10 Things You Need To Know Before Staining Your Cedar

Cooper Creek 9ft x 12ft

Cedar is by far our favourite siding material (check out our post on “The Best Construction Materials for Building Your Own Shed: Sidings”) for countless reasons. Although we understand the need and convenience of maintenance free options, when it comes to siding we simply can’t compete with nature. Western Red Cedar has been our first choice for years due to its durability, ascetic appeal, and environmental sustainability.

At Summerwood, we always recommend that our customers stain their cedar-sided building. But why do you need to do so?  Although you can let your cedar whether naturally when used for a deck or a fence, when you’re using it as a siding the idea is to keep the elements out. You want your beautiful custom backyard building to stay that way, and for your belongings to remain safe and dry inside. Staining the cedar is the absolute best way to ensure this, especially in four-season climates. Since Western Red Cedar naturally lacks pitch and resin, it allows for countless staining options and will accept stain very well if applied correctly. Below, we’ve got 10 tips to get your staining started and keep your outdoor structure looking brand new for years to come.


10 Tips for Staining Your Cedar

1. You have three choices: natural, semi -transparent, and coloured or opaque. Consider whether you want your building to look untouched, or add a pop of colour to your yard before choosing.

2. Cedar is known to age gracefully to a soft, silver-grey patina, but it’s wise to keep the rich tones of your cedar siding lasting longer. Transparent stains contain no pigment but have water-repellent features that will help to retain natural tones and slow down the natural colour change process. Win-win!


3. Semi-transparent stains offer up a hint of colour. They still represent the wood beautifully, but give it a little boost. Grains and knots in your wood will be modified, not enough to take away from its natural qualities though!

4. Coloured/opaque finishes allow you to have fun with your finished product. If you want to go for a dramatic look, or maybe add a little extra charm, this may be the way to go. This option isn’t for the indecisive though, so make sure you know exactly what you want!

5. Once you’ve decided on your finish it’s best to get to work quickly. The sooner you treat your cedar, the better. Although cedar is naturally resistant to rot and decay, staining your siding promptly aids in preventing deterioration.


6. Prepare your cedar siding by washing it with soapy water to remove any dirt or dust (if any has accumulated).

7. All stains should be applied on a clean, dry surface with a brush to ensure maximum penetration into the grain.

8. Is your cedar siding vertical? Begin from the top to the bottom. Is your cedar siding horizontal? Start at one corner and continue to the other. Go with the grain!

9. Two coats are always recommended when you want to maintain the natural look of Western red cedar.

10. Bask in the glory of your newly finished cedar building for years to come.


For countless styles and options, cedar is consistently the best choice! Please don’t hesitate to contact the design experts at Summerwood with any questions you may have: 1-866-519-4634.

If you’re ready to design your very own spectacular cedar building, or do some brainstorming, our Design Center will get your creative wheels turning!

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