Cedar siding is beloved by many for its durability and ability to insulate. It also has a naturally beautiful appearance, with a unique wood grain in each piece. While its longevity is not in question, some people wonder how to keep their cedar siding looking like new over time.
Stain Soon After Installation
Staining your cedar siding will considerably slow down the siding’s change in appearance. There are a great variety of stain choices available, including transparent, semi-transparent, solid-transparent, and solid wood stains.
Transparent stains will provide the most natural look, showing the natural color and wood grain of the cedar. Semi-transparent and solid-transparent stains allow you to choose a particular color while still showing some of the wood grain on you siding. Solid wood stains, lastly, will not show the siding’s wood grain.
Applying a primer before your stain can act as a further shield against discoloration. According to Real Cedar, Alkyd-oil based primers are the best option to protect your siding.
For more tips on how to apply your stain, check out our post on sealing cedar siding.
Maintain Your Cedar Siding Every 3 to 5 Years
Whichever stain you choose, it will need to be reapplied every 3 to 5 years to keep your siding looking brilliant.
The particular stain you choose may impact how often this maintenance is required; transparent stains typically need to be replaced most often, about every two years, because they do not offer protection against the sun’s UV rays and moisture.
Semi-transparent stains may last longer before needing reapplication, about 3 to 5 years. An oil-based semi-transparent stain is likely to have a longer service life than a latex one, because it will penetrate the wood surface, while a latex stain forms a film on the surface of the wood and may flake over time.
For more details on how to maintain your cedar siding, check out our post on cedar siding maintenance.
Embrace the Natural Weathering of Cedar Siding
Because cedar siding has excellent longevity, with many warranties over 25 years, most maintenance is focused on keeping up the look and style of the wood. Some homeowners choose to reduce their maintenance by embracing the natural weathering of cedar siding. Some of the most beautiful buildings in the United States have taken this approach, including the Cedar Creek Mill in Woodland, Washington (pictured). You may choose to do the same.