Every Woodworker’s Dream

Accenting a Masterfully Crafted Home with Wood Stain in Bend, Oregon

by Keaton Smith, ExoShield product manager, Nova USA Wood Products

Among the world’s most productive agricultural regions, Oregon’s rich and fertile vineyards, orchards, and forests are renowned for their premier Pinot noirs, fine fruits, and value-added wood products.  Few understand this better than Mike Holm.  As the owner and CEO of Oregon-Canadian Forest Products in North Plains, Oregon, Holm has committed the past four decades to meet the demanding, high-end lumber needs of builders and architects nationwide.  

         “Since 1977, we’ve steadily evolved from a small manufacturer of clear wood products to a leading producer of Douglas fir, hemlock, Western red cedar, and Alaska yellow cedar,” says Holm.  “Our dedication is to the manufacture of specialty wood items that add beauty and value to virtually any demanding architectural or construction project.” 

         This commitment was tested further several years ago when Holm began the design and build of his 3,400 sq.ft. vacation and eventual retirement home in Bend, Oregon.  A lifelong Oregonian, Holm was enamored with spending his leisure in the state’s second-largest city and just miles from the area’s majestic ski resorts, lakes, shops, restaurants, and natural scenic beauty. 

         “With the help of my wife and children, we designed a showpiece.  It is a wood person’s dream home built with only the finest products available in the market today,” explained Holm. 

         Complete with three master suites, 4.5 baths, a great room with a 25’ open ceiling, and fully complemented bar, Holm enlisted master craftsman Joseph Clark of Shibui Woodworking Inc., Banks, Oregon, to turn his vision for a modern, 1-1/2 story, 15-room chalet into a reality.  “I spent nearly two years working on nothing but this house,” offered Clark.  “It was such an amazing project.  With his own mill, Holm has access to the highest-quality wood products that just aren’t available to the average person.”

         The masterpiece of workmanship began with the supply of clear, vertical grain Douglas fir milled only with straight lines for the home’s exterior, interior trim, doors, and custom windows.  Vertical grain hemlock and Alaskan yellow cedar composed the ceiling’s massive beams.  Accent caps and the in-house sauna were built with only the finest grades of vertical grain Western red cedar.  Alaskan yellow cedar planks were molded into soffits.  The house even features a selection of wide-plank vertical-grain redwood, reclaimed from a bridge built in the 1900s, resawed into boards to create a feature wall in the stairway and wainscoted walls throughout the upstairs. 

         Once complete, Holm and Clark sealed the woodwork with Nova USA Wood Products’ ExoShield Wood Stain.  Using a proprietary blend of tung oil, UV blockers, fungicide, and trans-oxide pigments, ExoShield’s water-resistant, acid-resistant formula was specifically designed to enhance wood stability; reduce cracking or warping; delay graying; and protect against water damage, fungi, and harmful UV rays.  Another ExoShield advantage was the ability to mix any of the colors in its palette to create differing stain shades.  For instance, users have combined the company’s black walnut and natural stain colors to produce rich medium-brown finishes with deep red undertones. 

         “I’ve sampled just about every exterior stain,” said Holm.  “Given the exquisite quality of Clark’s craftsmanship, we really wanted a high-quality, long-lasting, semi-transparent finish that would dramatically highlight his fine work.  Nova USA Wood’s ExoShield was the only wood stain worthy of the job.”

         In addition to showcasing the home’s brilliant woodwork, Holm was concerned about the preservation of the wood’s integrity in a harsh environment that is typically warm and dry in the summer and cold, wet and overcast throughout the winter.  As a result, Holm worked with Steve Getsiv, Nova USA Wood’s president, to create a custom blend of ExoShield antique bronze, walnut, and natural for the exterior siding, while using ExoShield clear on the soffits and ExoShield natural for the exposed timbers.

         “The climate in Central Oregon can be really tough on exterior paints in addition to chewing through lighter colors,” adds Seth Rickert of Perfection Enterprises, LLC, Bend, who did the majority of the home’s paintwork.  “But we were impressed with how well the ExoShield penetrated and protected the wood with a lustrous, deep sheen.  This included a magnificent contrast to the brown, cedar, and redwood of the beams, as well as a rich reddish-brown finish for the exterior.

         “Plus, it was really user-friendly.  We applied the ExoShield by brush or rag, let it dry for a few minutes, and then just wiped it down.  Some of the wood required several coats to build up the color.  Other sections like the soffit and exterior siding only needed one to achieve startling results.  I’m generally apprehensive about using new products, but every ExoShield application worked as promised.”

         Located in the ultra-high-end area of Caldera Springs in Bend, Holm says his house is a real standout within the luxury community.  “It’s gorgeous, just beautiful inside and out,” offered Holm.  “People throughout the development, including architects and board members, regularly drive by to marvel at the woodwork and architecture.  I couldn’t be prouder of the work everyone put into it and the excellent, truly stunning results they achieved.”

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