Drywall done, V board begun

We didn’t miss much while we were in Colorado last week as the drywall crew was still taping and floating.

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On our first visit to the house after we got back, we were surprised that much of the V board had been installed. V board is a tongue and groove plank that has various decorative applications; in our case, it will appear on the ceilings of all the porch overhangs:

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We opted for pine because it was the least expensive of the wood species, but it came with appearance issues requiring more trips to the paint store. Pine is a naturally yellow wood that gets more yellow when you apply oil based stains or sealers to it. (Water-based sealers are unsuited for exterior applications.)

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Even clear polyurethane will turn the natural brown colors of the wood to yellow.

John used a spar varnish which is typically used in boating applications.

John used a spar varnish which is typically used in boating applications.

Avoiding the yellow color was a priority.

Staining pine yields mixed results. The grain doesn’t take much stain, while the pith wood absorbs it well, resulting in uneven color as well as unmatched color across the plank. It’s quite possible for the pith to reflect a very nice, deep, rich brown while the grain next to it appears yellow.

Painting the pine would certainly hide the yellow, but it would also erase the wood’s character by covering its grain pattern and color variances; in that case, it would be cheaper to use fiberboard.

After several unsuccessful attempts to seal or stain the wood sample, we finally tried a semi-solid, water-based deck stain named white birch. (The water-based characteristic is okay in this application.)

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It hid the yellow well, but was too close to a painted look, so we stepped down the opacity by trying the semi-transparent version, which we liked a lot. It reduced the yellow color of the wood while still allowing the grain to show through.

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We delivered the plank sample with the semi-transparent stain to our builder today and asked the rep to gather opinions from others in the office about our experiment, adding that it was difficult at times to figure out what to do when you’re going it alone. Her question surprised us: “Do you feel like you’re doing this all on your own?”

Biting my tongue, I responded with the most neutral statement I could muster: “Yes, at times, we do.” And I’ll leave it there, lest I end up writing a book.

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