I need to replace some exterior wood trim on our 150 year old
The wood will be painted.
What is the best good quality (but affordable) wood to replace rotted
portions of trim?
(The areas are not in direct ground contact so I am not looking for PT
I'd ask some other questions first--
What was used originally? My first inclination is to go back on any
structure that old.
What part of the country are you in?
What is the weather exposure of the pieces and any particular
In general, while it undoubtedly wasn't what was used before, cypress
is excellent, as is fir. Much white pine from years ago lasted a long
time w/ proper maintenance. More recently, other pines/"white woods"
are probably the most prevalent. For painting, cedar is not a good
Depending on the locations and types, you might even consider the newer
You won't easily find cypress except in a couple of specialty suppliers
like Downes & Reader in Stoughton.
Plain old pine boards is good if you keep it painted. Cypress, cedar, and a
few others will hold up with no protection. If the paint job is good, the
wood will never see any weather.
Take a piece to the lumberyard (not a box store) and ask. Would help
to find a relatively solid piece and cut it, of course. Inside the
weathered it will still show grain/color, etc., and shouldn't be hard
to identify. If it's a pine, it may even still have a slight residual
Is it hard, soft, in-between? Does it have knots, straight closed or
open grain, etc., etc. All are indications.
Don't know what would have been the most likely by experience, but from
I know of the area, I'd say it mostly likely would have been white
pine. Excellent choice, now almost unobtainable here (W KS) except on
special order. There, probably still available at a "real" lumberyard,
no idea about what the box stores carry there...
Doug fir is excellent for weather and paints well. Is harder than
pine, but more "splintery". Here at least, much easier to obtain in
"Standard" 1x pine at the run-of-the-mill yards here will be pretty
sorry stuff -- full of knots, wane, split ends, etc. It would be #2 at
best and not (imo) at all suitable for trim work. #1 pine or clear
will be available from a good yard, undoubtedly, but I have no idea
what it would cost there -- probably less than here owing to proximity.
I'd go that way too, just thought I'd mention it as an alternative.
Given that unless $$ are really constrained, I'd try to go for the
white pine, but I'd surely want to either select boards or buy graded,
not just common stock unless you have far better yards available to
choose from than here -- which you may well, being in (I presume) a
fairly high population area.
OBTW, some may try to push finger-jointed clear trim -- stay away from
it for exterior use is my recommendation even though some will say it
is ok, I've never had any that didn't fail at the joints in fairly
Hmmm... even the "good" lumber yards close in to the city seem to have
limited variety. But maybe I am missing something.
I will see about white pine, but if that is not available I'll look at
the doug fir.
The best wood is what you can afford.
Here are some options:
Azek wood is the PVC material that will last indefinetlhy.
Usage - same as wood, MUST be glued between joints.
Redwood (if you can find REAL redwood not sap wood (white))
Soft wood, holds up well, easy to work with.
Cedar Might be easier or difficult to find in some areas. Somewhat
knotty. Paints wells
Soft wood and easy to work with..
Fur/pine that is pre-primed on all sides. Most likely used on your
house. Most command wood used today in new construction.
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