How to Stain Cypress Wood

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Things You'll Need

  • Dishwashing soap

  • Water

  • Rags

  • Sandpaper

  • Stain

  • Rags

  • Paste wax


A coat of polyurethane can be applied to the wood, with or without stain, for extra protection from moisture. The polyurethane will prevent the wood from turning gray but will add no additional color.

Wood looks finished and richer with a coat of stain.

Cypress is a wood found is southern coastal areas. The wood is naturally oily which helps it to naturally resist splitting and warping. It ranges in color from light honey to a caramel color. Cypress is often used for outdoor furniture and for exterior shingles and siding but can also be used indoors. When used outdoors the wood will age to a light grey color, much like teak. The wood is very receptive to stain.


Step 1

Mix 1 tbsp. of dishwashing soap and warm water in a small bucket. Dampen a rag with the solution. Wipe the cypress to remove all dirt and debris.

Step 2

Sand the cypress lightly with fine grit sandpaper. Remove any existing finish from the surface of the wood as well as any stuck on residues that might interfere with the stain. Smooth the surface of the wood with the sandpaper.

Step 3

Dip a rag into the stain. Rub the stain into the wood. Apply just enough to dampen the cypress without letting the stain puddle on the top of the wood. Remove excess stain with a clean rag. Allow the first coat of stain to dry and apply a second coat. Continue to apply additional coats until you like the depth of color.


Step 4

Dip a clean rag into paste wax. Apply the wax to the surface of the wood. Rub into the grain of the wood until all of the wax is absorbed. Apply an additional layer of wax.

Step 5

Reapply wax every six months to preserve the wood and keep it from drying out.



Lisa East Hunter

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.