XT products come with factory applied light gray primer that is a water-based formulation. Your final look will depend on the type of water-based stain or paint used — transparent, semi-transparent or solid. Belco recommends solid color stains or semi-transparent over the light gray primer, if a glazed or distressed look is desired. These stains are more suited to bring out the grain variations when desired. Most major paint manufacturers offer water-based stains in a variety of colors. Some of the leading suppliers include Behr, Sherwin Williams, Olympic, Rodda and Benjamin Moore of such paint products.

Apply two (2) coats, within sixty (60) days of XT product installation. Topcoat may be a clear latex acrylic, a paint or stain that is compatible with the primer, applied in accordance with all specifications, guidelines and recommendations of the topcoat manufacturer.

The product should carry a warranty of no less than fifteen (15) years.

The post on the left was stained with a cedar pigmented solid body stain. The post on the right was given two coats of white latex paint.

Oil vs Water-Based Finishes

The Belco XT product primer is a water-based and the old adage oil and water don’t mix is also true here. For best results, stick with water-based stains and paints when finishing your XT Post and Beam products. Oils are critical when used with wood species such as Western Red Cedar or Douglas Fir when tannin bleed is a concern. That is not an issue with Belco’s preservative treated XT products (Link to Rodda Paint Products for Exterior Use – https://www.roddapaint.com/professionals/product-profiles/exterior-paints-stains)

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