Stain cedar lumber to protect it from fading in sunlight and from moisture erosion. Western red cedar has beautiful colors at all stages of fading, but the wood deteriorates if it's not protected from the elements. Use a quality semitransparent wood stain on cedar siding, exterior trim, fences, decks and sheds to preserve the integrity of the wood while maintaining its natural color.
Things You'll Need
- Iron-free bristle brush
- 50- or 60-grit sandpaper
- Paint brushes
Prepare the surface. Clean textured cedar and new cedar lumber with an iron-free bristle brush. Scrub away stains with a mild detergent, rinse the wood thoroughly and allow it to dry before staining. Scuff flat-grained cedar lumber with 50- or 60-grit sandpaper to allow the stain to absorb.
Choose an oil-based, semitransparent penetrating stain, which is best at protecting the cedar from water and sunlight. This type of stain will soak into cedar lumber without leaving a vulnerable film on the surface.
Apply stain to cedar boards that are in the shade. Choose appropriate times of day to finish all sides of cedar structures while they are shaded.
Use a brush to apply stain for optimal penetration. Use a back-brushing stroke on stain applied with a sprayer or roller to enhance its penetration. Spread the brush along the inside lip of the can to remove excess stain before bringing it to the wood. Use caution to avoid drips while applying thin and runny oil-based stains.
Spread wood stain across one length of cedar lumber at a time. Finish staining a board completely before any section dries to avoid lap marks.
Tips & Warnings
- Outdoor decks and fences are vulnerable to sunlight and rain. Protect these cedar surfaces by applying a water repellent that contains a mildew killer once or twice a year.
What Wood Should I Use to Make Exterior Shutters?
Exterior shutter material should be weather resistant and straight grained. These characteristics enable shutters to withstand warping, shrinking and swelling. Cedar is...
How to Care for Western Red Cedar
From Northern British Columbia, Canada, to California, a rugged spine of mountains stretches for almost 1,500 miles parallel to the Pacific coast...
How to Make Cedar Shutters
Cedar shutters are durable. They are naturally resistant to insect infestation, decay, termites and moisture. They can be painted, stained or left...
How to Prepare a Cedar Deck for Stain
While the real work comes when you begin staining, preparing your deck to receive the stain will contribute greatly to the finished...
The Best Way to Stain a Cedar Deck
A homeowner who has a deck actually has an extension of her house: You can think of the deck as an extra...
How to Refinish Outdoor Wood Shutters
You can protect your outdoor wood shutters from the elements and enhance their overall appearance by finishing them with the appropriate coatings....
How to Stain Cedar Siding
If left unfinished, cedar siding will weather to a dull, silvery gray. You can prevent this occurrence by applying a penetrating oil-based...
How to Stain Rough Cedar
Rough sawn cedar is a traditional building material in common use on exterior applications such as siding, sheds and other out buildings....
How to Stain a Rough Sawn Cedar Home
You can use penetrating stain on new, rough sawn cedar. If you wish to sand or power wash this siding effectively, however,...
How to Stain Pressure-Treated Wood to Look Like Cedar
Pressure-treated wood is chemically protected to help the wood weather the elements better and last longer than natural wood. Copper-based chemicals help...