Cedar sidings are extremely popular – thanks to its unique and attractive appearance.
However, like any material, it will need to be properly restored, maintained, and repainted. This is especially true if it shows signs of weathering or decay.
When the elements have taken their toll on the cedar siding, you will need to protect the surface by painting it over again.
What follows are the steps on how to repaint and restore the weathered cedar siding in your home without wasting your precious time and without creating any mess.
What Do You Need for Painting Cedar Siding?
First of all, you will need to decide what you want to do with the old stained siding.
If you really want to repaint over them – to make them look good – the most common items needed include the following;
- High-pressure water nozzle
- Paintbrushes and rollers
- Wood cleaner
- Nylon brush
This usually means repainting which starts with a sander and scraper to remove the old paint or stain.
Then you will need the right paint to protect the surface which also means brushes and the proper clothing that you don’t care if they become covered in paint.
6 Easy Steps to Repaint Over Stained Cedar Siding
Cedar shake siding isn’t hard to maintain if you are well planned.
No matter you are staining or painting weathered cedar siding, if you do the following steps in the proper order, you will maximize your results.
Remember to start on a day when no precipitation is predicted over the next several days if possible.
Pressure washing your cedar siding is perfectly OK as long as the sprayer washer is set at low pressure.
This will help to prevent any damage made to the soft wood surface.
Use a high-pressure nozzle to wash the surface of the old weathered out cedar siding.
You don’t have to get it spotless, but you do want to rid the siding of any loose dirt and debris along with cobwebs and other objects.
If you find dirt, black mold, mildew, or dead insects accumulated on your siding you can consider cleaning them using a soap water solution.
You can make a solution with a quart of liquid household bleach (containing 5% sodium hypochlorite), one-third cup of liquid household detergent (make sure it’s ammonia-free), and three quarts of warm water.
Cleaning your cedar siding with this solution once a month can help keep your cedar siding looking new for longer.
2- Use Wood Cleaner
Wood cleaners like Howard can work very well for cedar siding.
Mix the cleaner according to the instruction and apply it to the stained cedar siding with a brush or roller.
For high areas, use an extension on the roller or climb a ladder and use your paintbrush.
You’ll want to leave the cleaner on for at least 15 minutes up to 30 minutes to ensure that it removes the old coating.
Do not let it dry.
3- Scrub with Nylon Brush
While the cleaner is still wet and the coatings are coming off, use a nylon brush to scrape them away.
The brush should be strong enough to break up any remaining coating in place.
Once all the coatings have been removed along with any dirt or debris, rinse it away.
Your goal is to leave behind a smooth surface free of peeling paint and ridges of the coating. Let it dry for 24 hours.
4- Scrape & Sand the Siding
Once the siding is dry, use a paint scraper and sandpaper to remove any remaining paint that might still be stuck.
You can also smooth out any rough edges or surfaces that have developed because of the weathered siding.
5- Prime the Weathered Siding
Cedar usually contains the extractives that can discolor the paint sooner.
So, it’s good to apply the primer to your weathered siding before you paint them.
In case you have the underlying paint that is dark in color, it’s essential to choose the primer that matches your paint color for better coverage.
6- Start Painting your Cedar Siding
Once the surface is clean and primed, you can start applying the paint. You will probably need at least two coats of high-quality paint to do the job.
You can use a regular paintbrush to get the cedar shake siding painted.
After you are through painting the second coat, take the time to inspect the siding to ensure that there are no thin spots.
Types of Stain for Cedar Siding
If you are not all that familiar with staining cedar siding, then you should know that choosing the right type of stain can be a bit of a chore.
That’s because there are many different types of stains available and the color of the cedar will change depending on what type you use.
However, there are ways to determine which one is right for your cedar siding.
What follows are a few tips on how to choose from the four different types designed for cedar.
The Four Types of Stain You Can Use for Your Cedar Siding
The clear stain does darken the cedar somewhat but otherwise lets the beauty of the wood shine through.
If you are interested in keeping the natural appearance of cedar, then the clear stain is for you.
It is best suited for indoor use as a clear stain does not provide any protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays that will damage the wood over time.
For cedar siding, the solid form is considered the best, especially for outdoor use.
This is because it offers protection from UV rays as well as erosive elements such as wind and precipitation.
You can choose from a wide variety of colors that really brings out cedar, but it is that boldness that may turn some off to using a solid stain.
As the name implies, this type of stain leans more towards solid than clear but is a cross between the two.
It does offer bright colors but does not allow the grain of the wood to come through like clear or semi-transparent.
A cross between clear and solid, semi-transparent stain offers bold, strong colors that can add some real character to the cedar siding.
It does offer some UV protection while letting the intricate grain patterns of the cedar come through.
The choice of colors is arguably the biggest selling point of the semi-transparent stain which leans more towards clear than solid.
For those who want stronger protection from UV rays while still being somewhat clear, then this may be for you.
Of course, you could also forego the stain and keep the cedar siding natural.
By applying a natural water sealer, you can let the cedar turn a natural gray over time as it ages.
A water-based stain will keep it from turning gray, but weathering and UV rays will take its toll.
What Is the Best Exterior Stain for Cedar Siding?
When picking the best stain for cedar siding care that you choose the stain from the best brand that is reliable enough.
Make sure that you select the color that matches perfectly well with your exteriors.
Many painters and contractors recommend choosing a semi-transparent finish as it provides the exterior wood a nice aged look along with enhanced appealing beauty.
In case you desire to have a brand-new look out of your wood, it’s good to sand down the wood before you apply a stain.
Some of the best stains for cedar siding that are available on the market are:
1- Ready Seal Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer
- Requires no primer. Ready Seal is darkest when first applied. It...
- May be applied using sprayer, roller or brush onto the woods surface.
- Requires no back brushing and will nerver leave runs, laps, or...
*Last update on 2021-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ready Seal offers you an oil-based transparent stain which also acts as a perfect sealer for the weathered cedar sidings.
This means Ready Seal wood stain and sealer is a great value for money product as you do not need to buy different products for sealing and staining your shingle sidings.
The good thing about buying this stain is it’s available in different hue options – you can choose the color you desire to have.
Few other things that I like about the Ready Seal stain are:
- 2-in-1 (stain and sealer) formula
- Does not need priming
- Can be used in any temperature/condition
- Easy to apply with a brush, roller or sprayer
Depending on the environmental conditions in your area, the stain dries fast within 48-72 hours after the application.
But remember, since it’s a more transparent stain, you will not be able to hide the texture of the wood completely even after the stain is dried.
Overall, the 2-in-1 Ready Seal formula is one of the best transparent stains for cedar siding that not only adds beauty to the wood but also the protection from ultraviolet rays, moisture, and mildew.
You should definitely check this product for staining your exterior wood sidings.
2- DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain
- WATER-BASED SEMI-TRANSPARENT WOOD STAIN – This environmentally...
- FORTIFIED WITH ZINC NANO-PARTICLE TECHNOLOGY– It’s like sunscreen...
- EXTREMELY DURABLE, QUALITY THAT LASTS – DEFY Extreme wood stains are...
*Last update on 2021-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The DEFY water-based acrylic stain for exterior wood works well to restore your cedar sidings by providing the wood a natural, rustic, and organic feel.
This semi-transparent stain comes with zinc-nano particle technology that helps in reflecting UV rays better to prevent the wood from getting dull and premature graying.
The particles also make the stain tough enough to protect the sidings from all the harsh weather conditions including the mildew buildup.
Few good things that make the product appealing are:
- Highly durable and long-lasting
- Convenient to apply with a brush or spray
- Can be used without any dilution or thinning
If you want to get the best results with this DEFY cedar siding stain, it’s recommended to use their cleaning and brightening agents prior to wood staining.
3- KILZ Semi-Transparent Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain
- A good exterior wood stain offers long-lasting protection,...
- Our 100% Acrylic formula protects wood from rain, snow and sun damage....
- Use on properly prepared new to moderately weathered and unsealed...
*Last update on 2021-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
KILZ Semi-Transparent waterproof stain is my third favorite exterior stain that can protect the wood siding against all the elements like sun damage, moisture, molds, etc.
Since it’s a 100% Acrylic formula this stain protects the wood from rain, and snow better.
Not only you can use this for staining the cedar sidings but also for exterior wooden decks and fences.
Few things that I like in this staining formula are:
- Durable and long-lasting
- No need to prime and dries fast
- Easy to apply with a brush, pad applicator, or spray
Before you apply the KILZ stain, make sure that the surface is free from any kind of dust or debris.
This will help the stain to adhere better and last longer.
Without any doubt, it provides the best natural beauty to your wood for years.
Solid Stain Vs Paint: What’s Better for Cedar Siding?
Well, both of them are fine and the decision to paint or stain on cedar siding should be completely yours.
However, if you are looking to get perfectly fine long-lasting results, you may need to consider staining your cedar siding rather than painting.
The reason why stain is considered durable on cedar siding is they are solid enough to hold up foot traffic, much better than regular paint.
Plus, as stains are highly durable in nature it can protect the cedar (from abrasion, wearing, and weathering) better than paint.
Factors to Consider when Finding the Best Stain for Cedar Siding
Since there are plenty of options (the above ones and many more) to choose from, for staining the exterior sidings of your home, you need to consider certain factors so that you pick the right one.
Some of these factors to look at are:
1- Water-Based or Oil-Based:
The water-based staining formula is comparatively easy to clean up after staining.
So, if you are doing all the staining yourself in a DIY way, it’s better to choose the water-based stain as it makes the cleaning easier for you.
2- Transparent or Semi-Transparent Finish:
A transparent stain will highlight all the wood grain finish giving the wood a more organic look.
If you, however, need to get a medium to light hue for a bit of facelift, it’s good to choose a semi-transparent finish.
3- The Wood Pattern You Desire to Have on The Cedar:
Lastly, it’s important to choose the stain that will either hide or enhance the grain of your cedar.
Make the choice carefully according to your personal preference.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining your cedar siding is not hard but it should be a regular task for you to inspect and maintain them to avoid possible damage.
While the material used is beautiful, tough as well as long-lasting, being on the exterior of your house the wood should be cared for, cleaned, and stained on a regular basis.
If you take the proper amount of time during the staining process, the results should be a re-coated cedar shake siding that will last for a considerable amount of time.
Remember, by focusing on each step mentioned above, you can get the results that you desire.
So do not miss any of them if you really want to get that perfect finished look for your weathered out cedar siding.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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