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How To Stain Cedar Wood

How to stain and maintain your cedar deck for years to come

Q: How do you stain cedar wood? I have a cedar deck and don't know where to begin.

A: Staining cedar wood decks is easy - all it takes is a bit of prep and following the right steps.

Cedar wood makes for a beautiful deck surface, but it won’t stay that way if it isn’t protected. Rot, premature aging, and warping can occur from the weather and elements when the boards aren’t sealed. Finishing off your newly installed cedar deck with a sealant or stain will help to prolong the life, beauty, and appeal of the deck for years to come. Here are three simple steps to show you how to stain a cedar wood deck. 

Step 1 - Cleaning The Cedar Wood

If your cedar deck is newly installed, you’ll need to sand the cedar boards prior to staining. The boards go through a planning process at the mill that result in “mill glazing”. This process causes an oily surface on the boards that can hinder the stain from penetrating the wood. If the cedar deck is not a new construction, but an already existing one, you’ll also need to wash the deck before staining it. You can use a hose and a deck brush as well as a liquid deck cleaner. This will remove the dirt and impurities that have built up from the elements over the years. The surface needs to be cleaned and dried before moving forward with staining.

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Step 2 - Picking The Right Day

The most important thing to do before you stain is to pick the right day. Stain needs to be applied on a sunny day, as opposed to a cloudy and muggy day. Take a look at the weather forecast and plan your staining day accordingly. 

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Step 3 - Staining Cedar Wood

You're now ready to begin the third step, the staining. When applying the deck stain, you’ll want to use either a paintbrush or a paint roller. Remember to apply the stain with the grain, instead of against the grain. Lastly, you’ll want to take your paintbrush and fill in any corners, joints, seams, and edges with stain. A paint roller can miss some of these areas, so you’ll need to go back over these areas with a paintbrush to make sure they are fully coated and sealed. 

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Now that you have a better idea of how to stain cedar, you can feel confident in tackling the project yourself. Knowing how to stain a cedar deck ahead of time will take the guesswork out of your project, making it a smoother process for you. Just remember to check your weather forecast and plan for your staining day accordingly. To find the right wood stain for your cedar deck, please click the link below.

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