Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
Deck Stain Reviews Ratings

Best Stain for New Cedar Deck

New Cedar Wood

New Cedar Wood

What Stains Work Well a New Cedar Deck

There are many different types of cedar used for exterior surfaces with Red Cedar being the most common. Unlike some types of wood that need to dry out, new cedar should be cleaned and stained as quickly as possible to avoid water damage and sun fading (Always follow the stain brand’s directions though).

Many wood stains have difficulty penetrating new dense woods like cedar. If a stain does not penetrate the wood it will remain on the surface and become susceptible to peeling and flaking. The best wood stains for new cedar are deep penetrating paraffinic oil based stains that are thinner in viscosity. Stains for new cedar wood should dive deep into the wood to condition the wood cells and provide protection from UV fading and moisture damage.

We like a couple of different stains for new cedar wood. One is Armstrong Clark Wood Stain. It is composed of both drying and non-drying oils that break apart from one another throughout the application process. The non-drying oils dive into the new cedar to condition the wood’s cellular structure while the separated drying oils cure on the exposed surface to not only lock in the conditioning oils, but to protect the surface from natural weather exposure.

Another similar stain best for new cedar wood is Timber Oil Brand. This is a paraffin oil based wood and deck stain that penetrates deep into new cedar wood and decks. This cedar stain conditions the wood cells while providing water and UV protection. The Timber Oil brand promises ease of application of good penetration into new decking.

Prepping new cedar wood is important to stain life and performance. New cedar wood should be cleaned using a sodium percarbonate wood cleaner to remove mill glaze and other contaminants that may have infiltrated the wood during construction.

Once the new cedar wood has been cleaned the wood will appear darker. While the wood is still wet, apply a wood brightener to restore the cedar wood’s original color. Brightening wood after it has been cleaned will also open the wood pores to allow the conditioning oils to penetrate better.
Proper cleaning and brightening will ensure the best stain for new cedar wood will perform as expected and provide lasting beauty.

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247 responses to “Best Stain for New Cedar Deck”

  1. Mn_Dan says:

    I am building a western cedar deck in the spring. Would it be a good idea to buy the wood now and season it in my garage (in Minnesota, so install in 5 or 6 months)? Would I need to prepare the wood before staining it if I go this route? Do you have a stain that you think works best in very cold climates?

  2. Tricia says:

    Thanks for all the info. I have a cedar pergola designed and built about a month ago. The cedar is rough sawn. Does it still need to be cleaned and brightened? I live in Mississippi – hot and humid in the summer. Should I stain now to prevent fading? If so, what do you recommend?

    Also , I have a wooden deck underneath built from pressure treated lumber. I think it would need to be cleaned and brightened before staining. Right? How long should I wait to stain it? Thanks!

  3. John says:

    I am building a new home, wanting to side the house with cedar board and batten. What is the proper way to prep the cedar and can you recommend a stain that will best put up with the elements as we have southern exposure so there will be a lot of sun/heat.

  4. Dave says:

    Sorry took a bit to figure how to post pics from iPad
    Here’s what the old wood looked like before I started and it appx. 13-15 years old

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.