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How to Stain Cedar Siding

Cedar has always been a great choice for home siding and this is due to various reasons. First, this type of wooden siding is truly durable and it can retain its shape for a long time. Furthermore, it can hold finishes well and it is available in a wide variety of designs, grades and patterns so there are certainly lots of options available for you to choose from, regardless of the style of your home and your budget as well. But perhaps the biggest advantage of cedar siding is that you can stain it on your own. In fact, this article will talk about the process of how to stain cedar siding.

Adding a warm and richly toned stain to your cedar siding can certainly help to prolong its beauty and can help it to last longer. Deep penetrating stains are available in several different range of shades and tones which help to bring out the texture and depth of the cedar siding. Proper staining can also help to preserve the natural oils within the cedar which is called the thujaplicins, giving cedar a unique scent and texture and prevents fungi and insects from getting into the wood.

Know Your Grades

But before you go on with the steps, you have to first choose the type of cedar siding that you want. First of all, you should learn how to choose the grades. Remember that the cedar siding is available in two different grades, one is knotty and another is clear. The knotty grade, as the name suggests, is often larger and have more frequent knots. The knotty cedar siding is also known for its warmth and casual charm and is perfect for homes with rustic appeal, as well as for cottages and other structures with rustic appearance.

On the other hand, the clear grade is known for their superior quality and thus, it has minor flaws. It has much better appearance than the knotty grade and as a result, it is more expensive as well. It is also capable of repelling stains, paints and water. If you want to give your home a more refined look, then the clear grades will be a good choice.

How to Stain Cedar Siding

Check the Seasoning

Seasoned cedar siding means that the wooden material has been kiln dried in order to remove the moisture. Doing this can help to minimize shrinkage right after the siding is installed and it also helps to ensure a much better finish. Before you go on with the steps, it is important that you check its moisture content and that it should be less than 15%. You can check this with your supplier and ask the moisture content of the wood that they sell.

The wooden siding that is unseasoned is what they call the green siding and it should be allowed to dry for at least 30 days before the finishing and installation.

Think of the Texture

The cedar siding is categorized in accordance to its surface finish or the texture. You can choose from the smooth finish, rough and saw textured.

  • Smooth – for the smooth finish, it shows the grain patterns as well as the variations as compared to other textures when applying a semi-transparent or clear finish.
  • Rough and Saw – for rough and sawn finish, it adds a rustic and weathered look to the overall texture of your home. The saw textured cedar siding has been milled in such a way that it will show the markings that were made by the saw during the process.

Choose the Right Pattern

The cedar siding can also be installed in a wide variety of patterns and this includes the usual bevel pattern which is also called as the clapboard. This is the only pattern that should be installed horizontally. Some other patterns are groove and tongue, shiplap and channel rustic and all these can be installed vertically, diagonally or horizontally and each pattern lends itself to the different situations and looks.

Properly finished cedar siding will age gracefully and could last for decades, so it is important that you learn the proper steps.

Prepare the Things You Will Need

Before you go on with the project, it is important that you first prepare the things that you will need. Here are the things that you’ll need for the project:

  • Brush, spray applicators or long rollers.
  • Large and natural bristled brush to be used for back brushing.
  • Stirring wand to be used for the oil stain.
  • Semi-transparent oil stain that comes with UV protectant as well as mildewcide.
  • Six sawhorses.

Apply Stain to the Cedar Siding Before You Hang It

In order for you to be able to achieve the best coating for your siding boards, you have to apply oil stain on the siding right before you hammer up the siding boards on the exterior of your home. This will allow you to coat both of the faces, sides, as well as the top and the bottom edges as well. Make sure that you use oil stain with both UV protectant factors as well as a mildewcide on its formulation in order to preserve the siding.

Make sure that you also avoid using stains that come with latex and acrylic bases since these will not provide enough moisture resistance or protection against UV radiation. Start by working on two cedar planks at a time and if possible, ask help from someone to do one face of each plank while you also work on the other.

Apply the Stain before the Wood Starts to Weather

The next step is to apply the stain and you have to do this right before it will begin to weather. So apply the oil stain that you have chosen for the cedar siding while it is still fresh and new. This way, it will be able to absorb maximum amount of protective and deep penetrating stain while it is on this condition.

Look for an Appropriate Area to Work

If you will choose to work under the shade when it comes to applying the deep penetrating stain on the cedar siding, remember that this will actually dry the stain more slowly and thus, it will enable the stain to be able to sink in more deeply within the wooden surface. Make sure that you set the boards in sawhorses in order to keep them upright off of the soil, grass, gravel and sand in order to make your task to become so much easier.

Make Sure that the Oil Stain is Mixed Well

You have to make sure that you stir the oil stain well frequently with the use of a stirring wand in order to prevent the separation of the oil base from the rest of the ingredients.

Applying Oil Stain to the Cedar Siding

The easiest and the most thorough method in applying the stain to the cedar siding is with the use of a brush that has thick and natural bristles. The brush bristles will distribute the stain more evenly towards the wood grain and will reach towards the small undulations of the surface of the cedar planks. If you apply the oil stain to the cedar siding with the use of a roller or a spray unit, you have to make sure that you back brush it while it is still very wet. This is to help the stain to penetrate deep within the wood more effectively.

Avoid Lapping of the Stain

When it comes to the steps, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind and one of these is to prevent the lapping of the stain. Make sure that you apply the oil stain down towards the full length of the plank in order to prevent any lap marks. Make sure that you back brush the cedar planks using a paint brush in order to prevent the blotching of the stain as soon as it dries.

Let the Stain Dry Slowly

The final step on staining cedar siding is to make it dry slowly. It has to be left in a shaded spot and be sheltered away from the wind and rain and this should be for six to eight hours right after you apply the first coat. Apply the second coat after so that the wood will accept it, which you would also do if it was a deck rather than siding.