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How To Choose Natural Cedar Stain

Consider choosing a transparent or semitransparent stain to maintain your cedar project’s natural, beautiful look. These non-pigmented products allow the wood’s colors to shine and feature a mildewcide to prevent mildew and fungus growth.

Ready Seal natural cedar stain is a water-based product that adds color and protection to your cedar surface. It features a mildew-resistant formula and is primarily intended for outdoor use.

The Color

Cedarwood can look beautiful on decks, fences, and siding but can also fade, become gray, and lose its natural color over time. Staining your cedar helps prevent this by protecting it from the elements.

A transparent stain adds minimal color to the wood, making the grain patterns and texture visible. It also protects the surface from sun damage and mildew.

Semitransparent stains are tinted with pigment or other colors but still allow the grain to show through, offering more subtlety than clear stains. They help rejuvenate a cedar surface and offer protection while hiding blemishes, mismatched grain, knots, and other defects.

Solid stains offer the boldest color and the highest level of protection. They hide the grain and blemishes but can be applied to smooth or textured wood surfaces. They are often oil-based but are more durable than water-based stains and last two to three years. They also offer the best color stability and do not need to be reapplied as frequently as other stains.

The Grain

The grain of natural cedar is distinctive and attractive. However, it can also be prone to flaking and absorbing moisture, which causes damage. Choosing the right natural cedar stain will help protect the cedar and ensure it looks good for as long as possible.

Opaque stains protect Cedarwood from water, UV light, mildew, and more while hiding its grain, knots, and blemishes. They also visually blend repaired boards and other surface imperfections to create a uniform look.

Film-forming stains coat the surface of the wood and stop water from penetrating its cellular structure, protecting it from the elements. They are typically easy to apply but require careful brushing to avoid blotting.

For a more natural appearance, choose a semitransparent stain that has few solid particles and is tinted with a bit of color. If you want a fully weathered look, try a low-VOC oil-based stain. It will take longer to dry than a water-based stain but will last two to three years.

The Finish

Depending on how much protection you need, several types of stains exist. Whether you have cedar decks, fences, siding, or furniture, choosing the right stain for them will help preserve their beauty and protect them from the elements.

For instance, a solid-color stain can shield WRC from damage caused by UV rays and water. It should be applied over a stain-blocking primer in alkyd and water-based formulations.

Film-forming stains can hide blemishes and mismatched grain, but they tend to last less long than penetrating stains. They also require more frequent reapplication.

The Environment

Cedar holds up well in the elements but can show signs of wear over time. A natural cedar stain is the best option to keep your cedar deck, fence, siding, or furniture looking great.

Film-forming stains create a surface that covers wood, protecting it by keeping water from passing through. They are good at hiding blemishes and mismatched grain, but they won’t last as long as penetrating stains.

Penetrating stains soak into the grain of wood like cedar to strengthen and rejuvenate it, preventing damage from rain, snow, and sunlight. They are the best choice for protecting cedar surfaces against fading and graying, and they’ll last longer than paints or solid-color stains. Products have a mildew-resistant recipe and UV-protecting particles to help keep your cedar from turning gray over time. Another option is Ready Seal, which comes in five colors that include a shade meant to bring out the beauty of natural cedar and has an oil-based formula that won’t dry out quickly.