All Summerwood building kits are shipped in their natural state. To help you decide how to finish your masterpiece, we have assembled information on the different finishes that may be applied to your structure. To ensure long lasting beauty, we recommend applying a finish of some sort shortly after assembly is completed. While you may choose to leave your structure to weather naturally, leaving your building unfinished will affect aspects of your warranty.


Our cedar structures are ideally suited for clear and semi-transparent finishes that accentuate the dramatic grain and rich hues of the wood. Conversely, we also have many customers, who choose to finish their design in a variety of rich opaque colors. Clearly, when staining your cabin , shed, or gazebo there is no right or wrong option, when it comes down to your own personal taste.

Depending on the effect you want to achieve, there are three wood staining types available for finishing your structure: natural, semi transparent, and colored or opaque.

Natural Transparent Finish

Shed staining information natural transparent finish Summerwood Products

Over time, cedar ages to a soft, silver-grey finish. However if you wish to retain the rich, natural tones of cedar, finish your structure with a coating that contains ultraviolet shielding properties as well as a mildewcide. Transparent stains contain no pigments but have water-repellent features that protect the the natural coloration. They also substantially slow the natural color change process.

Semi-transparent Finishes

Semi-transparent stains are less "natural" because of the added pigment, but represent the wood beautifully. They modify the original wood color as well as the characteristics of the wood such as grains and knots, but not enough to take away from the overall impact of the wood's natural qualities. A great choice when staining a gazebo to better match a modern home style.

Shed staining information semi-transparent Summerwood Products

Colored/Opaque Finishes

Gazebo staining information Semi-transparent Summerwood Products

Using color can be a lot of fun and the results often dramatic. Stain your building to match the surrounding architecture, or perhaps to blend in to the landscape. Choose one colour for all the components, or detail the trim with a second or even third colour. It's all up to you!

Note: Varnishes and other film-forming coatings, which can crack and peel, are not recommended for use on cedar.


  • The sooner you treat your building, the better. Cedar, when left untreated and exposed to the elements, will be prone to deterioration. This amplifies the need to stain your shed or cabin in a prompt fashion.

  • Wash your cedar siding with soapy water to remove the dirt and prepare it for a finish.

  • All wood staining types should be applied over a clean, dry surface. They are best applied by brush for maximum penetration. Mix the stain thoroughly before and during applications for uniform coverage.

  • For vertical siding, begin at the top of a few boards and continue all the way to the bottom. For horizontal applications start at one corner and work to an obvious stop. Staining the interior, while not required, has no inherent advantage or disadvantage and is optional.

  • Opaque wood stains are high in pigment content and thoroughly hide the grain and color of the wood. The surface texture is retained, but opaque stains tend to perform like paint. If you are going this route, we recommend an alkyd oil prime for the first coat, followed by a acrylic latex paint second coat (for smooth face sidings) or an opaque stain (for rough face sidings).

  • Keep in mind that the above suggestions are only guidelines and the instructions you follow should be those of the stain manufacturer you choose for your Summerwood building.

Canexel Maintenance Free Siding

Garage staining information canexel Summerwood ID number 167579

If you prefer an alternative option to staining your Summerwood structure, consider purchasing our attractive maintenance-free Canexel wood fiber siding. With 18 stunning colors to choose from (and countless combinations), you can enjoy the freedom, durability and visual appeal that Canexel siding offers. It comes with a 25 year manufacturer's warranty so be sure to pick a color you’ll enjoy for years!

Please note that if you choose canexcel siding, there is a white maintenance free trim that is available as an option. It is maintenance free, durable, and looks amazing. If you opt for the cedar trim package, it is still important to stain it. In either case, you must paint or stain any cedar doors to validate your warranty.