Fake Siding Faux Show!


September 27, 2012 by Decorum DIYer

Get it?  Say the blog post title with a ‘bit o’ swagga’ and you’ll get it…, hopefully.

This past summer, my parents, well, my father, decided to convert their carport into a garage.  I don’t know what prompted this decision, but it was full steam ahead.  I do take after my father in this respect, in that, if he wants something done, it will get done.  My parents own a 1950’s shore home on a peninsula that juts out into the Gunpowder River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.  My parents do not have a waterfront home, but darn close.  Their home is a small-sized ranch without a basement, so additional storage space in the way of a garage is a welcomed addition.  The  project started off with the finished carport.

The view of the garage addition from the back of the house.

The view of the garage addition from the side of the house.

Here you can see that construction has already begun. Cinder block walls were installed on the lower third and the wall studs are in place.

You’ll notice a bump-out made of concrete inside the garage.  This is the groundwork for what my father hopes to become a bona fide fireplace in the home’s living room.  I will be sure to share the details, once that project gets underway.  Back to the garage conversion….

My father wanted to cover the finished garage in the same siding that covers the entire house.  Unfortunately, my father did not have enough ‘extra’ siding to cover the entire garage addition.  I am not sure if ordering more in the same style and color was an available option or if it was cost prohibitive.  In the end, my father had a plan – a plan to which all members of the family disapproved.  When my father told my mother, my siblings, and me of his plan, we made our disapproval known.  My father’s brilliant plan was to cover all but the backside of the garage addition in the matched siding.  The back of the garage would be covered in a wood paneling product known as T1-11.  It is a sort of grooved plywood that has an extremely rough surface.  But wait, that wasn’t it.  He also wanted to paint the wood panels the same color as the siding.  I’ll admit, I was worried that my father was ruining my parents’ house.  It just sounded like something one would find in a shanty town.  No offense to shanty towns, but you know what I mean.  Despite our constant objections, my father forged ahead with his plans.  After all, it is my father’s house, not my house.  To add insult to injury, I was the lucky person he chose to paint the wood paneling.  I usually jump at the chance to paint anything for anyone, but I was not excited about this project.  However, my father asked me to do it, so I was sort of stuck.

I agreed to paint the ‘faux siding’, as I referred to it.  Usually my parents ask me to pick out the paint for them, but my father did all of the prep work.  He went to Home Depot with a sample of siding in hand.  The paint clerk color-matched the siding and gave my father a Behr paint product of which I had never heard, nor used.  It wasn’t paint, but rather a SOLID color stain???  Yeah, this made me even more nervous. I wasn’t sure what the ‘solid’ portion of the product’s name had to do with things and the fact that it was a stain of sorts sounded like a long road ahead.  If you have ever stained anything, it is very messy.  I was painting a vertical surface – a wall!  The wall was also very coarse and grooved, not to mention the cutting in.  I was just thinking it was going to be a nightmare – stain dripping, light and dark spots where the stain absorbed at different intensities, difficulty cutting in, etc….  To give you an idea of what I was facing, here is a shot of “the wall”:

Can you say, “Splinter City?” This picture doesn’t do the roughness of the wood surface justice. It is like raw, hand-sawn slabs with little 1/8 inch channels grooved horizontally. Ugh!

Well, I decided the first step was to tape off everything, just as I would if I were painting a real accent wall and didn’t want the paint (in this case stain) to mar the adjacent surfaces.  After taping, I opened the can and started to stir the solid stain.  My interest was intrigued, as the stain looked like paint.  I was confused and thought maybe my father did get paint after all.  I loaded my brush and began to fill in the grooved portions of the T1-11.  To my surprise, the stain was amazingly easy to control and was just like using, well, paint!  After I covered most of the grooved portions, I stepped back and was amazed.  I was actually starting to feel really good about this project.  I didn’t want to say anything just yet, but my father just may have been right (Darn!  Don’t you hate when that happens?).  So, here is what it looked like at that point:

Holy cow! This plan may actually work! That there looks like paint!

So, after this point, I continued with a much larger paint brush and quicker pace.  I guess I could have used a think napped roller, but I felt more comfortable covering every nook and cranny with a large brush.  The results were amazing.  I actually told my father on the spot that I was sorry for doubting his plan and that I thought it was the next best thing to the real thing, siding.  My mother even came outside at one point and was amazed by both the coverage and color match.  The color is dead on!  Here are a few pictures of the wall when it was finished after two coats of solid stain:

Stepping back, it is a pretty good match as to color. I teased my father about not lining up the one section of planks, which ruins the illusion that it is siding, but it works.

From even farther back in the yard, the difference in materials is almost unnoticeable.

Everyone, including me, was so impressed with this product, that my father elected to use the same solid stain, but in an ‘Ultra White’ to seal/stain the wood trim around the standard door, the garage door, and other unfinished, wooden trims.  Here are a couple of shots of the finished trim work:

The unfinished, wooden door frame was sealed and stained using Behr’s solid stain in ‘Ultra White’. What? That isn’t paint? That’s crazy! Shut the front, uh BACK, door! (Although, now I want to paint the door a navy blue and add shutters in navy blue to the rest of house’s windows. Not sure if my father would go for that….)

Although the garage door isn’t wooden, the trim around it is. We used the same solid stain in ‘Ultra White’ to seal and stain the trim.

My parents still have a ton of solid stain left.  My mother has been wishing for years to have her front and back porches painted white and her front porch ceiling painted in a turquoise blue.  Thanks to Behr’s solid stain product and our impressive results (at least to us, exceeded my expectations), I just may have swayed my father to go for it.  So, you may see a post next summer of a freshly painted stained front and back porch at my parents’ house.


*In the interest of full disclosure, I was not paid, nor prompted, by Behr to write my evaluation of this paint product.  Rather, this my experience using this product and I chose to share it with you in an effort to help others.*


5 thoughts on “Fake Siding Faux Show!

  1. Suzz says:

    Very nice!

  2. Very nice. What was the cost difference? Even though it looks good, I still think I’d prefer matching siding, and I’d also be a little concerned about the maintenance for the walls (painting) and whether the siding would fade at a different rate than the paint.

    OK, I’m done being a negative nancy. It really does look good, so good on your dad for thinking of an innovative way to make it match and save some cash.

    • My father has his own ‘crazy’ ideas about home decor/maintenance. I, too, would prefer matched siding. All of the concerns you addressed were (and still are) shared by me and my family, but my father is a bit stubborn. You are not being a Negative Nancy, rather a Practical Patsy. He did save some cash, but my fear is it may be in the short term only. I did not mention that my father has future plans to expand the house, so the T1-11 is a temporary measure of sorts.

      I guess I was impressed with how nice it looked, even though it would not be my first choice.

  3. Sam says:

    Have you had any issues with using the t1-11 horizontally? My understanding is that it is only meant for vertical application. Did you use the stain to prevent water damage in the grooves?

    • Honestly, the choice to use the T1-11 horizontally was my father’s. I would have gone with traditional siding, but the colored solid stain seems to be holding up well. It is now 2015 and so far no concerns.

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