A Lighter Stain for Cedar Siding

July 31st 2008
A Lighter Stain for Cedar Siding

Try exterior wood stripper on a nice, dry day

Q: My cedar siding has been stained with a dark oil-based stain and now I would like to stain the siding a lighter more natural colour.

A: The wood siding, whether it is cedar, fir or spruce, can be given a more natural wood tone once you strip the old finish off. To begin, select a weekend when the weather forecast calls for no rain.

Apply an exterior wood stripper such as the Flood Paint Company's Wood Stripper, usually available at Cloverdale Paint Stores. Cover any areas you will not be treating or stripping, such as plants and trim work. Apply a uniform coat of stain strip with a pure bristle brush, roller or garden sprayer.

Start at the bottom working to the top of horizontal siding. Keeping the surface wet, allow solution to stand for 10-15 minutes. Check if the old finish is beginning to soften or dissolve from the surface. When the dirt and old finish begins to lift from the wood, scrub with a stiff bristle brush. Do not use a wire brush. Rinse surface and adjacent areas using highest pressure from a hose or pressure wash between 500-1000 psi.

Allow to dry for two or three warm, dry days before finishing with an exterior finish. Stain strippers may darken the cedar so if this occurs use an exterior wood brightening product to bring back the lighter finish.

Another option is to consider a solid colour stain to eliminate the reason to strip the existing finish off. Acrylic Latex Solid colour stains are available in lighter shades that are user friendly.