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Question DetailsAsked on 1/30/2015

best solid color stain for siding?

my cedar sided house was previously stained with Ultra semi-transparent natural cedartone stain I purchased at Menard's.Should I stick with the same brand & color in a solid color stain? & what would I need to do to prepare the siding?

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1 Answer


Staying with the same brand is always a good idea, to avoid compatibility issues. What color you go with is your choice - most people like semi-transparent light colors on cedar houses. A darker color increases teh change of show-through if you don't get it uniform, but a slightly darker color also makes it easier to see where you have and have not refinished it. The darker the color the greater the ultraviolet protection for the wood, but the heavier the product (the thicker/heavier it cures) the more likely it will peel. Personally, I do not like heavy build or "solid coat" stains - not much different than paints in the way they behave and can peel, but do not protect as well if you want a solid coating. I would go with a light penetrating oil-based stain.

You need to remove the dust and dirt buildup, and may need to use a fungicidal cleaner if there is mold on the surface, as it common with cedar. If the prior coat is peeling it needs to be either chemically removed, or sanded - the latter really only works if your cedar is smooth-surface, not rough-cut. Then washed with a good house detergent - I have found unscented (so uncolored) liquid Tide laundry detergent works well too. Spray on and let soak for 10-15 minutes (but do NOT let dry on surface - rewet with mist if needed), then hose off with stiff spray. A good hose pressure with a jet-type spray nozzle will work,, as will a pressure washer with a fan nozzle. Latter works better, but you have to be careful not to get so close as to gouge the wood, and have to be sure to work parallel with the grain and "with" the lay of the grain, not it as that will lift the grain. Takes some practice and not recommended that pressure washing be done by a pressure washing blow-and-go outfit. Painters usually can be trusted to do it right. Then let dry thoroughly - takes several drying condition days for cedar to dry out thoroughly, which it has to do for a penetrating stain to "take" or for a paint to stick right.

You can find several prior questions on similar issues, with responses, by putting "stain siding" into the Ask box and clicking on the applicable suggested questions that come up.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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