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How To Refinish Cedar Siding

Cedar siding gives your home a rustic look, and it commonly lasts a long time, since it resists water and insects. However, you may notice your cedar siding turning gray from age or constant exposure to the elements. Some homeowners like the weathered look, but if you don't, it is possible to restore the natural look of cedar siding without replacing it by following these refinishing tips.

Prepare to Refinish the Siding

To refinish cedar siding, gather:

  • work gloves
  • eye goggles
  • ladder 
  • plastic sheets or tarp
  • bucket 
  • hose or pressure washer with a 40-degree tip
  • mild dish detergent (optional)
  • scraper or putty knife
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • orbital sander 
  • several paint brushes 
  • water-resistant wood preservative 
  • stain-blocking primer
  • wood stain or paint

Plan to work during a two-day dry spell, so materials have time to dry. Lay tarp or plastic over the grass, flower beds, and shrubs. Set a ladder on a sturdy ground to reach high places, using a ladder brace, or get an assistant to hold it for you.

Clean the siding using a pressure water set between 220-230 PSI, holding the wand eight to ten inches from the siding or spray it with a garden hose. Work in a constant motion from top to bottom, then let the siding dry completely. If the siding is very dirty, squeeze several drops of dish soap on it, then rinse.

Sand and Apply Preservative 

Textured siding may not need sanding unless it has some imperfections. If the siding has been stained or painted previously, use a paintbrush to apply a chemical stripper. Let the stripper stand for the suggested time, then use the knife or scraper to remove it.

Attach 220-grit sandpaper to the sander, and remove the finish by working in circular motions following the wood grain. Use the hose to rinse dust, and let the surface dry. The surface should be smooth to the touch with the wood grain showing. Brush a thin layer of preservative on the surface, and let it dry.

Prime and Stain or Paint

Cedar siding may not restore to its original color, so consider a darker stain to hide light spaces. Deep walnut or vibrant cherry adds depth and enhances the natural red and gold. If you choose paint, opt for urethane acrylic house paint. 

Fill a bucket with clean water to rinse brushes as you paint. Apply an even, thin layer of primer, and let it dry. Apply the stain or paint using the brush starting at the top, working in the direction of the wood grain. Let the stain or paint dry, and add a second coat if desired. To learn more, contact a company like Custom Siding & Window Solution.


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