Staining Cedar Siding

Staining Cedar Siding

Before We Begin Discussing Staining Cedar with Solid Stain.....There is a Disclaimer...

Cedar is absolutely gorgeous finished natural with a clear wood finish designed for cedar. You just can’t beat the look of the color variations of cedar. This blog post is geared for older cedar that may have been stained years ago or maybe it was never stained because the homeowner wanted the natural look and after years has only come to realize the “natural look” has done harm to his siding. So the disclaimer is we love a clear finish over beautiful cedar but this is the next step if your cedar siding is past its prime.

Understanding the Benefits of Staining Cedar Siding

If you’ve been considering staining your cedar siding, it’s important to know that there are some real advantages to doing so. Staining your cedar will protect it from deterioration and add a beautiful finish that will last for years. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what happens when cedar starts deteriorating, the advantages of brushing versus spraying stain, and why I recommend solid stain over semi-transparent stain.

What Happens When Cedar Starts Deteriorating?

When cedar starts deteriorating, it can become discolored or stained. This is often caused by a buildup of dirt, algae, mildew, or moss on the surface of the wood. When this happens, it can lead to irreparable damage if not treated quickly. That’s why staining your cedar siding is so important as it acts as a protective barrier against these elements while also providing an aesthetically pleasing finish. I also recommend an annual softwash to keep the cedar clean and to prevent damage and deterioration caused by prolonged mildew growth.

horizontal lap cedar siding that has no finish showing signs of deterioration.

Advantages of Brushing Versus Spraying Stain

When it comes to applying stain to cedar siding, there are two main methods – brushing and spraying. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but overall I prefer brushing because it allows for greater control over where and how much stain is applied. It also makes it easier to achieve an even finish which is key if you want your cedar siding to look great for years to come. On the other hand, spraying is faster and can cover larger areas in less time but stain is messy and if done incorrectly can leave behind streaks or blotches that are difficult to remove without having to sand down the wood first.

stain on cedar shakes brushed vs sprayed cedar siding

Why I Recommend Solid Stain Over Semi-Transparent Stain

When it comes to staining older cedar siding I always recommend using solid stain rather than semi-transparent stain as solid stain offers more protection against UV rays and moisture damage in the long run. The solid stain will also cover any color variations in the siding caused by sun damage, water run-off, or stains caused by either. Solid Stains offer a longer lasting finish that will help keep your home looking its best for many years after installation.

Grey cedar shake shingles siding stained with solid stain and white trim


Staining your cedar siding is an important step in protecting it from weathering and discoloration caused by dirt, algae, mildew and moss accumulation on its surface. By understanding what happens when cedar starts deteriorating you can make sure you take action before any permanent damage occurs. This is usually a large job so it is best to be done by a professional painting contractor. Ask your contractor if he plans on brushing or spraying your stain and get his opinion whether you should use a solid or semi-transparent stain. A contractor who also can do wood repairs is also something to consider if you have any rotten or damaged wood that needs to be replaced. Depending on how long lasting of a finish you want for your home exterior project, remember, solid stain offers more protection from the elements!

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