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    Author(s): Daniel L. Cassens; William C. Feist
    Date: 1991
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-GTR-69. Madison, Wl: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 60 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.9 MB)


    Wood continues to play an important role as a structural material in today’s high-tech society. As lumber and in reconstituted products, wood is commonly used for house siding, trim, decks, fences, and countless other exterior and interior applications. When wood is exposed to the elements, particularly sunlight and moisture, special precautions must be taken in structural design as well as in the selection and application of the finish. This is especially true in the South, where excessive moisture can quickly damage a structure and erode the finish. This report describes the characteristics of wood finishes and their proper application to solid and reconstituted wood products. It describes how manufacturing and construction practices affect the surfaces of wood products, how various types of finishes interact with the surface, and how weathering affects the finished surfaces. Methods for selecting and applying various exterior wood finishes are presented. Finally, the failure and discoloration of wood finishes are discussed, and methods are described for preventing these problems. The information and advice given in this report provide a guide for obtaining maximum service life for finished exterior wood products in the South.

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Cassens, Daniel L.; Feist, William C. 1991. Exterior wood in the South : selection, applications, and finishes. Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-GTR-69. Madison, Wl: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 60 p.


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    Exterior wood, wood finishes, weathering, decay prevention

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