Soffit Systems

Elements Stain series | Guide to Staining

soffit ceiling painted with element stain series paint

1. Introduction

Elements Stain Series is a unique product that is leading the future of exterior ceilings and exterior wood stain finishes. Specifically designed to help ease the maintenance of owning wood ceilings or other exterior wood products, the Element Stain Series seeks to redefine the notoriously difficult upkeep of exterior wood. From our expertise within the building community, we know that stains do not hold up well in coastal, high salt or high moisture environments, despite their increasing popularity in home decor. With this in mind, we endeavoured to create a reliable and simple product that works.

We are proud to offer a solution to the many issues that surround exterior woodwork, offering our customers peace of mind for both their woods and their wallets!

element stain series on a pergola

2. What is the Element Stain Series?

The Element Stain Series (ESS) is a stain that helps to eliminate the maintenance of outdoor wood, especially in changing climates. The series is available in a range of colors so that you can find a stain finish that is perfect for your home. ESS will not only help with creating a more appealing aesthetic, but it will also increase the durability of the exterior woodwork. ESS allows homeowners to easily wash and clean wood without half of the usual hassle, protecting it from bugs, dirt and over airborne debris.

3. What are the benefits of ESS?

Our customers love the easy maintenance of their wood since having the ESS added! Normally, exterior woodwork will require the need to sand, prep and refinish every few years. This can be dirty and time consuming, so ESS benefits from simply requiring a hose and wash to maintain its beauty! Not only is this easier for owners of exterior woodwork, but it will also save you money in the long run due to the tested durability of our stain.

Another great benefit is that ESS significantly reduces the likeliness of pests and termites, ensuring that only humans will get to enjoy the charm of the wood.

4. How Does it Work?

ESS is a unique applied grain and stain coating that can be applied to the cellular PVC products that we manufacture here at Hardie Boys. Though the formula is scientifically complex with its molecular bond coating, the reality is simple and easy to witness: a beautiful stain finish that adheres perfectly to our raw products. We then apply this within our factory to create one of the largest stained synthetic product offerings in the world!

soffit ceiling with element stain series paint

5. How is it applied?

We apply ESS through a trade secret application process. But the grain is applied with a machine and completed by hand faux finishing of grain. Then the protective layer or Top Coat is applied in an exact millage of tinted clear, which gives longevity to the coating.

We apply ESS to our ceiling’s tongue and groove, including both the Nickel Joint and V-groove. Our standard offering is a 1×6 typical tongue and groove board that comes in at 18′ long. Each of our boards are milled perfectly, allowing for an easier installation, as well as longer runs without seams and a better consistency in the board’s width for layouts. We are confident that the upgrade that our stain offers will even impress the builders and installers you use as well!

6. What Products Can We Stain Using ESS?

We are happy to stain a multitude of products using ESS to add a fantastic finish. These include beams, rafter tails, dimensional trims, crown moldings, PVC brackets, wood brackets, soffit panels, decorative panels, as well as trellis beams and rafters. We can also stain any custom ceiling kits for you, too.

7. What Is The Warranty On ESS?

Our long 10-year warranty for fading reflects our confidence in ESS! We are also happy to offer a lifetime warranty on the finish never cracking, flaking, and/or delaminating.

8. The Origins of Stain Finish

Our Stain finish originates from the window industry, where Vinyl windows were being created in white. We recognised the growing demand for wood stains and dark colors, but we also witnessed the distortion of these window components due to them absorbing the sun and overheating. Eventually, when heat reflective finishes were created to resolve this issue, we expanded the concept away from the window industry! Our stain is now created with an incredible molecular bond, which immediately attracted a high volume of customer demand. As a result of this, ESS is now a trademarked line of products that we create here at Hardie Boys Inc, based in Pompano Beach, Florida.

soffit ceiling with wood staining using element stain series

9. Do The Stains Come In Different Colors?

Yes! Our stains are currently available in 12 different colors and were designed with the help of our talented architect and designer friends! Our colors are Driftwood, Cape Cod, Teak, Dark Mahogany, Mahogany, Espresso, Walnut, Hickory, Taupe, Golden Cypress, Dark Oak, and Cherry. The beautiful array of colors will ensure that you can select the perfect color match for your ceiling.

10. ESS For Ceilings

The creation of our ESS ceilings are one of our favorite features to boast about! With every ceiling easily planned to fit your rooms, our designs are super customizable, with as many or as few seams as you would like!

Installing our kits is incredibly straightforward as we build in layers. This means that we build the ceilings from the top-down, fitting the tongue and groove in first and installing in areas where the end of the boards fall seamlessly underneath the next layer – the beams or moldings. This creates a natural, beautiful design that looks effortless!

For the finishing touches, the beams are fitted with our cleat system – an incredibly simple installation design. If you have a trim, this can be installed in predetermined locations.

11. Ceiling Kit Extras

We also offer ceiling kit extras, which can include brackets, scrolled corbels, and king truss. There are many options available for extras and we are happy to chat to you about them! All ceiling kit extras also come in a variety of colors.

  1. How To Work Out The Measurements

    Firstly, you will need to take into consideration the size, shape and layout of the room in order to determine how you would like to design it. It is best to think about this in as much detail as you can, including how you would like the use of tongue and groove, beams, and whether you are interested in crown or trim moldings.

    Secondly, you will need to determine the direction of the beams, or if coffered, the size of the coffers. Also, consider the direction of the tongue and groove. After blueprinting your desired layout, you will need to decide on the scale of the beams, and this will depend on the size of the space. Most people like their beams to be proportionate to the size of the room. Therefore, people typically hire professionals or use the standard sizes of our product line to help determine the scale. An improper scale can negatively impact the perceived space of the room, so it is best to do this step thoroughly!

    Thirdly, you will need to determine if you want to use moldings and, if so, where. For some ceilings a perimeter frieze board can be used, which will be a dimensional trim. This can be sized the same size of the beams or slightly bigger (1x, 2x, 3x) to create a nice reveal.

    It is increasingly common that beam ceilings will be a flat ceiling with beams going in one general direction. These will usually be spaced in a way that makes sense and is flattering in accordance to the ceiling’s structure, making it look like it is holding the structure up above it. However, it is important that this is something that is to be determined by the owner or a professional designer as the main purpose of our faux ceilings is for decorative intent.

    Interestingly, vaulted or Cathedral ceilings typically have a ridge beam at the high peak of the roof, with common rafters running perpendicular to the ridge beam. We can also make these types of ceilings in addition to the beams, a King truss, or, as we call it in our catalog, a gable decoration!

  2. Can The Ceiling Be Stained and Painted?

    The Great thing about cellular PVC is that it can be stained or painted giving the same options as its predecessor, wood. We often see stained tongue and groove ceilings with painted beams for a flattering highlight and contrast effect. Moldings can be either or as well, and this is totally based on an individual’s taste and design. We know that all our customers are trying to achieve something beautiful, timeless, and unique to them – even if it is sometimes out-of-the-box different!

exterior wood and pvc staining using element stain series

12. The Installation Process of Elements Stain Series

This is where the skill of the carpenter, their patience, and desire all come into play. Our product can be put up very easily and simply, as it is no different than installing a prefinished wood product. In fact, our fastening is 95% blind nailed where there are no exposed fasteners; this is a finished product, so make sure your chosen tradesmen treat it as such.

We highly recommend putting the ceiling installation on a day in the construction schedule where there aren’t any messy trades coming afterward, in order to protect the aesthetic of the wood. Communicate with the incoming trades people that this ceiling will need to be worked around respectfully, protected from painters, stucco applicators, tile installers, roofers, driveway, and pool paver installers.

You do not want a painter to accidentally overspray paint and ruin the product. If your product is installed in the soffits, the roofer can do the same. Therefore, informing trades to operate appropriately in conjunction with the finished product is very important to protecting the appeal of the ceiling.

13. Our 5 Top Tips For Ceiling Installation

  1. Install at the end
    Always install ceilings towards the end of the project, so that they are protected from any mess or dirt, leaving them clean.
  2. Keep Clean
    Always have installers work with clean hands and shoes, if possible. This will ensure that other products and surroundings will not be compromised by messy hands!
  3. Wash As You Go
    We recommend washing the material as it goes up. For example, wiping off handprints, dirt, and dust! This will make the finished product look much better.
  4. Touch-Up As You Go
    Do touch-ups to seams and nail holes as you go, as you may not think to come back later to do it. It is much easier to do touch ups whilst you are elevated, so remember to wipe and touch up as you go.
  5. Find Tradesmen You Can Trust
    From working in the industry for over 30 years, we know that not all trades people are equally trained or well suited to certain jobs. So, if you feel the need to ask questions or specify any issues, don’t be afraid to! In our experience, we have found that informing people, whether customers or tradesmen, on what to look out for is so important in eliminating problems. At the end of the day, it is your home after all!

14. Cleaning and Maintaining ESS

The cleaning and maintenance required for ESS is one of the product’s greatest attributes, as it is just so easy. ESS is an incredibly clean product that can be easily maintained for years, as long as a few precautions are kept in mind.

exterior wood and pvc staining using element stain series
  1. How To Maintain ESS

    ESS is like a car, boat, or window as it can be easily washed with mild detergent soap – we use DAWN dish soap for example! If it is rinsed with water, you must remember to dry it. If it is not dried, the minerals in the water will leave water spots, just like on a car or dish. So, generally, you can wipe it with a rag or a clean cloth and it will typically wipe clean and back to its original state.If you are located in a high salt and/or dirt environment, we recommend buying a window cleaning kit (just minus the metal squeegee) as if done roughly or improperly, the metal could scratch the stain just like a car.

  2. The Best Cleaning Products For ESS

    We thoroughly recommend the window cleaning kits that are sold at big box stores, as these are perfect for cleaning ESS, especially the kits with a pole and cloth applicator. It is best to buy several to effectively cleanse the faux wood: one kit for washing with soap, one for rinsing, and one for drying. If you are able to dry the ceiling as you go, the results will be amazing and will last a long time! Click here to watch a video that shows exactly what to do and what to use.

15. Conclusion

Our ESS enables people to enjoy the beauty of external wood and ceiling design, without the hassle and high maintenance of real wood. Our company goal is to provide a helpful service with a product that achieves its purpose. With our easy to use system, we are incredibly proud to offer you great results that will last a lifetime!