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How Much Does It Cost to Stain Cedar Siding?

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National Siding Staining Costs

$0.27 per sq. ft. Minimum Cost
$0.57 per sq. ft. Maximum Cost

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How Much Does It Cost to Stain Cedar Siding?

When it comes to siding a home, cedar is a popular option. Cedar siding is durable, holds its shape and takes stain well. When properly maintained, cedar siding can look beautiful for decades. To ensure proper maintenance, it's important for homeowners to stain cedar siding at specified intervals, and it helps to know what the process entails as well as the average cost for a DIY job versus the cost of hiring a professional.

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Table of Contents

  1. Staining Cedar Siding Cost
  2. Why Stain Cedar Siding
  3. When To Stain Cedar Siding
  4. Advantages Of Staining Cedar Siding
  5. Disadvantages Of Staining Cedar Siding
  6. Best Stains For Cedar Siding
  7. DIY Or Hire A Pro?
  8. How To Stain Cedar Siding
  9. Find A Pro

Staining Cedar Siding Cost

When hiring a professional to stain cedar siding, homeowners can expect to pay an average of $120 to $150 per 100 square feet. This price includes the costs for stain, necessary additional materials and labor. DIY costs for staining cedar siding include the cost for the stain and additional materials. With a DIY project, it is also important to anticipate the fact that the job involves significant labor.

Materials needed to stain cedar siding include masking tape, surface repair supplies, solvents and other products for cleanup. Labor includes planning for the job, acquiring materials and equipment, setup, preparation of the area, removal of loose finish, possible light scraping, the application of stain and the cleanup. Here are the average costs for a DIY project and the average time required for labor.

  • Stain: About $27 per 100 square feet
  • Additional Materials: About $20 per 100 square feet
  • Labor: Three to four hours per 100 square feet

Why Stain Cedar Siding

Why Stain Cedar Siding

If cedar planks, shingles or shakes are left untreated, the wood fades over time. Although some people enjoy this weathered look, the chances of wood rotting rises after just a few years. Staining helps keep wood protected and looking beautiful. Those who want a more rustic appearance often lean toward a transparent or semi-transparent stain, while those who prefer a more formal look frequently choose an opaque stain.

When To Stain Cedar Siding

Bare cedar requires immediate staining. When properly applied, cedar stain should last for five to seven years or longer if weather conditions are mild. The service life of a stain also varies depending on the quality of the stain and the texture of the siding.

Advantages Of Staining Cedar Siding

Stain offers homeowners a number of advantages over paint for cedar siding. Transparent or semi-transparent stain brings out the natural look of the wood, and stain breathes better than paint. Because it does not require scraping or priming, staining requires less work than painting.

Disadvantages Of Staining Cedar Siding

Stain for cedar siding also comes with a few disadvantages. Because the barrier is thinner than paint, stain might not offer as much protection and therefore demand more frequent application. Like paint, water-based semi-transparent and opaque stains can crack, peel and leave a film behind.

Advantages Of Staining Cedar Siding

Best Stains For Cedar Siding

Choose a cedar siding stain based on your specific needs. For instance, homes in a damp climate need a stain that is moisture-resistant and seals well. Homes in warm environments that receive a lot of sunlight should choose a non-fading stain. When it comes to the best protection, high-quality stains are worth the extra money. They protect the wood for longer than less-expensive stains.

Transparent Stains

Homeowners can choose transparent stains, semi-transparent stains or opaque stains. Because they contain few pigments of color, transparent stains do not change the appearance of cedar siding. Transparent stains come in a water base or oil base, both of which provide limited protection from heat, ultraviolet light and moisture. These products require re-application every couple of years, but surfaces require little preparation.

Semi-Transparent Stains

Oil-based semi-transparent stains penetrate wood and do not leave a film-like texture. They contain pigments, which provide a little color and protect the surface of the wood from ultraviolet rays. Similar in appearance to oil-based stains, latex semi-transparent stains offer little penetration, and they leave a film on the wood's surface, which can flake over time. Re-staining with this product may require more preparation than re-staining with an oil-based stain.

Opaque Stains

Opaque stains look like paint but offer fewer volume solids. They protect cedar against sunlight and moisture and are available in a variety of colors. Although opaque stains bring out some of the natural color and texture of cedar, they do not penetrate wood. Like paint, they leave a film on the wood's surface.

Best Stains For Cedar Siding

DIY Or Hire A Pro?

Cedar siding comes in a variety of different patterns and styles. These include:

Each style offers a distinct appearance and presents different considerations for staining. Although hiring a professional almost always ensures a high-quality, attractive appearance, some homeowners prefer to take on the job themselves. It’s important to note that some types of cedar siding, such as board and batten or beveled siding, are much easier to stain than other types of cedar siding, such as shingle and shake siding.

How To Stain Cedar Siding

Staining cedar siding is a big job, but a DIY project can save money on professional labor. Homeowners who choose to attempt it on their own should perform these general steps:

  1. Make sure surfaces are free of dust, dirt and paint.
  2. Caulk around any windows and doors if needed.
  3. Spread drop cloths around the perimeter of the home to protect the foundation, patios, decks, walkways, plants and shrubs.
  4. Give stain a thorough stirring before applying and stir frequently throughout the project.
  5. Use a synthetic-bristle brush for water-based stains and a natural-bristle brush for oil-based products.
  6. Check the color by applying stain to an inconspicuous area.
  7. To apply stain, brush it on evenly and smoothly in the direction of the grain.
  8. Stain lapped siding from the top row to the bottom, going from left to right.
  9. For horizontal siding, stain three to five rows at a time, from top to bottom all the way across the side. Repeat until one side is complete and start on another.
  10. For vertical siding, stain three to five boards at a time from top to bottom.
  11. For water-based stain, use soap and water to clean tools. For oil-based stain, use solvent to clean tools.

To see it all in action, please watch the video below.

Find A Pro

Cedar offers a durable and attractive alternative for home siding, but it is important to maintain it to keep the siding looking beautiful. Staining can offer years of protection to cedar siding and improve its appearance. If you’re ready to update the look of your cedar siding, then use our lead generator to find a siding contractor who can estimate the job.

Get free estimates from local siding staining contractors

Last updated on Nov 8, 2018

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