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Top 5 Best Stain For Cedar 2024

Cedar is a popular wood choice for outdoor furniture, decks, and fences due to its durability and natural resistance to rot and insects. However, exposure to the elements can cause cedar to fade and lose its natural beauty over time. This is where a high-quality stain comes in.

Staining cedar not only enhances its natural beauty but also helps protect it from the elements. A good stain can prevent water damage, sun damage, and mildew growth, while also preserving the wood’s natural color and grain.

When looking for the best stain for cedar, there are a few critical factors to consider. The first is the type of stain. There are two main types of stains: oil-based and water-based. Oil-based stains penetrate deeper into the wood and provide better protection, but they can also be more difficult to clean up and may emit more fumes. Water-based stains are easier to clean up and have fewer fumes, but they may not provide as much protection or last as long.

Another important factor to consider is the color of the stain. Cedar has a natural reddish-brown color, and many stains are designed to enhance or mimic this color. However, there are also many other colors available, from light natural tones to darker browns and grays.

Ultimately, the best stain for cedar will depend on your specific needs and preferences. In the next section, we will review some of the top stains on the market and provide recommendations based on our research and testing.

Best Stains for Cedar

We’ve researched and tested various stains for cedar to bring you the best options available on Amazon. Whether you’re looking to enhance the natural beauty of your cedar deck or protect your cedar siding from the elements, we’ve got you covered. Our roundup includes stains that offer excellent UV protection, water repellency, and durability. Check out our top picks below and find the perfect stain for your cedar project.

Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Stain and Sealer

Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Stain and Sealer

If you’re looking for a high-quality stain for your cedar wood projects, Ready Seal 512 is an excellent choice. Our experience with this product has been fantastic, and we highly recommend it.

Pros

  • Requires no primer.
  • May be applied using sprayer, roller or brush.
  • Easy maintenance – no sanding or stripping required for re-application.

Cons

  • Subject to or will include a PaintCare recycling fee in some states.
  • Should not be applied over painted or newly stained surfaces.
  • May take up to 14 days to reach true color.

We found that Ready Seal 512 is effortless to apply and provides excellent coverage. It penetrates the wood deeply, protecting it from the elements such as mold, mildew, and UV rays. We appreciated that it is an oil-based, semi-transparent stain and sealer in one, which allowed the texture and grain of the wood to remain visible.

One of the standout features of this product is that it requires no back brushing and will never leave runs, laps, or streaks. It also blends itself, so there’s no need for wet-line application, and it can be applied in any temperature range for proper application. We found that it required no diluting or thinning prior to spray applications, making it a breeze to use.

Overall, if you’re looking for a high-quality stain and sealer for your cedar wood projects, Ready Seal 512 is an excellent choice. It’s easy to apply, provides excellent coverage, and protects your wood from the elements.

DEFY Extreme Cedar Tone Stain

DEFY Extreme Cedar Tone Stain

If you’re looking for a high-quality stain for your cedar wood, DEFY Extreme Cedar Tone Stain is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The water-based semi-transparent stain allows the natural wood grain to show through, resulting in a beautiful matte finish.
  • Fortified with zinc nano-particle technology, the stain acts like a sunscreen for your wood, preventing premature graying and color loss.
  • Made with high-quality resins, DEFY Extreme stains are durable and resistant to fading and darkening.

Cons

  • Some users have reported difficulty with the application process, noting that the stain can be thick and difficult to spread evenly.
  • The stain may require multiple coats for optimal coverage and protection.
  • While VOC compliant in most areas, this product is not compliant in California.

In our experience, DEFY Extreme Cedar Tone Stain is a great choice for those looking to protect and enhance the natural beauty of their cedar wood. The stain is easy to maintain with a single maintenance coat, and the zinc nano-particle technology ensures long-lasting protection against UV rays.

When applying the stain, we recommend taking your time to ensure even coverage and using multiple coats if necessary. While the application process can be a bit tricky, the end result is well worth the effort.

Overall, we highly recommend DEFY Extreme Cedar Tone Stain for anyone looking to protect and enhance their cedar wood surfaces.

KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain, Exterior, Semi-Transparent, Cedar, 1 Gallon Cedar Semi-Transparent

KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain, Exterior, Semi-Transparent, Cedar, 1 Gallon Cedar Semi-Transparent

If you’re looking for a long-lasting and durable stain for your cedar wood, KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain is a great option.

Pros

  • Offers long-lasting UV protection and waterproofing
  • 100% Acrylic formula protects wood from rain, snow, and sun damage
  • Covers up to 500-600 square feet with the second coat

Cons

  • Can take up to 72 hours to fully cure
  • May require multiple coats for optimal coverage
  • Semi-transparent finish may not be ideal for those looking for a more opaque finish

We recently tried out KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain on our cedar deck and were impressed with the results. The stain provided excellent coverage and protection against the elements, and the semi-transparent finish allowed the natural beauty of the wood to shine through.

One thing to note is that the stain did take a bit longer than expected to fully cure – it was about 72 hours before we were able to wash the deck without worrying about damaging the finish. However, once fully cured, the finish has held up well against rain and other weather conditions.

Overall, we would definitely recommend KILZ Waterproofing Wood Stain for anyone looking for a high-quality, long-lasting stain for their cedar wood.

Old Masters 24982, 1 Quart, Cedar 1 Quart Cedar

Old Masters 24982, 1 Quart, Cedar 1 Quart Cedar

If you are looking for a stain for cedar, Old Masters 24982 Gel Stain in Cedar is a great option.

Pros

  • This product is easy to work with and gives you more control and time to coat and wipe off.
  • The gel stain is very thick and easy to apply.
  • The color match to your project is perfect.

Cons

  • The product may not give you the exact color you expected.
  • The product may require some work to achieve the desired look.
  • The product may not be in stock at major box retailers.

We recently used Old Masters 24982 Gel Stain in Cedar on a cedar fence, and we were impressed with the results. The gel stain is thick and easy to apply, giving us more control and time to coat and wipe off. The color match to our project was perfect, and it gave the cedar fence a beautiful finish.

One thing to note is that the product may not give you the exact color you expected. In some cases, it may require some work to achieve the desired look. Additionally, the product may not be in stock at major box retailers, so it may be necessary to purchase it online.

Overall, we highly recommend Old Masters 24982 Gel Stain in Cedar for anyone looking for a quality stain for cedar. The product is easy to work with, gives you more control and time to coat and wipe off, and the color match to your project is perfect.

Thompson’s WaterSeal Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain and Sealer, Natural Cedar, 1 Gallon

Thompson’s WaterSeal Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain and Sealer, Natural Cedar, 1 Gallon

If you’re looking for a waterproofing stain that will maintain the beauty of your outdoor projects, Thompson’s WaterSeal Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain is a great option. With its advanced polymers, it provides a fade-resistant color that stays looking great year-round. It’s also easy to apply, so you can refinish your existing back deck or put the finishing touches on a new fence with confidence.

Pros

  • Provides a solid, boldly colored finish that will hide the wood grain, but still let the wood texture show
  • Prevents water damage and resists UV damage
  • Can be applied to damp or dry wood

Cons

  • The natural cedar color is more orange than the description shows
  • The finish is solid and hides the wood grain
  • The coating may peel over time

We recently used Thompson’s WaterSeal Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain on our back deck, and we were impressed with the results. The stain went on smoothly and evenly, and it dried quickly. The color was rich and vibrant, and it did a great job of hiding the imperfections in the wood. We also appreciated how easy it was to clean up after applying the stain.

One thing to keep in mind is that the finish is solid and hides the wood grain. If you’re looking for a more natural look, this may not be the best option for you. Additionally, the natural cedar color is more orange than the description shows, so be aware of that if you’re looking for a specific shade.

Overall, we highly recommend Thompson’s WaterSeal Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain for anyone looking for a high-quality waterproofing stain that will maintain the beauty of their outdoor projects. It’s easy to apply, provides a solid, boldly colored finish, and offers great protection against water and UV damage.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best stain for cedar, there are a few key features to consider. Here are some factors that we recommend taking into account before making your purchase:

Transparency

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a cedar stain is transparency. Do you want a clear, natural finish that allows the wood grain to show through, or are you looking for a more opaque finish that will provide more coverage? Keep in mind that a clear stain will require more frequent reapplication than an opaque one.

Color

Cedar stains come in a variety of colors, from natural wood tones to darker shades like mahogany or walnut. Consider the color of your cedar and the surrounding environment when choosing a stain color. A darker stain may be more appropriate for a rustic cabin in the woods, while a lighter stain may be better suited for a beach house.

UV Protection

Cedar is a naturally durable wood, but it can still be damaged by the sun’s UV rays over time. Look for a cedar stain that offers UV protection to help prevent fading and discoloration.

Water Resistance

Cedar is also susceptible to water damage, so it’s important to choose a stain that offers water resistance. This is especially important if your cedar will be exposed to the elements, such as on a deck or fence.

Application Method

Finally, consider the application method of the cedar stain. Some stains are designed to be sprayed on, while others are brushed or rolled on. Make sure you choose a stain that is compatible with your preferred application method.

By taking these factors into account, you can choose the best stain for your cedar that will protect and enhance its natural beauty for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of stain provides the longest-lasting protection for cedar decks?

When it comes to cedar decks, we recommend using a semi-transparent oil-based stain. This type of stain penetrates deep into the wood, providing excellent protection against moisture and UV rays. It also allows the natural beauty of the cedar to show through, while still providing a rich color that complements the wood’s natural tones.

Which stain is recommended for preserving the natural look of cedar interiors?

For cedar interiors, we recommend using a clear or transparent water-based stain. This type of stain will protect the wood while maintaining its natural appearance. It is also easy to apply and dries quickly, making it a great choice for interior projects.

How does oil-based stain compare to water-based stain for cedar fences?

Both oil-based and water-based stains can be used on cedar fences. However, oil-based stains tend to provide longer-lasting protection against moisture and UV rays. Water-based stains, on the other hand, are easier to clean up and are less likely to fade over time. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

What are the best practices for applying stain to cedar tongue and groove paneling?

When applying stain to cedar tongue and groove paneling, it is important to work in small sections and apply the stain evenly with a brush or roller. Make sure to remove any excess stain with a clean cloth, and allow the stain to dry completely before applying a second coat. It is also important to work in a well-ventilated area and to wear protective clothing and gloves.

Can clear stain effectively protect cedar wood while maintaining its original appearance?

Yes, clear stain can effectively protect cedar wood while maintaining its original appearance. Clear stain penetrates deep into the wood, providing protection against moisture and UV rays without altering the wood’s natural color or texture.

Is it more beneficial to use paint or a solid stain to maintain cedar siding?

While both paint and solid stain can be used to maintain cedar siding, we recommend using a solid stain. Solid stain provides better protection against moisture and UV rays, and it also allows the natural beauty of the cedar to show through. Additionally, solid stain tends to last longer than paint and is easier to maintain over time.

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