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What is Cedar Bleed?

When painting the outside of your home, there are a number of head scratching odd phenomena that can occur. Lopco Painting Co.

They tend to rear their head in various forms.

Some being super unsightly.

Some being not really noticeable, but once you see them, they are hard to ignore moving forward.

These annoying nuisances run the gamut of technical mumbo jumbo names ranging from ‘Surfactant Leaching’ to ‘Efflorescence’.

One of these types of issues which may be visible on your home’s exterior painted surfaces is ‘Cedar Bleed’.

Cedar bleed is a reddish/brownish stain that is visible (most often) on the painted (or semi-solid/solid-stained) surfaces of red cedar shingles and clapboard.

This staining is not detrimental to the paint coating itself, but it can be a bit of an eyesore once it is discovered.

Cedar bleed is another one of these items that is fairly easy to prevent before it happens, but a bit of a pain in the neck to get rid of once it occurs.

By priming with a cedar bleed-blocking oil primer or an acrylic primer with specifically stated cedar bleed-blocking properties at the time the home being painted is in the priming process (to exposed bare wood new red cedar shingles or red cedar shingles that are in the process of being repainted), this will prevent the cedar bleed from bleeding through the finish coat.

Even with the passing of a number of environmental laws which severely limit the contents in oil-based paints & stains in comparison with years past, my preference is still the oil-based primer for this kind of preventative measure.

Cedar bleed occurs when moisture in some way, shape, or form leaches the natural tannins in red cedar to the surface of the painted area protecting the red cedar and allows its remnants to sit on the front of the painted surface.

Once there, the way that we would combat it would be to prime the affected areas with a primer such as if we were treating it as if it were bare wood, with the idea that the primer will lock in the tannin bleed. Lopco Painting Co.

Although finish paints blend in better than they have ever blended in the past when applied, there may be a bit of work needed in order to make sure whatever it is that you are painting is done so that the finish product is as unnoticeable as possible.

The longer the gap from the time the surface was originally painted, to the time when the move is made to make the cedar bleed correction, the less of a chance there will be that the cedar bleed is able to be properly neutralized with the finish that is put on top of it blending in as optimally as one would like.

Cedar bleed is a funky happening as sometimes a surface can be painted for quite some time without the tannins in the wood being brought to the surface and then “POW!”, you turn the corner one day and it is staring you right in your face.

The lighter the color, the higher the chances that cedar bleed will be more pronounced and easier to detect than a reddish brown as an example, which will naturally mask the cedar bleed more thoroughly.

Even though it does not cause long-term damage to your paint job per se, cedar bleed is definitely a frustrating item to work through, particularly if it occurs on a surface that was freshly painted not that long ago. Lopco Painting Co.

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