How to Stain Rough Cedar

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Things You'll Need

  • Stiff shop brush

  • Paintbrush

  • Alkyd primer

  • Solid color stain

  • Stain brush


Test the finish out on a scrap piece of rough cedar before applying it to the wood for your project.


Apply the primer and stain in an area with adequate ventilation.

Stain or paint rough sawn cedar with the proper application techniques.

Rough sawn cedar is a traditional building material in common use on exterior applications such as siding, sheds and other out buildings. You can leave the wood untreated to weather naturally, painted or stained. Staining with a solid color stain is an effective option when using rough cedar. Solid color stain comes in a wide selection of colors so that you can finish the wood in the color that you want to complete your project.


Step 1

Brush the surface of the cedar with a stiff shop brush to clean off any debris from it prior to priming.

Step 2

Prime the cedar with alkyd primer using a paintbrush to brush on a light coat. Allow the primer coat to dry for 24 to 48 hours.

Step 3

Brush on an even coat of solid color stain using a stain brush. Allow the stain to dry for 24 hours.

Step 4

Apply a second coat of stain onto the cedar and allow it to dry for 24 and wait 72 hours before heavy use.


references & resources

Jonah Morrissey

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.