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10 Things You Need To Know Before Staining Your Cedar

Cooper Creek 9ft x 12ft

Cedar is by far our favourite siding material 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. So, why do we recommend this to our customers?  Although you can let your cedar weather 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 areas that have 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. To help you properly stain your newly built outdoor structure, we’ve come up with 10 tips to help you stain your cedar and to keep it looking new for years to come.

 

10 Tips for staining your cedar

 

1. Three choices for staining

When it comes to staining your cedar, 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. Transparent stains have water-repellent features

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. It’s a win-win!

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3. Offer up a hint of colour

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 add a little charm

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. The sooner you treat your cedar, the better

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 will help in the preventing of deterioration.

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6. Wash & wait for it to dry

Prepare your cedar siding by washing it with soapy water to remove any dirt or dust (if any has accumulated). After you have washed it, wait for it to dry before applying any stain to the cedar.

 

7. Use a thick brush when staining

One of the most thorough methods when staining is to use a thick, natural bristle brush. The brush bristles will distribute the stain evenly onto the wood, as well as helping to reach the undulations on the surface of the cedar. If you are thinking about using a rolling brush.

 

8. Work in the shade while staining

It is best to apply the stain to the cedar while working the shade. This will allow the stain to sink deeper in the cedar surface. One of the best ways to help them dry properly is to set them on sawhorses, thus keeping them off the grass, soil, and sand, making your task a lot easier.

 

9. Allow the stain to dry slowly & apply a second coat

Two coats are always recommended when you want to maintain the natural look of Western red cedar. After you have put the first coat on, it is recommended that you wait 6 to 8 hours for it to dry before placing a second coat on.

 

10. Enjoy!

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

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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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Small in Size, Big on Function: Leading the Tiny House Movement

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Over the past few years we’ve been hearing more and more about tiny houses. Admittedly our design team was initially a bit skeptical about the concept of cramming all of our everyday household items into a very small space. In today’s “bigger is better” culture we truly thought the tiny house movement would come and go quickly. But when we started seeing tiny homes pop up in Texas of all places, we know we were wrong to doubt the trend! Small house designs continue to be one of the more popular conversation starters the Summerwood design staff engages in with our customers. In reality we’ve been building micro homes and small cabins and cottages for over 20 years, making us an ideal resource for designing and purchasing a tiny home.

Save Space & Earn $$$ with Your Own Tiny House

Tiny homes have exploded in popularity over the past few years and Summerwood Products’ line of outdoor structures have been a natural choice for tiny home builders across North America. Our DIY and fully-customizable building kits can be designed to your exact specifications and can be fully insulated for use in all four seasons just about anywhere in the world. We had the great pleasure of working with a Nashville-based client, Rebecca, on the design of a tiny home that new serves as an investment property and offers space for guest overflow. Here’s a Q&A with Rebecca’s story (and some incredible pictures she shared with us!).

Why did you decide to purchase a Summerwood building specifically?

My husband and I chose to buy a Summerwood product specifically because we truly feel they have the best kit designs out there. We had looked at a few competitors and just felt there was no match for Summerwood. We loved that the designs are customizable, and spent a lot of time choosing exactly which style of cabin we wanted, and how many doors/windows etc. It was a fun process!

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Sleeping space for guests (paying or otherwise!) or perhaps a year-round living space.

What did you intend to use the building for? Why did you need it?

We have a smallish house in Nashville without an easy way to add on to it. With the birth of our son our house felt increasingly cramped and we were without a way to host guests. Additionally, we wanted to be able to rent out part of our house for income, and with short term rental websites like airbnb, it is very easy to use a space for two purposes. So our Summerwood cabin is now part-time guest space, part-time rental. We love it!

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Tiny home living doesn’t mean giving up on modern comforts!

How was the building experience?

The building experience was honestly a bit harder than we’d expected. We had a “house raising” after we received the kit, when around 8-12 friends/family members came to get us started. We got a lot done that first day, but there was still a lot left to do, and we generally were able to work primarily during our son’s naps (so, not that much). It was often enjoyable, at times it was frustrating, since we didn’t really have building experience going into this.

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With an open roof space, skylight, and pull-out bed, Rebecca is making the most of this small space.

How has the building helped alleviate a previous need?

We have started to host our first airbnb guests and we are loving it! And we now have a place for friends and family to stay! It is absolutely wonderful to have it finished.

 

How would you characterize your experience overall?

Our overall experience was that this was more difficult than we thought it would be, but that we do not regret going with Summerwood at all. The design continues to please us – we love the dormer, the rounded door, the tall ceilings – and Summerwood was helpful throughout our experience.

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Live in a cold climate? Insulate your tiny house for year-round living in comfort.

Design Your Tiny House Today

Start online with our Custom Design Center to begin designing and pricing your own tiny house or give us a call now at (800) 663-5042 to talk about your ideas, we love answering your questions and helping make your tiny house plans turn from dream to reality!

 

The 6 Summerwood Design Steps

You may not know that Summerwood resides in Toronto, Canada, with a showroom open for visitors interested in great outdoor designs. We’ve been busy creating a wall display that will help with the design process. It can be daunting walking into a showroom with no real idea of how it all works, so we made it easy. A few eager Summerwood employees rolled up their sleeves and put their paintbrushes to the wall. We had a lot of fun so we figured we’d share our 6 easy steps to creating your perfect garage, gazebo, playhouse or even man cave.

Our chalkboard wall is complete!

Our chalkboard wall is complete!

Step 1: Choose a style (regardless of type of structure) 

We offer a bunch of styles whether you’re interested in a gazebo or cabana, a storage shed or a garage. Browse our styles and remember that the details are chosen by you! Check out our favorite prefabricated & prebuilt structures and get a taste of what we have to offer.

Step 2: Choose your siding and trim

It’s all about function and style, and luckily we provide both. Rough or smooth cedar offers a rugged, classic look, while our maintenance free option says it all in the name. Mix and match siding options with your trim choices for the look you want.

 Step 3: Choose a roof finish

Don’t overlook your roof choice. It comes down to fiberglass or cedar shingles. Decide on the look you want and the kind of work you want to put into it. Cedar and fiberglass shingles roughly share the same lifespan, but cedar will require a little TLC. Don’t be put off by the extra care cedar may initially require, it offers a beautiful look that lasts.

 Step 4: Choose your doors & windows

Your door and window choices are what will add character to your shed, garage, gazebo…whatever it is you’re looking to design. Have fun with it and let your own personal style shine.

 Step 5: Think about interior options

Whether you’d like a loft for the kids, benches, shelves or upgraded flooring, we offer a plethora of choices. Your interior is just as, if not more important than the exterior, so make sure you get everything you want and need.

 Step 6: Last but not least, the finishing touches

Pat yourself on that back! Once you reach this step the work is done and it’s time to bask in the beauty of your new pool cabana, studio or garden shed. Polish your final look with the perfect hardware, shutters or even weather vane.

The finished product

The finished product

 So those are our 6 easy steps! If you’re visiting us in Toronto or doing it all through the web, keep this in mind when you think the process of designing your perfect shed or gazebo seems intimidating. It really isn’t.

Head over to our custom design centre or call our friendly design staff and get started!