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How to Stain Cedar Shiplap: Step-by-Step Guide



Cedar is an excellent choice when it comes to exterior siding for many reasons, like how long cedar siding lasts. Even still, some homeowners may worry that the natural beauty of the wood means that cedar siding is hard to maintain and if cedar siding needs to be treated.


The good news is that staining cedar shiplap siding is a great way to preserve the natural essence of the material and keep the elements out. Continue reading through this guide as we walk you through staining shiplap step by step, and provide you with some other tips for how to care for cedar siding.


What Exactly is Cedar Shiplap?

First, let’s cover what cedar shiplap is. It’s a specific type of cedar siding where the boards have grooves cut into them during production so they can overlap slightly when applied. This creates a solid seal and contributes to the fact that cedar siding is a good insulator.


Shiplap is a common type of siding utilized on home exteriors, and the history of the building style dates back to how they would build ships in ancient northern Europe. So, it’s a time-tested approach known for its strength and durability.


Is Staining Shiplap Cedar Worth It?

Many people may consider staining shiplap cedar siding, though is this recommended?


In fact, many experts will recommend staining cedar shiplap siding in order to provide an extra seal to the material and help keep out any wind, moisture, and rain.


Given that cedar is a natural material, unlike vinyl siding options, some people may leave the siding to weather naturally and change color throughout the years. However, this leads to a silvery grey color, so it is a popular option to regularly stain the cedar to preserve its natural red coloration of it and keep the elements out. Additionally, staining cedar helps maintain the integrity of the wood and is a strong option for siding.


Plus, given the natural properties of cedar that it lacks pitch and resin, there are many different staining options that will work well with this type of lumber. So, homeowners can choose from a number of different shades in order to find the style that suits their home best.


How to Stain Cedar Shiplap: Step-by-Step Instructions

If you’re interested in staining shiplap, we’ll now provide you with the exact steps you need to do it properly. Similar to painting cedar siding, there is some preparation involved to ensure a successful stain job, so let’s walk through each of the steps.


Select the Right Stain

There are a number of different stains you can choose from to use on your cedar shiplap siding. Some of the most common options include natural, semi-transparent, and colored or opaque stains.


Your decision between these options may come down to whether you want to maintain some of the natural look of the cedar, which would make the natural or transparent stain the best choice. On the other hand, if you have a certain shade in mind that you want your home to have or you want to add a pop of color, you can select


It’s good to note that a transparent stain won’t add any pigment to the boards, but it often has water-repellent properties that slow the aging process and showcase the natural appearance of the wood.


Prep Your Siding

After you’ve selected your preferred stain, you’ll need to prep the shiplap siding in order to get it ready for the staining process. If you skip this step, the stain may not adhere to the boards properly and could peel off easily. So, you’ll want to wash down the siding with soapy water to cut down on the grime, dirt, and mildew buildup that is common on cedar.


Once you’ve washed it down thoroughly, you’ll want to let the wood dry fully before you start to stain.


Apply the Stain

With all the prep work out of the way, it’s time to actually start staining your shiplap cedar siding. One of the most important tips is to use a thick brush with natural bristles as opposed to a roller brush for the best results. This will help evenly distribute the stain and deeply apply it to the grains and irregularities of the cedar wood.


If possible, it’s recommended to apply the stain while in the shade, which will help it penetrate deeper into the surface of the wood for longer-lasting results.


So, apply the stain in an even coat across each of the boards, and wait until it dries to make any further applications.


Add a Second Coat

After the first coat has fully dried, you’ll likely want to apply a second coat. The first coat may take a few hours up to a day to dry, so don’t rush the second coat. Above all, the second coat will help you achieve the look you’re after, and seal the wood even better than the first coat alone.


Once you’ve applied the second coat, you’re fully done staining your cedar shiplap siding!


Other Tips for Maintaining the Natural Beauty of Your Cedar Shiplap

Besides staining your cedar shiplap, there are a few other things you can do to preserve its natural beauty.


Regularly Clean Your Siding

Another thing that can help maintain your cedar shiplap siding is to clean it on a regular basis. Cedar is naturally stunning and durable, however, it does have a tendency to accumulate mold, mildew, and dirt buildup when exposed to the elements.


So, regularly power washing your cedar shiplap siding on a low-pressure setting with soapy water is a good practice to take. Make sure you don’t use a high-pressure power washer, which could cause damage to the delicate cedar wood.


Re-Stain on a Regular Basis

Even with a good stain job, it will naturally wear away in a few years. So, you’ll want to get into a regular routine of reapplying the stain every three to five years. Again, this will help slow down the natural aging process of cedar and help maintain the proper shade you want for your home.


Keep Moisture Away

As we mentioned, cedar shiplap siding does have a tendency for mold and mildew buildup. Because of this, you’ll want to keep moisture away from the siding as much as you can, other than what’s normal from rain and precipitation.


This includes making sure all gutters and downspouts properly route any rainfall away from the siding. In doing so, you’ll keep the siding looking as fresh for as long as possible, and won’t cause you to reapply stain as quickly.


Looking for Fresh Shiplap Siding?

Lastly, it’s only natural that your cedar shiplap siding will wear out after a certain number of years. Even when you properly take care of the siding and regularly stain and treat it, cedar siding has a certain lifespan–even up to 30 years in some cases!


But when it comes time, you’ll need to find the right cedar shiplap siding to replace your existing and worn-out exterior for a refreshed look.


At G&B, you’ll find exactly what you need. With high-quality cedar shiplap, we have a perfect choice for any home and style. Even if you’re not after a shiplap style, we offer plenty of other types of exterior cedar siding as well to fit your preferences.


Final Thoughts on How to Stain Cedar Shiplap

After reading through this guide, you’ve learned how to stain cedar shiplap, and why it can be so crucial to the long-term health of your siding,


So whether you’re looking for new cedar shiplap or have any other need for cedar lumber in your home, consider G&B, Ontario’s top western red cedar lumber suppliers. We even offer high-quality wholesale cedar lumber for our customers who have large quantity needs.


Our cedar posts & boards are of the highest grade. We even grade our products by hand to ensure the highest quality for customers. That includes all our collections–not just shiplap–like cedar decking boards, cedar fence boards, cedar planks for sauna, and more. For excellent cedar lumber, shop G&B today.

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