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Old 07-17-2012, 05:40 PM   #1
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Staining cedar siding


My house is about 31 years old, has cedar lapboard siding and has never been treated in any way other than soft washing about every 5 or 6 years. The wood is in really good condition, no rot or warping or anything (some wood bee holes in a few pieces of the trim). I am getting worried that I should stain it because I don't know how long my good luck will last. My question is, if I decide to put a transparent oil based stain on it, after a while will the stain begin to peel or will it just fade away? The house is a natural gray now and I was thinking about transparent to show the wood grain. Thank you.

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Old 07-17-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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Staining cedar siding


In my experience, semi-transparent stain (especially oil-based) NEVER peels. You may have some peeling issues with LATEX stains, but, rarely, if ever, with OILS. Depending on the look you want, you may have to do a thorough cleaning of the cedar. That natural gray look usually means a lot of dirt/grime/mildew have settled on the surface.

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Old 07-17-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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I've never experienced a problem with semi-transparent acrylic stains either. I used to be a purist and thought only oil stains were suitable for things like cedar, redwood, etc. but I don't think so anymore. Depending on where you are, you may not be able to get oil stains.

When you start getting into heavier pigmented solid stains is when the adhesion challenges begin. But properly prepped, a solid stain should weather nicely too. Sherwin Williams Woodscapes, an acrylic product, is nice stuff. You can get it tinted to any color. Semi-transparents come in lots of colors too though.

I would definitely prep your surface carefully. And since you have never done anything to the siding before? I would test a clear sealer, semi-transparent stain or even a solid stain on a small section to make sure you are going to get the look you want.

Buy quality paint store, not box store products and don't be afraid to ask for discounts or look online for coupons. Whatever you do, steer clear of wax based sealing products like Thompon's Water Seal. You will only get a season out of it if lucky and anything you try to apply over it will be blotchy because of the wax left behind in places.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:46 PM   #4
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Staining cedar siding


Ditto on the Thompson's..........that stuff turns a surface BLACK with mold and dirt faster than any product I've ever seen.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:35 PM   #5
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Staining cedar siding


Oil is the way to go but you may want to give it a good cleaning to remove any dead layers of wood on the surface that may peel no matter what you put on it.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:48 AM   #6
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In my opinion, if it's not broke, don't fix it. But if you are set on treating it, I would test a fairly sizable, mostly inconspicuous area, to see if the new appearance will be acceptable to you. These boards are littered with posts from people who screwed up finicky stain and clear coating jobs.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:36 AM   #7
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Staining cedar siding


Quote:
Originally Posted by Windows View Post
In my opinion, if it's not broke, don't fix it. But if you are set on treating it, I would test a fairly sizable, mostly inconspicuous area, to see if the new appearance will be acceptable to you. These boards are littered with posts from people who screwed up finicky stain and clear coating jobs.
Windows is right. Lots of people like the natural gray look that cedar looks like after several years. It's not going to rot so if you are happy with how it looks, leave it alone.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:13 PM   #8
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Staining cedar siding


I agree with windows as well. If you have 31 years without any issues I would count my blessings and move on to another project because if it hasn't warped or cupped by now it probably never will.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:45 PM   #9
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Staining cedar siding


Oil base stains that are film forming have a tendency to crack, flake and peel down the road when they are not maintained, including transparent stains. You want to use a penetrating oil stain or preservative, they will fade and just wear down the road. The gray color is dead wood fibers and I'm sure there are other contaminants on the surface too.

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