Repainting not recommended for wood shingles

Cleaning, refinishing: the less expensive alternative

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Q: The brown shingles on our 1950s house are showing signs of wear. While not worn or damaged, the shingles look tired -- waterlogged or parched, depending on the season. We've asked painting contractors about oil treatments, but they all want to paint the house. They say there is no possible treatment that will extend the life and improve the appearance of the shingles without painting them. One even claimed that shiny, high-gloss paint was the best solution. We love the natural look of shingles, especially here in our woodsy setting and neighborhood, and dread the thought of painting. Is there a good alternative to paint? Thank you for any help you can offer. We are devoted to your column. A: Thanks for the kind words. We don't understand why the painting contractors you've contacted insist on painting the old shingles. We would consider painting only as a last resort. There are few things more ugly than a failed, peeling paint job on a shingled house. It sounds as if your sidewall s...