What Are the Best Exterior Painting Practices for Wood, Especially Cedar?


Quick Answer

Cedar, lends itself best to stain, which preserves the beautiful grain and texture of the wood. Painting is always a viable option, but may require additional work over time.

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Full Answer

Because stain allows wood to breathe, it makes a beautiful and long-lasting treatment for cedar wood. Depending on the style of stain selected, the color and grain of the wood can show through or not, depending on personal preference. If used, paint seals the cedar wood, and over time, shows wear in appearance. The cedar expands and contracts throughout the year, which causes the paint to peel, flake off and generally not look as beautiful as it ages. Since cedar has natural weather resistance, some people choose to let it wear completely naturally, and do not seal the wood at all. As it ages, the wood takes on a unique gray weathered look. In fact, some people use bleaching oil on cedar to give the wood a more aged appearance. Any treatment that is done to cedar wood may need to be refreshed after a few years. This is where stain can be a great advantage, since another coat can be applied right over the existing stain. Paint, on the other hand, must be scraped and sanded before re-treatment.

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