Hemlock for Board and Batten Siding

      Hemlock weathers to a nice gray, and holds up well as siding. October 14, 2008

We'll be building a cabin in northern Michigan using hemlock logged from the property for exterior board and batten siding. The boards have been milled to 1x10 size. How will the color change as the hemlock ages? What product is recommended to seal the wood? What is the minimum time for curing given its exterior use?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor R:
It will turn gray. You don't really need any sealer. And you can use it right off the mill. That is, if your hemlock is like the hemlock in West Virginia.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
1. Gray.
2. A water repellent finish.
3. It will shrink if applied green, so air dry it.

From contributor D:
My barn in northern NY was built in 1848 and is sided with hemlock board and bat. It has weathered to a very dark gray with noticeably lighter wood showing under the eaves. Over the years weathering has caused the grain to become very pronounced (softer portions have weathered more) but after 160 years it is still strong and stable.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for your responses. I'll likely put a good sealer on the siding and then watch it turn grey over the years!

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