6 Best Exterior Stain for Cedar Siding Reviews

If you’re working with Cedar, let us tell you, you have some exquisite taste! Sidings require a wooden panel that can do its job right, and time and time again, Cedarwood has proved itself up for the task.

The wood is a blend of an excellent durability level paired with an elegant look that creates a final workpiece that people are sure to appreciate.

However, just like any other wooden panel, Cedarwood is no match for the devastating effects of mold and mildew. The best exterior stain for cedar siding should be able to do the trick against issues like mold and mildew. These compounds will work into the wood, creating a seal that protects your wooden siding.

Thus this compound is something we certainly believe you should have a look into.

6 Best Exterior Stain for Cedar Siding

With a market that includes an endless sea of brands claiming to be the best, it might get a bit overwhelming figuring out which one will work. That is where we come in; we’ve shortened down the list of compounds you can choose from so that you don’t have to waste time and money trying to find your best fit.

1. DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain

DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain

The thing about Cedarwood is, it’s so beautiful people hate having to stain it as they feel the wood would lose its elegant shine. However, with DEFY, you can easily eliminate this problem.

DEFY’s Semi-transparent wood stain provides the solution for keeping your wooden sidings safe and protected while also letting their natural look shine. You may already know that staining decks with semi-opaque stains brings out the best results.

This water-based compound that the wood stain is made from provides an exceptionally tough layer of protection. Thus, keeping the wooden board fresh and shining for long periods.

Even if the panels are directly under the effects of sunlight, you have nothing to worry about. This confidence we can provide due to the Zinc-Nano Technology in the formula.

Zinc-Nano technology creates a reflective layer on the stained surfaces. The stained body blocks out most or all of the UV rays acting on the panel, preventing the wooden boards from drying or greying out.

Furthermore, with the various stain colors, you’ll be able to get a shade on the wood that matches your needs, while also one that rarely drys out.

Once you do notice signs of drying out, you can apply the stain again. Plus, with the added simplicity of using the stain, you no longer have to worry about the massive hired help bill.

Another plus point is the reasonable VOC levels maintained under the compliance rating. Thus, meaning you won’t have to vacate the house while applying the stain.


  • Zinc-Nano Technology for UV protection
  • Keeps the wooden board looking fresh and new
  • Compounds come in various shades
  • Semi-transparent, stain doesn’t completely block out exquisite wooden design
  • VOC level maintained inside safe levels 


  • Quite an expensive compound
  • Doesn’t provide a lifetime solution

2. Ready Seal 512 Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood

Ready Seal 512 Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood

The problem with working with stains is essentially the amount of skill that is required to get it right. Years of experience go into figuring out the perfect amount and technique that create the ideal result. However, you don’t have to worry about your experience when using Ready Seal 512.

This simple to use wooden stain gets the job done in minutes while also doing a brilliant job. The Ready-Seal can be applied to any wooden board with the need for professional equipment; you can simply spray it on, use a roller, or even a brush. Now, if need help finding a quality brush, click here!

Plus, the staining compound has been designed not to leave runs, laps, or streaks, so how you apply it clearly shouldn’t be an issue.

But it’s not just simplicity; the compound also works splendidly when it comes to blocking UV rays. The stain forms a protective and reflective layer, keeping the wood fresh and looking young for a long.

Furthermore, the compound also protects from mildew and mold formation, giving the wood high durability and longevity. Therefore, this is a perfect wood stain for outdoor furniture.

Moreover, the product comes readily available in multiple stain types. The darkness/depth of the compound should change the outlook of even cheaper wood types.

Although the product is simple to apply, the wait on the drying time is high, around 48-72hrs. Thus, make sure you’re not starting on the job at the last minute of an important event.


  • Very simple and quick to apply
  • Comes with multiple types of stain colors
  • Compound doesn’t require any unnecessary preparation
  • Protects from the sun and mildew
  • Can be applied using most techniques and equipment 


  • Compound will require quite some time to dry
  • Stains real colors will only be visible after 14 days

3. THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.041851-16 Transparent Waterproofing Stain, Woodland Cedar

THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.041851-16 Transparent Waterproofing Stain

It’s not cheap staining woodwork or the wooden siding of your home. Covering the entire house might end up making quite the impact on your wallet in just material costs.

However, Thompsons have come into the market with their high-quality WaterSeal staining product that will effectively save your finance from taking a major hit.

Thompson provides affordable staining and makes sure that you get the most natural look possible. These transparent stains allow the wooden grains to show through the stain, giving you a more rustic natural look. Plus, the additional variations in color that the stain comes in should allow you to match the stain to your home look.

However, from this stainer/sealer, color is not the primary concern; instead, it has focused on protecting the wooden surface.  The stains consist of a water-based formula with a multitude of polymers included in the formula. These compounds help ensure that the stain offers a waterproofing solution for your wooden surface.

A waterproof wooden sliding can protect itself from the devastating effects of mildew and mold. Thus, you are also getting a big boost in the durability of the woodwork as well. Additionally, the simple application procedure should explain why you should choose this stain over others!


  • Highly affordable product
  • Quick and straightforward to apply
  • Available in a wide range of color variants
  • Transparent stain keeps the woodworks natural look
  • Waterproofs the woodworks and protects from mold and mildew


  • Not the most premium looking colors
  • Will require some preparation before application

4. Olympic Stain Maximum Deck Stain, Cedar, 1-Gallon

Olympic Stain Maximum Deck Stain, Cedar, 1-Gallon

Another fantastic product you can purchase for your staining needs is a relatively well-known brand Olympic. With over eighty years of experience in this business line, the company has quite the handle on Staining + Sealer based products. One of their products, the Maximum, really stands out as an all-in-one loaded product.

Protection is one of the more prominent features that you get with this compound. The weather-ready stain+sealer application is capable of handling intense levels of rains, snow, and heat. Since the cedar sealer uses a water-based compound, it can create a protective layer of sealant around the wooden surface.

This protective layer creates a wooden surface that is waterproof and can also reflect intense UV rays. With such high protection rates, the wooden boards can last quite some time without the need for another coat. Olympic’s Maximum mentions that your decks should be able to last around 6 years without needing another application.

Since these stains are semi-transparent, they further allow the wooden boards’ natural looks to shine out to some extent. However, the stainer comes with various color bases that you can apply to your deck boards. These should thus allow you to cover up the deck with a shade that precisely matches your needs.


  • Creates a tough protective layer
  • Semi-transparent coating for a more natural look
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Improved longevity of the wooden surface
  • Ensures Weather Proofing 


  • Thick compounds cover a smaller area
  • A bit tough to work with

5. Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain for Decks, Fences, Wood Siding:

Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain for Decks, Fences, Wood Siding

If you’re looking for a simple to work with wood-stain that doesn’t break the bank, then Restore-A-Deck is an excellent option to consider. Using a simple three-step process; Clean/Strip, Brighten, and Stain, almost anyone can apply the compound onto a deck or fence boards.

Moreover, this strain can turn this 2-3 day task into a simple 1-day task. Thus, it perfectly fits into the requirements of those looking to complete a house chore during the weekend. Restore-A-Deck creates their water-based staining compounds with relatively quick drying times, thus making such 1-day projects a possibility.

Other than the product’s ease of use, the staining compound is also capable of providing a decent amount of protection to your wooden boards. The Semi-transparent compound; moves into the wooden surface’s grains, filling in gaps and creating a smooth finishing.

Additionally, the coating also provides a layer of UV protection to keep the wooden board from oxidizing and turning grey.

Like all others, the wood stain from Restore-A-Deck also comes with a list of color varieties you can choose from. Thus, allowing you to give your deck or fence a look that you want or one that matches the rest of your house.

Plus, the added easy clean formula makes sure these beautiful colors can stay as is, giving them the capability to handle accidental spills.


  • Affordable and a good value for money
  • Comes in various staining colors
  • Easy to clean surface
  • Create a UV block to keep the wood fresh
  • Simple and very quick to use 


  • Compound Does not provide many other forms of protection
  • Not the most premium looking stain colors

6. KILZ L832211 Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain, Semi-Transparent

KILZ L832211 Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain, Semi-Transparent

If you’re looking for a reliant all-in-one product that does what it says, then the KILZ L832211 is one to look out for. Since this product comes from one of the largest paint based manufacturers with 40 years of experience, you can relax about the wood sidings at your home, as this product will have you covered.

The acrylic-base of the wood stain provides one of the most vibrant colors on the market. This acrylic base is also responsible for keeping the wooden surface safe and protected. A vibrant outer shell creates a glossy and reflective covering for the wooden sidings, making the effects of high heat UV rays null out.

But that’s not all; the acrylic base is also responsible for developing a waterproof surface for the wooden sidings. Thus, enabling the wood to prevent itself from being affected by the effects of mold and mildew.

However, you do not have to worry about the vibrant colors completely diming out the natural wooden finish; the semi-transparent properties take care of that.

Although this product comes brilliant as an all-in-one brand, giving you the best of all, combined in one, the product still is a bit lacking. One of the more tiresome things about the compound is its requirement of having the woodworks prepped.

This factor really adds to the time needed to get the job done, making it a relatively long process.


  • All-in-one product with all necessary staining qualities
  • Affordable brand
  • Reliable work and high-quality stain colors
  • Semi-transparent stain keeps the natural look alive
  • Immense protective capabilities


  • Takes quite a bit of time to apply
  • Can only cover 250sq feet in a gallon

What to Look for Before you Buy?

While getting the best exterior stain for your cedar siding is essential, it is also important to understand which one will work best. For that reason, we’ve written down this brief buying guide that should help you make the right decisions. And, yes, some of these factors also come into play while choosing indoor wood stains as well.


One of the most significant factors that should pop into mind when applying a coat of stain on your Cedar-wood boards is how the stain will affect the board’s look. Cedarwood is an exquisite and delicate looking piece that just beautifully blends any house as a part of nature itself.

However, staining usually ends up covering up the wooden board’s beauty with artificial color. These problems have very simple solutions, and these solutions come with the wood-staining compound itself, which is transparency.

Exterior Stain for Cedar Siding

You can readily purchase wood-stains that are completely clear, semi-transparent, semi-solid, or solid.

The level of the stain you purchase determines the level of grains that remain visible through it.

With clear stains, you have the natural look of the wooden-pieces wholly preserved. In contrast, with the solid ones, the color of the wooden board is utterly altered. So, the best one for you will be dependent entirely on your wants from the stain.


Another factor to check out before purchasing a stain is the level of protection it can offer your wooden work. You need to check out this factor if you’re living in extremely unpredictable weather conditions or ones that face extreme heat or heavy rains. Doesn't matter whether you're buying deck stains for aged wood, the stain needs to be weather-proof as well. 

  • Hot Climates

For hot climates with intense heat and direct sunlight, make sure the stains come with a UV reflecting compound mixed into them. These compounds will keep your wooden siding from drying and greying out in the intense sunlight.

Exterior Stain for Cedar Siding

Such a situation would completely ruin the outlook of the wooden boards while also making them less durable.

  • Rainy Climate

If you’re tackling rains, we would suggest going for a stain that offers to waterproof. Such stains fill in the gaps on the wooden boards while also creating a layer impenetrable to water.

This waterproofing helps keep the boards away from various nasty diseases such as mold and mildew. Such diseases have a great impact on the health of anyone living around them.

Ease of Application

Lastly, what you want to focus on is the amount of difficulty you face applying the product. Good quality stains are relatively expensive; hired help would make it even more expensive, so sometimes you need to compromise.

Exterior Stain for Cedar Siding

If you are moving into a project with a DIY mindset, try to use materials to make your life simple and quick. You’ll find a lot of products on the market able to be painted onto any surface without any prep needed.

Besides quick-drying, these factors are requirements that you must keep in mind before completing your purchase. And, of course, these should be easily removable as well if you decide to change your mind after a while. You can check over here if you need some help regarding a good stain remover.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you're looking for an exterior stain for pine or cedar sidings, these types of questions are bound to come up- 

1. What kind of stains are used on outdoor furniture?

For outdoor furniture and woodwork, the stains that usually work well are water-based stains. These stains can help out the wooden pieces by improving the wooden board’s durability while also providing better protection against molds and other diseases.

2. The temperature required to be able to stain the wood outside?

Application temperature of stains entirely depends on the brand that you purchase and the type of compound being used. However, on average most stains can be applied optimally on a range of 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. How long will this exterior stain last?

Stains are not lifetime protective cover for wooden slidings; just like all other things, stains are also affected over time by nature. The wooden surface usually loses out to the effects of rain and sunlight, requiring another staining within 3-5 years of the first application.

4. How can I prepare an old wooden surface for staining?

Follow these few steps to ensure the stain that you are applying onto the old wooden-boards can be done most efficiently and effectively.

  • Clean up and dry out the wooden boards
  • For more stringent dirt and mud, use a detergent combination
  • Smoothen out the surface by sanding; start with a medium grit paper
  • Move out to a finer grit for a much smoother outlook, making applying a stain quick and easy

5. What is better painting or staining?

Painting is effectively one of the more effective ways to protect a wooden surface. The paint can provide a durable coat that can last a solid 10-15 years. On the other hand, stains provide a natural look that no paint could ever offer, so the answer will very much depend on your own wants, from the wooden boards.

Final Words

Staining is a process that has been present in the world for quite some time now. However, the staining process has become saturated with so many businesses in the market. For these reasons, we’ve put in a lot of care designing this article to ensure you get the best exterior stain for cedar siding.

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