ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cedar Siding Stain Recommendations and Application Tips

Updated on February 26, 2018
Matt G. profile image

Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.

Is Your Cedar Siding Stained or Painted?

Before purchasing stain for cedar siding, it's important to determine whether the siding is currently stained or painted. If the siding was painted, a new coat of paint should be applied, not siding stain.

The thickness of paint film on siding prevents the new stain from penetrating the cedar beneath. Staining over painted wood, although doable with certain stains, could lead to problems.

The best way to determine if your siding is currently stained or painted is to look for fading. Typically, stained siding mostly fades and flakes a little, while paint usually peels off in chips. Paint looks much thicker, with less wood texture of the cedar showing.

Cedar siding should never be painted in the first place because it expands and releases moisture, and covering the surface with thick paint can cause problems. While solid stain does also form a layer, the material is thin and penetrates the wood deep inside the cracks.

Select the Best Cedar Siding Stain

A good house siding stain should resist fading as much as possible and cover wood knots good.

Wood knots are far less noticeable with darker colors, but if you're staining cedar a very light color, sealing each knot with a shellac-based primer like BIN is a good idea before staining.

Sherwin Williams Woodscapes Acrylic Solid Stain

I use Woodscapes solid stain for all of of my cedar siding and fence jobs. This product is available at Sherwin Williams. I mostly spray this stain with my airless sprayer and back-brush it into the wood.

My only complaint about Woodscapes is deeper colors don't touch-up well. I did touched up siding once in a dark blue color and it left marks everywhere. With lighter colors, touch up is fine.

Cabot Solid Color Acrylic Siding Stain

Cabot siding stain works well on cedar siding. It can get a little expensive, but like anything else, you get what you pay for. I mostly use Woodscapes, but I stained a house once with this product and was very satisfied with the results.

Cabot is self-priming and covers exceptionally well over weathered cedar knots and wood. It is advertised as a one coat stain, but I always apply a second coat for durability.

Cabot stain can be applied over previously painted surfaces, but I've always applied it over previously stained wood. This stain resists fading and touches up very well in any color.

Prepare the Siding Before Staining

Surface preparation is the most important part of the job. If you neglect the surface preparation, the stain won't last as long.

  1. Power wash the siding to remove dirt and mildew. I like to clean cedar siding with Simple Green, or a bleach/water mix.
  2. Let the siding dry for at least 48-hours. Cedar absorbs a lot of water and it's important to make sure the wood is totally dry before staining.
  3. Sand the surface if needed. If the previous coating is peeling, sanding is a must, but if the surface is only faded, sanding is unnecessary. If the surface is peeling paint, everything must be sanded thoroughly to removed anything that's loose. The Wagner Paint Eater is a good sander to use for that purpose.
  4. Spot prime wood knots if needed. If you don't spot prime, the knots are more likely to bleed through and be more noticeable when staining a lighter color. Use Zinsser BIN.
  5. Spray the stain. The stain should be sprayed and brushed into the wood, or rolled. Apply 2 coats.

Read more of my articles about painting and staining:


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)