Best exterior stain for cedar siding. Detailed selection and application guide

A siding made of cedar can be the most beautiful element of any structure. It’s elegant and sophisticated look that will be a dream to keep as long as you can.

To shield it from weather damage It’s a good idea to choose a premium stain to seal in that beauty and help preserve the wood.

best exterior stain for cedar siding

What’s the most effective exterior stain to use on cedar wood siding? Which is the best exterior stain for cedar siding? This is what we’re trying to learn about.

The right choice of color is the first step. Then, you must think about the area of coverage and the climate in which you live , and what color variations you’d like.

We’ve spent many hours researching the best advice and discovered four amazing stains that will all do an excellent job.

We’ve used this information to create an online buying guide and provided some answers to your questions so that you be aware of what you should buy. Let’s get started!

How to Choose the Right Exterior Stain for Cedar Siding

1. Staining Cedar Siding: Choosing the best color

Typically, the color of your siding will ultimately be determined by two aspects:

  • The natural hue of your siding before staining
  • The stain is used

For instance, if the siding you have is constructed from red cedar it’s likely to be darker and more vibrant color as in comparison to White cedar siding.

In these circumstances, it is crucial to select the right stain for your wood siding.

The best part is that wood stains are available in a variety of shades. Choose one that is compatible with the siding you have.

2. Choosing a wood stain is like choosing between solid, semi-transparent, or clear

There are a variety of staining can be applied to siding made of wood. These include:

  • Solid-color stain colors
  • Semi-transparent stains
  • Stains that are clear

Solid staining typically has an opaque finish , and they hide the natural color of the wood siding, and turns it into a more uniform solid color. But, even though it is solid, it still allows the natural grain as well as other characteristics of the wood let the wood’s natural characteristics shine through.

Semi-transparent stain on one side gives your siding a slight tint of color. While the color will get darker and richer when more stain is used however, you will still be able to clearly discern how the grain and texture of wood is natural as compared to solid stain.

The other kind of stain that you could apply to the siding of your cedar can be the stain with clear coat. Clear coat stain is a great choice if you’re looking to keep the natural texture and color that the timber has.

Because it doesn’t alter the color of wood, using this stain provides the wood an additional layer of protection against UV and water damage.

Let’s take an overview of the best exterior stain for cedar siding.

Best Exterior Stain for Cedar Siding:

1. Ready Seal 520 Exterior Stain and Sealer

The deep penetration helps the color to appear stunning regardless of the shade you want. All of this adds up to an excellent value for money since the cedar siding in good shape for a long time years.

best exterior stain for cedar siding

It was our top choice because it is the best in every area of what makes a premium stain. It needs minimal preparation, and the result is incredible. It’s also very easy to work with , which makes it the ideal exterior stain to use on cedar siding.

The stain is fantastic at enhancing the characteristics of your cedar siding. It’s semi-transparent, is available in vast assortment of colors that look amazing. It can also be used as siding you could apply it for any wood exterior.

The stain contains oil which can safeguard your wood from water, mildew and UV radiations. One of the advantages of this stain’s benefits is the fact that it’s not required to use any primer in order to apply it. The process of applying it to the wood will be effortless and you won’t have to worry about streaks or flaws.

It is important to note that it can take up to fourteen days to allow the actual shade that your siding will come through, and patience is essential. It’s worth it because the sealer and stain treatment provides you with a great protection, while looking stunning.

Highlighted Features:

  • It is a cost-effective option because it is a 2-in-1 stain and Sealer.
  • Professional-looking finish.
  • It takes 14 days to reveal that original colour.
  • Does not require primer.
  • Guards your wooden treasures from damaging UV radiation.
  • The thing we liked the most about this item is that it’s an extremely efficient 2-in-1 product that can deliver excellent results to your siding. It’s professional quality that will significantly extend the lifespan that your siding will last.
  • This stain application is simple, which means that you’ll be able to finish the task quickly. There is no need for priming and you don’t need to sand at all.
  • The stain will soak through the cedar. There’s plenty to appreciate about it and that is why we believe it’s the most beautiful stain for exterior use.
  • Because it is oil-based, the removal of the stain might be a bit more difficult , and you’ll need be extra cautious in dealing with it.
  • It’s also ideal to thin, but If you try doing this, it’ll reduce the overall security you’ll receive.

2. DEFY Semi-Transparent Extreme Exterior Wood Stain

The zinc nanotechnology does an excellent job at protecting the cedar beneath and can be used in all types of environments.

DEFY Extreme 5 Gallon Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain

It could easily been our top pick , and is a great semi-transparent alternative to look into. The main benefit in this stain’s design is the zinc non-particle technology that performs a fantastic job in blocking UV rays and also stopping the growth of mildew.

This is why it’s suitable for those who live in hot weather in which the sun is hitting the siding of their home made from cedar. However but it also performs well in cooler climates, which makes an extremely adaptable staining materials available.

This stain is water-based therefore it’s slightly better for the environment but still have all the characteristics you want. It’s a bit thinner than the majority of stain. This makes it easy to be placed on the siding using sprayers.

The stain is simple to apply again, making maintenance very easy. It’s likely that you won’t have to do it often because it’s resistant to fade. It also comes with a wide variety of colors available, which means you’re sure to find exactly what you want.

If you’re environmentally-minded then this could be the right stain for you. Since it’s water-based, it won’t be worried about it getting into the soil or splashing on the plants. If it does, it will be easily absorbed by no problem.

Highlighted Features:

  • Very resistant to fading and darkening because it is composed of polymer resins.
  • It shields wooden surfaces and furniture from damaging UV Rays.
  • Water-based stain is so simple to use.
  • Zinc Nano-Particle Technology hinders mildew buildup.
  • Provides a variety of shades.
  • It is also extremely simple to use. It’s all you need is water and soap for cleaning, which won’t take long in any way. The application is easy and you are able to apply it using a brush or roller, or using sprayers.
  • The colors are stunning and will enhance the appearance of your cedar, regardless of whether you were looking for a lighter coat or a darker one like redwood or butternut.
  • The stain may not have the same longevity as other stain colors that are available. The stain is able to overcome that by being simple to keep clean.
  • Clean the old stain by washing it with water and soap, and then apply one coat of fresh stain over it.

3. Thompsons Transparent Waterproofing Stain

The fact that you can use this on wood that is damp suggests it is a great choice for a variety of people.

Thompson's WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain  Transparent TH.041831-16

Are you looking to improve the appearance of your current stain? If yes, then it’s a good idea to choose a transparent coat that will keep that texture and color. It provides a stunning look and also provides the long-term protection it requires.

It’s a flexible solution that can fit on any wooden outdoor surface. It’s a great option if you want to match your furniture and siding. There’s a broad range of shades to choose from and all of them appear great and show off the wood grain beneath.

One of the most impressive aspects that this stain has is that it can be able to apply effectively to damp wood. This makes it perfect for climates that isn’t always completely dry during the fall and winter. It’s a simple process and doesn’t require too much time for drying.

The result is fantastic and gives your siding a beautiful sheen. It’ll completely seal your siding and stop any problems that might result from damp wood, like mildew. In addition it will also provide you a good shield against UV Rays.

Highlighted Features:

  • It is a good idea to waterproof your cedar sidings and wood veneers.
  • It was originally designed to be used on construction and architectural sites.
  • Made of Polymers.
  • The recommended time to use it is for temperatures ranging between 50°F and 95°F.
  • Provides protection against UV rays and mildew.
  • One of the most impressive features of this stain is that advanced polymers within it are extremely effective in resisting fade caused by UV Rays.
  • The fact that it’s waterproof also means it’s extremely resistant to mold and mildew that might grow on the cedar.
  • In colder weather trying to create completely dry siding might seem almost impossible. You’ll be able apply it at any time and feel confident about the outcomes.
  • It says that one coat is expected give you four years of siding protection and it’s not too bad. If you decide to apply an additional coat, it’s an easy process. This allows you to have the perfect siding made of cedar for years to be.
  • There may be confusion as to what exactly is meant by the stain being transparent since many people think it’s an opaque coat.
  • In reality, you’ll be able to see the grain beneath since it’s going to show a slight change in color depending on the type you choose.

4. #1 Deck Premium Wood Stain

Like all the models we’ve examined here, this one offers an excellent degree of protection. It protects you from UV rays as well as moisture.

#1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain for Decks, Fences, & Siding

The name says it all it’s a top-quality wood stain that will perform a great job on your siding made of cedar. It comes in either a 1-gallon or a 2.5-gallon tub. Both are competitively priced however the bigger one offers excellent value for your price.

The purchasing options don’t stop at that point as there are five different colors. There’s natural, cedar and dark walnut driftwood gray, light walnut and natural. All of them look stunning when applied to the sidings for a consistent and streak-free colour.

One of the unique characteristics in this stain’s design is that it has a very low VOC number, which makes it a great choice for the environment. Clean-up is going to require water and soap which means you don’t need to be concerned about creating the mess after applying it.

Like Thompsons stain, as with Thompsons stain, it is possible to also use it on dark wood to increase its utility. It will stain and seal siding, and make it remain in good condition for years to follow. It’s easy to apply the product and it’s also very easy to keep clean.

Highlighted Features:

  • A 2-in-1 product that stain the wood and serves as a sealer that helps to stop moisture.
  • It is possible to stain the materials in the event that they’re dry after cleaning.
  • The cedar siding is impervious to sunlight exposure.
  • 50 VOC semi-transparent stain is available in five shades.
  • A minimum of 1-2 hours are needed for drying after application.
  • A product that offers stain and sealant simultaneously will reduce your time and effort. The product is extremely versatile because you can put the product for your outdoor deck as well as any other wooden furniture you own.
  • If it begins to fade with time, the process of applying a new coat will be fast and you’ll get it back in good condition.
  • It is able to dry quickly in a matter of hours, and the capability to apply it to damp wood is extremely beneficial. Low VOC content is impressive, and will not let you down on efficiency. It’s environmentally friendly and provides an outstanding stain finish
  • There’s nothing to be found in this stain. It’s worth noting however the fact that this color is not suitable for thinning as it can adversely affect the performance.
  • Also, it won’t be suitable for indoor use.

5. Olympic Stain Maximum Waterproofing Sealant and Stain

It is the Olympic Waterproofing Stain and Sealant acts as a stain that enhances the natural appearance of your siding made from wood and as a sealer to block water from entering, thereby lessening the possibility of water-related damage.

best exterior stain for cedar siding

The stain enhances your siding made of wood, and enhances the natural appearance of your siding by causing the texture and grain to appear more prominent.

The formula is long-lasting and also comes with an modern SunBlock UV defense , which prevents fade and color loss on your siding. Your siding will remain gorgeous and fresh for a long time.

The Olympic Stain is highly durableIt will last for many years prior to needing a new stain coat.

The stain will be ready for rain within just 8 hours – even if exposed to water continues for 8 hours. The sealant will guarantee that water cannot be able to penetrate, providing you with peace of mind.

The stain is able to be used at temperatures between 35° and 120° Fahrenheit.

The stain for wood can be applied to damp wood.

Awarded a warranty of 4 years on fences made of wood and a 3-year warranty on decks.

The stain is affordable.

Highlighted Features:

  • You are able to continue the application at any temperature, but with some care.
  • Available in 7 clear tones.
  • Pack of 5 gallon.
  • Guards your siding against the effects of UV radiation and mildew.
  • It can be used as a stain, and also is also a sealer.
  • Easy to apply
  • Works as a sealant
  • It’s water-resistant
  • Won’t have to prepare the surface to apply this product
  • It’s UV-resistant
  • Have a bad reputation for customer service

6. KILZ Stainblocking Ceiling Paint, Interior

Last but not least is the KILZ Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Waterproofing Stain.

best exterior stain for cedar siding

The KILZ stain is a durable and long-lasting protection for the siding of your cedar by shielding it from UV rays that can damage it.

The stain is composed of 100% Acrylic specially designed to shield your siding from snow, rain and the sun. It will not fade, rot or turn gray from long exposure.

The manufacturer offers a three-year warranty on decks , and up to 5 years of warranty on fences and siding. You can buy the stain with security.

The manufacturer suggests using it on moderately to new weathered or un-sealed exterior wood surfaces, including railings, fences and sidings and roof shingles, outdoor furniture for patios, and also for staining decks projects.

For the best results, let that the siding of your home to sit for at minimum 24 hours prior to applying stain.

You may also polish the surface to remove any color or fibers of wood.

It is KILZ stain is simple to use and cover the entire area. One gallon of stain can cover about 250 sq.ft in the first coat, and the possibility of covering up to 500 sq.feet for the second coat.

Overall, it’s the perfect wood stain to use to maintain and enhance the natural appearance to your cedar siding. It’s also affordable and long-lasting.

Highlighted Features:

  • It is made of 100 100% acrylic formula.
  • Protects your siding from the effects of mildew, water and UV Rays.
  • The semi-transparent stain is available with a shade of Redwood.
  • It enhances all the beauty and natural appeal of wood.
  • For the best results for the best result, it must be removed and then brightened prior to staining.

7. Cabot Australian Timber Oil

It is the Cabot Australian Timber Oil Water Reducible Stain is a durable stain made from oil. It is an exclusive combination of oils.

best exterior stain for cedar siding

The oils were initially developed to shield the tallowwood, merbau and cambara from the harsh exposure to the weather in Australia.

It’s a fantastic wood stain to use on railings, decks and sidings furniture, outdoor furniture and other furniture made of wood for the outside.

The oil-stain is made of high-quality Linseed oil, which ensures long-lasting durability and the Tung oil creates a water-proof wood and enhances color depth.

Additionally, it enhances your siding’s durability and natural appearance. In addition, the Cabot stain is also a great way to helps protect siding from outside elements, such as snow, rain and sun.

It is water-resistant and UV-rays-resistant as it has complex transparent iron oxide pigments that block harmful UV radiations.

The stain made of oil is an a great topcoat for furniture that is used indoors.

The stain comes in five different wood-toned colors, and is affordable.

Highlighted Features:

  • It comes with three types of oil rich to give you the best outcomes.
  • Your cedar siding will last for a long time.
  • The oil-based translucent enhances the texture and color the wood.
  • Protects wood from discoloration.
  • It is water resistant.
  • Available with 5 different tones
  • It’s water-resistant
  • The finish is oily and looks great
  • Protect the surface
  • It doesn’t work well on interior surfaces

8. Storm Protector Penetrating Sealer & Stain Protector

Are you worried about the fragility of your siding made of cedar? Resort to Storm

STORM SYSTEM Storm Protector Penetrating Sealer & Stain Protector

Protector Penetrating Sealer & Stain. It’s not just going to increase the life of your exterior woods , but additionally draw your attention to their enthusiasm.

The stain is not discriminatory between different kinds of woods, and is compatible with all of them- whether it’s Cedar, Redwood, Pine, Spruce, Cypress, Douglas Fir, Mahogany or Pressure Treated. If you’re searching for the finest stain of western red cedar this stain is a worthy contender.

This stain is oil-based and penetrates into the core of your woods and strengthens them by absorbing the weak spots. Thus, woods are able to remain strong even in the most extreme circumstances.

Storm protector offers the appearance of a trans oxide pigmentation to your wood substrates. It will block UV rays, thereby reducing the distortion of wood’s color. Therefore, it is the ideal choice for staining your decks, sidings made of cedar and fences as well as outdoor furniture.

It is easy to apply this stain and sealer by using a roller spray or brush to get an even, smooth finish. The stain can take up to 24-hours to fully dry. Then, you are free to rub the surface or apply another coat of the Storm Protector.

This amazing semi-transparent stain available in 4 shades. These are: Cedartone, Pacific Redwood, Hickory, Sienna.

Highlighted Features:

  • It can work with all types of woods.
  • A 2-in-1 sealer and stain that blocks UV radiation.
  • Will withstand all kinds of unpredictable circumstances.
  • A semi-transparent stain which magnifies the beauty of your wood.
  • It takes 24 hours for it to be dry.

What is the best way to color exterior cedar siding?

The method of preparing the cedar will depend on how old it is. When it is cedar is old then it is important to check for any imperfections within the wood like mildew and rot. If it is, you’ll have to wash the contaminants with an appropriate solution. Also, you should check for chalky texture, or if there’s bleeding from the cedar and this will have to be treated separately.

If you are using new cedar, it’s likely that you’ll need to sand it down a bit so that you can get better bond from the stain. If the wood is smooth, then it won’t require any preparation. Before staining, you’ll need to make sure there’s not any sawdust on the wood since it will affect the finish, and you might not get a consistent stain.

Before you begin staining you should try to shield the surrounding areas in the best way you can from drips. This will be even more crucial when you’re using an oil-based stain because it’s not as gentle to the environment as a stain that is water-based.

The ideal time to stain is the wood when it’s not hot, and in a dry state as it can be. It’s generally ideal to apply the stain at the beginning of the day or at night when the sun doesn’t beat down on the wood. It’s dependent on the climate in which you live. isn’t always the case and some staining methods can be applied to damp wood.

A roller, brush or spray is a good option in the application of the stain. The brush is the most effective for deep penetration , but it takes the longest time to apply. Sprayers don’t offer the same amount of penetration, but it is an easier method of application.

After you’ve applied the stain, it’s dry, it’s going to need to be. It is common for you to not see the full impact of the stain for at least a couple of weeks later. When you’re done, make sure that you clean up of the area, giving the appearance of a professional.

Why you should choose the stain for the exterior

There are many reasons for choosing the most effective exterior stains to stain cedar siding is a great idea. One of the most obvious is the fact that it will safeguard the wood and ensure it looks great for long time to become.

Without proper protection, the siding is likely to begin developing issues more quickly.

A top-quality stain is will allow your cedar siding look more attractive than ever. You can choose the color you desire and it’ll be UV-resistant to avoid fade. They don’t usually last for long, but they’re usually easy to apply.

Staining isn’t difficult. The majority of them can be applied with no primer or even the bare minimum of sanding. It is also possible to apply them using a brush or sprayer to speed up the time. In the end, it is perfect sense to apply staining for your wood siding.

  • UV resistance
  • Helps prevent mildew and mold
  • Amazing results
  • Simple to apply
  • Not forever

The most important characteristics of the exterior staining that is suitable for siding made of cedar

There are various kinds of stain you can achieve from clear to solid shade. Therefore, it is important to understand the kind of stain you want before beginning.

Do you want to increase the color of your existing one or create an entirely new look? We’ll take a close look at these kinds of paints to help you decide which one would be the most suitable for you.


When people think of stain, they typically think of changing color just a to say. There are clear stains that can be used in a way similar to sealants. They provide an extra layer of security while preserving the original appearance for your cedar. This is ideal for people who don’t need a color change.


It is important to determine exactly what’s included in the stain that is transparent as certain ones are transparent, while others show a slight shade them. The one thing they all share is that they show that natural grain underneath the wood. This is a great option for those who desire the benefits of staining however with minimal alteration in color.


The Translucent is an even more opaque color, however, you’ll be able to discern the grain beneath. It’s perfect for those who wish to dramatically alter the shade of siding, but still show off the wood underneath. It usually has a greater amount of protection than transparent or clear stain.

Color solid

A solid stain can be described like paint , and will cover the wood , with the grain not being visible. It is ideal for those who would like to completely change the natural hue of cedar. This provides the most security, however it is also the most difficult to work with because it is a bit heavier than other choices.

Water or oil-based

There are stains that appear as either water-based or oil-based. But what’s the difference? Which one should you pick?

The choice is entirely yours, but we discuss the main distinctions.

Water-based stain: This kind stain will be greener and you don’t need the worry of it spilling into the soil or on the plants. It’s also simple to work with since it’s less thick and therefore can be used in conjunction with sprayers.

Oil-based Some prefer oil-based stains because they are more effective at penetrating wood. They are a bit difficult to apply and are products that are not suitable to be used using sprayers. Additionally, they can be dangerous to the environment and therefore, you should be extra cautious.

Area of coverage

It’s not a good idea to get about 90% to staining your sidings to find that you’ve run out of stain. A long time delay could result in your stain not dry evenly , which can lead to outcomes that are from perfect.

The exact amount of stain will differ between stain types. one that follows, but generally speaking one gallon of stain can be used to cover between 200 and 300 square feet. It is best to have an estimate of the area that your siding covers before you start staining it.

It’s also essential to know the number of coats you’re likely to require. A lot of stain types will require only one coat, which is cheaper for your budget. If you’re making a significant change in the color you’ll need more than one coat, and consequently, a greater amount of stain.


The primary reason for using stain is to shield the wood beneath. The amount of protection that you receive is subject to several different elements. Many will also serve as a sealant. It is beneficial to have that two-in-one solution.

The climate in which you’re located will also influence your purchase choice. If you reside in an area that is harsh, you could choose to go with darker color as it will last longer. You will not be having to keep up with your siding.

In general darker stains offer more protection than lighter colors. Because their greater amount of pigments boost UV protection. Some people dislike dark stains, and thus choose to use the lighter shade.


The stain is likely changing the shade of the wood, therefore you must consider which color will best suit your requirements. The majority of stain colors have a color intended to reflect a different kind of wood. This can help make your cedar appear like redwood, for instance.

Cedar comes in several different shades, but it’s usually quite light in shade. It can look stunning in its natural hue and therefore many people prefer just keeping it the way it is. Many will seek an alternative color, and there’s a myriad of choices available.

The Ready Seal stain gives you many choices. Cedar is a light wood , but you can decide to go a bit lighter, and choose an emerald pine or light oak to make your exterior sidings appear more attractive.

There is also in the opposite direction and opt for a darker stain to provide your sidings with a more warm appearance. There are mahogany burning hickory, dark walnut are kinds of stains that give your siding a completely different look.

The choice you make is ultimately entirely up to you. 

It’s important to consider the case where you want to make an extreme change in shade, you might require several coats and be patient with the outcome. This could be more significant when you are transitioning from dark to light , and it’s important to take this into consideration when making the purchase choice.

Useful information

It is important to understand how to apply your stain on your siding made of cedar.

You typically have three options of a sprayer the brush, or a roller. We will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each choice.


This is typically the most convenient and fast technique of use. It’s ideal for large areas that you can quickly cover them. They aren’t precise, which is the reason it’s recommended to use a brush for more delicate regions. Sprayers are not always an option when you have thicker stains that may be difficult to pass through the sprayer.


Brush to be the most precise method and is the best way to get the stain further inside the timber. A brush can also allow you to control precisely the amount of stain you apply without causing any mess. The drawback to using a brush is that it can take most of your time.


Similar to it’s sprayer counterpart, this could be a fast and efficient solution that will offer a little more control. However, it can be somewhat messy, so be mindful. It’s fantastic at providing an even coat. It is able to work with any kind of stain. It’s consequently, a great option when you’re using a more thick solution.

And in conclusion

I hope you have found the best exterior stain for cedar siding for yourself and now you know how to work with it correctly. If you have your own options, write them in the comments and I will add them to the list.

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