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  • Carlton Clark

Painting or Staining Cedar Siding: A Guide to Exterior Home Improvement

Cedar siding is a popular choice for the exterior of homes due to its natural beauty,

durability, and resistance to rot and insects. Homeowners often face the decision of

whether to paint or stain their cedar siding. Both options have their own sets of benefits

and detriments, and ultimately, the choice will depend on the homeowner's priorities and preferences.

In this blog post, we'll explore the pros and cons of painting and staining cedar siding to help you make an informed decision.

Painting Cedar Siding


1. Protection: A high-quality paint job can provide an excellent barrier against

moisture, UV rays, and other environmental factors. This protection can help to

extend the life of your cedar siding.

2. Aesthetic appeal: Painting allows homeowners to choose from a wide range of

colors, making it possible to achieve the desired look for the exterior of their


3. Consistency: Paint provides a uniform finish, which can be ideal for homeowners

who prefer a consistent appearance.


1. Maintenance: Painted cedar siding will require more frequent maintenance than

stained siding. Peeling, cracking, and chipping can occur over time, necessitating


2. Hiding natural beauty: Painting cedar siding covers the wood grain and natural

color variations, potentially diminishing the unique characteristics that make

cedar a desirable choice in the first place.

3. Difficulty in removal: If you decide to switch to staining, removing paint from

cedar siding can be a labor-intensive process.

Staining Cedar Siding


1. Preservation of natural beauty: Staining enhances the natural wood grain and

color variations of cedar siding, allowing its innate beauty to shine through.

2. Penetration: Stains penetrate the wood more deeply than paint, providing better

protection against moisture and other environmental factors.

3. Lower maintenance: Stained cedar siding typically requires less frequent

maintenance than painted siding. The stain will gradually fade over time rather

than peel or crack, making it easier to apply a new coat when needed.


1. Limited color options: Stains are available in a narrower range of colors

compared to paint. This can make it more challenging to achieve a specific look

if you have a particular color scheme in mind.

2. Inconsistency: Staining cedar siding can result in a more varied appearance due

to the natural color differences in the wood. This may not be appealing to

homeowners who prefer a consistent finish.

3. Vulnerability to UV rays: While some stains offer UV protection, they may not be

as effective as paint in shielding your cedar siding from the sun's damaging rays.


Both painting and staining cedar siding have their benefits and detriments. If you

prioritize preserving the natural beauty of cedar and are willing to accept some variation

in appearance, staining may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer

a consistent finish and are willing to perform more frequent maintenance, painting could be the better option.

Ultimately, the decision will come down to your personal preferences and priorities.

Consider factors such as the desired look, maintenance requirements, and long-term

durability when deciding whether to paint or stain your cedar siding. Whichever option

you choose, proper preparation and application are key to achieving a beautiful and

long-lasting finish.

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