Staining Cedar Wood: The Basics of Protecting Your Siding

A man with a paint brush staining cedar siding of a home. A caption overlays the photo that reads "Wood siding should be repainted every 8 years or stained approximately every 4 years.".

When your cedar siding is damaged, it can be difficult to figure out how to fix it. Knowing what to look for in your siding and how to stain cedar wood is crucial for any homeowner who wants to preserve the value of their home.

Frequency

According to Networx, “wood siding should be repainted every 3-7 years, or stained approximately every 4 years.” How often you’ll need to restain or repaint will depend on your region’s weather conditions as well as how often your home suffers damage. Cedar wood itself deteriorates slowly over time due to its concentration of protective natural oils. However, that protection begins to decay as soon as the wood is exposed to the elements.


Splintering, flaking, and a light gray color on the surface of the siding are all visible signs of damage. As these occur, the fresh wood underneath will be exposed to the outside conditions, and it’ll begin to decay as well.

Cleaning the Siding

If you’re taking on the task of staining or painting your cedar siding, you should first make sure it’s clean and dry. If your siding has already suffered damage, you may need to sand away the damaged areas to a smooth finish first. Taking these steps will ensure the stain will apply smoothly, stick to the wood, and fully absorb into it.

Applying New Stain or Paint

Before you even pick up a paint brush, you should consider the local weather, as it could affect how well the stain will stick to the siding. Once you decide on the perfect day to do the job, think about the effects you want the treatment to have. When you’re treating cedar, in particular, you’ll want to know how much of the real wood you’d like to cover up and how much stain you’ll have to use to achieve the desired color.


If you’re staining your cedar siding for the first time, keep in mind that cedar will start to discolor about two weeks after it’s installed. To prevent this discoloration, you’ll want to stain or paint the wood as soon as possible. If your main goal is to protect the cedar, the best option is to paint over it, as the solids in paint ward off light and can postpone the deterioration process.



Learning how to properly protect your cedar wood siding can be intimidating, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Bear Mountain Custom Painting will work with you to help with any of your home painting needs in Atlanta.