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.

Questions? Please Ask Below

103 Responses to “Best Stain for New Cedar Deck”

  1. pam dimatteo says:

    I had a new fir deck installed three weeks ago….tried to sand it and noticed it was discolored….so hired someone to power wash it and seal it. He put nicks in the wood. I am now trying to determine how to fix the problem. I have spoken to two guys. One man says to replace some of the boards, power wash, put on a brightener, sand it with orbital sander, and seal with Ben Moore. He gives a two year warranty and is $1,200. He can't do it for 3 weeks. The other guy wants to power wash it, wait only one day, and skip the sanding….just seal it with TWP. He is $555 and said it will only last one year. He can do it this week and get the deck protected. Help!!! What do you suggest? Thanks! Pam

  2. Fil says:

    I have a cedar deck, unfinished, which i let weathered for 7 months.
    I cleaner and brighten the wood.
    Allowed to dry for 48 hours.
    Prior to applying Defy Extreme Crystal Clear i noticed some minimal hazy wood fibres around the knots of the wood … looked like remnant mildew perhaps?
    I debated whether or not to sand it off…. i chose not to…sadly
    I applied the Defy Clear as recommended during shade warm temperature 20 degree Celsius, although after complete dry time the finish looks dull and the knots remain with slight grey hazy patches around knots
    The Defy Clear has dried well, its not shiny and absorbed well, water beads off nicely when wet; yet the Cedar feels hard to touch…just curious is this normal?

    I wish to remove the “grey” patchy spots – in order to have a complete uniform look and natural color.
    What should i do?
    Do i sand down the patchy spots? or sand all the deck boards? what grit?
    if i do sand, should i clean and brighten again?
    Should i re-apply the Defy Extreme Clear or Armstrong Clark?
    I prefer the “wet” natural Cedar look

  3. Dan says:

    What would be the best most durable stain for my deck. I'd like to try and preserve the natural colour of the cedar. Toronto, Canada, west facing cedar deck new, I can only really find Sikkens, Cabot, Penofin, Olympic, Benjamin Moor and all other big box store brands? It's a front porch deck with stairs.

  4. Nancy says:

    We have a new cedar deck that is about 1 month old. From what I am reading here, since it is cedar we should plan to stain it sooner rather than 4+ months later that you recommend for other many other woods. And while it looks like TWP is may be the best for durability, is it correct that for our first application of stain/preservative, we'd be better off with the Armstrong Clark? Is that our best option because we have a cedar deck, or if we do a repeat application in 1-2 years (as it sounds like you recommend for a new deck), would it make sense to transition to the TWP for better durability going forward?

    • Nancy, you should follow the directions of the stain brand. TWP does not want you to stain right away. You need to wait 4+ months. AC wants you to wait about 2 months. It would not matter going forward between the two. They both last about the same.

  5. Teresa says:

    What is the difference between Cabots Australian Timber Oil and Timber Oil brand mentioned above. What would be the best product to use if you want to keep the "wet" cedar look on new Cedar that has never been oiled or detained?? Is it either of these products?

    • Teresa, they are completely different stain made by different manufacturers. We are not fans of the Cabot version as they changed their formula a few years ago and it is not the same. I would try the TimberOil in the Warm Honey Gold color.

  6. Ryan says:

    I am building a cedar deck and would like to stain it a light gray/silver color, I live in south east Alberta in a sunny environment what would be the best brand to use that repels water good in that shades of color. Does a person also stain the hole board before installation ?

  7. Tiffany says:

    Thank you for this forum. It's a lot of great information, although a little confusing.
    We installed a new cedar deck out side of Seattle a couple of months ago. We are getting ready to stain it, but have a few boards and posts that are already cracking. The fencing company has replaced some boards already, but they are much yellower than our other boards. Should we have them replace all of the cracking boards and posts prior to staining? Also, we are looking for a low VOC stain that would keep that wet cedar look and that is easy to apply. Please let me know any suggestions you might have and how much longer we should wait to apply the stain. My husband is getting a little antsy about protecting the deck since he thinks it is already greying.

  8. Amanda says:

    Hello, I installed a new Cedar deck In September/October 2012. We did not stain it right away because winter was just arriving. I am about to stain it now. It is looking aged already (grey) and I want to restore it to the wet cedar look, UV protect it and waterproof it. What do I need to do? Is there a product that will brighten it as applied? Do I have to use a brightener first? I do not want a colored product, just a clear product.


    • Amanda, you need to use a deck cleaner and wood brightener such as the Restore A Deck Kits. You must have a tint/color in the stain if you want UV protection from graying. Try TWP 1515 Honeytone.

  9. Shawn says:

    Hello, I am trying to determine the best Deck Stain to use on an older cedar deck with certain new cedar boards that have been installed to help restore it. Originally we were sold on a product from a local hardware store called Penofin Blue Label Cedar (a rosewood oil based product). Unfortunately it ruined the deck. Within a couple of months it turned very dark, even though our contractor followed the instructions to the letter. I am trying to figure out the best way to prepare it and re-stain with a different product. We live in Northampton, MA, and our deck gets a lot of sun and rain in the summer months, a good deal of snow in the Winter. Any advice? Please help!

  10. Jeff says:

    Hi, in the past few weeks we just installed a kiln dried cedar deck and are to stain it with TWP 1500 (great reviews on here) or Penofin (local lumberyard suggests) before we start using it. From doing a water test and seeing rain water soak in, the deck is ready to allow stain to penetrate. Which stain do you suggest? We live in Racine, WI. How do you suggest preparing the deck for staining? (Clean with water or a solution? Sand and if so how? Use a brightener? Etc). We read what the site has but it seems our situation may be different based on the cedar used and newness of deck installation. Thank you for providing such a thorough resource!

    • Jeff, light clean the deck with a deck cleaner and wood brightener. This will still allow the stain to penetrate better. Only apply 1 coat of the stain. Since it is newer we would suggest the TWP 100 over the 1500 and the Penofin.

  11. Jonathan Marianu says:

    Portland, OR. Two years ago we had cedar carriage style garage doors installed. We placed four coats of lacquer on them, as well as on our Mahogany doors and cedar soffits. Only the garage doors have sun/rain exposure. After two years the lacquer has peeled off and the wood has yellowed only on the garage doors; the mahogany and soffits still look beautiful. I successfully removed all of the finish on the garage doors using 40 grit and have gone over it again with 60,80,and 100 and used oxilic acid, then borax for bleaching and then TSP as a wash. The doors look new.
    I would now like to darken the wood to match the mahogany front doors.
    What is the appropriate way to handle this? I could stain separately and then apply a eurathane or oil based coat or I could use a finish with integrated color. The sikkens door and window appears to be a good product but what finish treatment do YOU recommend if cost is not an object? Also would it be unwise to sand at a higher grit considering the effect it would have on adhesion? Thank you so much for your time.

  12. Jonathan Marianu says:

    Portland, OR. Two years ago we had cedar carriage style garage doors installed. We placed four coats of lacquer on them, as well as on our Mahogany doors and cedar soffits. Only the garage doors have sun/rain exposure. After two years the lacquer has peeled off and the wood has yellowed only on the garage doors

  13. Jonathan Marianu says:

    Sanding Question
    Portland, OR. Two years ago we had cedar carriage style garage doors installed. The painter placed four coats of lacquer on them, as well as on our Mahogany doors and cedar soffits. Only the garage doors have sun/rain exposure. After two years the lacquer has peeled off and the wood has yellowed only on the garage doors. I know now that lacquer was the incorrect product. I have now fully removed the lacquer and sanded at 40,60,80,100 grit.
    Based on your reviews the most appropriate stains for my application would be Woodrich Timber Oil, ArmstrongClark, or TWP100/1500.

    Question: How will sanding affect adhesion of these stains?
    For cedar what is the relationship between sanding grit and adhesion of the stains?
    I would like a very smooth surface if possible.
    I welcome any and all advice.

    Also what could I/we as a community do for you?
    How do you pay for and support this web site?

    • Jonathan, sanding will not affect adhesion unless you over sand. Make sure to rinse the doors well to remove the sand dust. We try not to sand deck more than 60 grit. Since these are vertical you could probably go to 80 grit. I would try the Armstrong in the mahogany color. They do offer samples.

      Maybe we could set up a charity link? No need for paying us.

  14. james says:

    I just purchased new cedar wood for a new staircase going down to a lake in Wisconsin. I have TWP cedartone stain ready.
    Do I have to wait before staining it? Any suggestions

  15. alisa says:

    we just finished a brand new cedar deck. It is south facing, covered by a roof, and we are located in North Dakota. What is our best option for sealing and protecting it? Do we need to clean and brighten it first? Can we do it now or do we have to wait for the wood to dry out? We were told to use Thompson's water seal by the builder and to use Brazilian rosewood oil by a local store. Needless to say we are more than confused at the choices. Where can Armstrong Clark be purchased?

  16. Maxim says:

    Has anyone heard about wood plus ultra 10 product? It is a water based stain, I'm trying to find out some feedbacks before applying , I used Sikkens and the vertical sides are ok but the floor all peeled off..also does anyone know if a water sealer will prevent the cedar from turning grey and prevent mildew

  17. Susan says:

    Location: Ottawa, Ontario; hot and humid summer(but short), cold and snowy winter
    wood: new cedar, (have been sitting in the garage for two years)
    Full southern exposure to sun;
    deck built four weeks ago

    I would appreciate your help to decide which to pick for staining;

    1. defy stain for hardwood ( to be shipped),
    2. armstrong clark wood stain (to be shipped)
    3. cabot Australin timber (locally availlable).

    Does defy hardwood stain have strong smells? I like the fact that armstrong clark has no offensive odor.

    Thanks very much..

  18. Justin says:

    I'm just about to complete construction of a new cedar deck in MN. I'd like to protect it as soon as possible. Would you recommend Timber Oil (Warm Honey Gold) or Defy Extreme (Natural Pine)? I like the UV protection properties of the Defy but it seems you like Timber Oil for new cedar?

  19. LeoV says:

    About to build a deck in Ohio using Kiln Dried Cedar.
    Southern exposure, full sun in summer, snow in winter.
    1. Should I seal all 6 sides of the wood before construction (wood does not show signs of mill glaze)?
    2. If not, how long should I wait after construction before sealing?
    3. What product is recommended to best maintain cedar's character and color?
    Thank you

  20. Jim says:

    I finished construction on my cedar deck in May 2013. It is used to access our pool so it will have more exposure to water than typical. The contractor told me to wait 1 year before staining, a landscaper told me to wait no more than 4 months. It is starting to fade and we are not liking the color it is turning. We really liked the original color and how it contrasted with the black aluminum spindles. Any suggestions for where to go from here? I live in Central Illinois, the house faces west so after 400pm the deck is covered by shade.

  21. Andy says:

    This one is a little complex, I think. Please bear with me.

    We had a beautiful new cedar deck put in last Fall. Northern New Jersey, full sun on part of deck, partial shade on part. Most is exposed to rain, snow.

    We waited until early this summer to apply stain. It was washed with oxalic acid; looked great. It was stained with ABR X-100 Natural Seal Deck Stain. It looked awful, uneven, felt tacky, etc. Over time, the deck became dark and splotchy (not mold) – basically dirty-looking. We suspect that the wood was not fully dry when the stain was applied. Power washed to clean, then same thing happened. We fired that person. We suspect that the ABR oil-based stain, which remained somewhat tacky, absorbed dirt from the air over time, as there there no other obvious source.

    Now the deck is being power-washed with clorox (I know it is not recommended…) and stain remover to try to remove everything. The plan is to then wash it with a laundry detergent, possibly sand because the grain is coming up from the power washing, make sure it is fully dry, then stain properly..
    Question 1: What is the explanation for what happened?
    Question 2: Does it sound like this cleaning/prepping is right?
    Question 3: What deck stain to apply? We would like to see the grain – have some benefit from it being high-quality cedar (i.e., semi-transparent or semi-solid stains). Clear would be great too – we liked the light color – if there is one with decent UV protection. Last year, DeckStainHelp suggested Armstrong-Clark Sierra Redwood or Mahogany, but are there others that would work well with this now abused cedar? I gather we should avoid Benjamin Moore at all costs.

    Sorry for the lengthy narrative – and thanks for any insights or advice.

    • Andy, some stains will darken in color from dirt, mold and UV. Probably why it happened. Best to skip the bleach, strip the deck, and brighten when done. Lightly sand when done if needed. I would look at the TWP 1500 or Amrstrong Clark.

      • Andy says:


        I notice elsewhere on the site that sometimes the using brightener is suggested following the sanding. Which order is best? Will sanding dust be removed by extensive washing?

        What would be the purpose of the laundry detergent suggestion that I have heard locally?

        Thanks again

  22. JLN says:

    We sanded our deck last summer, then went through the cleaning and preparation steps as recommended. We then applied two coats of the dark brown Armstrong Clark stain. Now this summer our deck seems to be covered with a dust of some sort. Even show prints show on it and the bottom of shoes turn brown. This does not appear to be normal dirt given that parts of the deck that we did not stain do not show this "dust." I am wondering if it is from the stain. Is this to be expected or did we apply the stain incorrectly? We followed instructions. Any insight would be appreciated.

    • JLN, never heard of a stain creating a \”dust\” a year later. I would ask the manufacturer. Does rinsing the deck get rid of it?

      • JLN says:

        I did ask the manufacturer (Armstrong Clark) and it seems that the pigment from the stain leeched out. He had only seen this happen once before. Now we are cleaning it up by brushing the deck and then mopping it up. It seems to be working. We are a little less than half done. I am not sure what to do next. Any recommendations? Maybe a different product? I certainly do not want to go through this again. Thankts

  23. Mike says:

    I have a new cedar deck. The wood has basically all been exposed to the elements for 2+ months. It was cleaned and brightened two days ago. Rinsed with a power washer. Some of the wood, where the power washer hit it harder, has a more golden hue, while some looks pretty grey yet. The wife decided to sand it to even it out. So, where do I go from here, as far as protecting the deck? As I understand it, I will now need to clean and brighten again, after the sanding. Sounds like I could use AC, at the deck's young age, but with the sanding would it be better to wait over winter?

  24. mr rufus says:

    I live in the Pacific NW and had a new cedar deck installed about 5 years ago. Installed in the springtime, and foolishly had it sealed in early fall, afraid to subject it to our long, dark, wet winter without protection. Now that I've found your site, I see that was the first of many errors I've made with the deck. Between the newness of the deck, the improper prep, and the inferior product used, it was a disaster pretty much from the start. Two years ago, pressure washed, then cleaned, brightened, and eventually sanded to try to get it back to square one. Did that, then applied an oil sealer, which blackened pretty heavily over the past two years. So, now trying to fix ALL of the past errors I've made. Cleaned and brightened deck; still looked pretty bad (still grey, with plenty of black left). Gave in and sanded the whole thing. Looks lovely.

    Now, I'm at a crossroads – do I follow the 'new deck' guidance, and let it go through a NW winter of rain before cleaning and brightening yet AGAIN, and then sealing next year? Or can I seal it now, as it's had many years to 'season'? Can I seal after sanding, or do I need another step in between?

    Would also love recommendations on what to use – again, Pacific NW rain, deck faces West, so when sun is out, it gets good, direct, warm setting sun – but it's not out often!

    • Mr Rufus, I would use a deck cleaner and wood brightener after the sanding and apply 1 coat of stain now and another next year. Look at the TWP 100 Series. This should get you back on track.

  25. Casey says:

    Hi, I'm running Select Tight Know T&G for the soffits of my home. My soffits are 4-5 ft wide and are quite large and noticeable. I'm also installing 2 tigerwood decks at the same time and I'll for sure stain the tigerwood with a clear. My question is, what stain do you recommend for the cedar soffits if I'm going for a deep brown look from a semi-transperant stain that will match decently with the tigerwood. Also, since the cedar is new I was wanting to seal the back of the soffit and stain the front before installation. Is it ok to do this or should I just let the wood sit in my barn for 2 months?

    Thanks so much….this forum is amazingly helpful!


  26. DeckLover says:

    Hello, We are in the midst of finishing the instalation of an all clear kiln dried red cedar deck of all clear kiln dried red cedar. The rains have already started here in the San Francisco Bay Area and i am a little confused whether we should be waiting to clean, brighten, and apply either wood oil or AC semi-transparent stain as soon as possible. or, should we be waiting until springtime. Your pages suggest both options. I want to keep as much of the color and beauty of this new deck as possible and prevent any mold, staining, etc given our damp/foggy climate in the winter. Your advice on how best to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for providing this great resource.

    • DeckLover, you should not stain new wood right away, even kiln dried. You still have to let the wood weather for a short period of time and prep correctly first. I would wait, prep and apply a light coat of the stain after a couple of months.

  27. Debra says:

    I am confused…you said that all new decks needs to weather up to 12 months, but then said cedar decks should be treated right away. My western red cedar deck is being built now near Chicago-do we wait until spring or treat it asap? I am concerned about our fluctuating temps now and precipitation.

    • Debra, all manufacturers have different suggestions for new wood based on their stain and the wood type. Best to always follow their advice as they will know what work best for their stain. If it was me and it was being built now, I would wait until Spring.

  28. Jill Holmes says:

    Is there a deck preservative that can go on a deck that is not fully dry? I am in Seattle and it is starting to rain. Not much chance of a warm dry week at this point.

  29. Kurt says:

    I have a cedar deck that is 7 years old. I am going to sand, clean and brighten. I live in Pittsburgh and the deck gets full sun in the afternoon. What would be the best stain to use for older cedar

  30. Derrick says:

    Hi – I'm a little confused. In this article you say not to wait at all to stain the cedar deck but in this article ( you say to wait 1-12 months. Am I missing something?

    I just build the frame of a cedar deck and will get getting the decking in this week. My initial plan was to prestain the boards but then heard that you should let it weather for several months. The deck is close to the ground so I think a water based stain would be best, I'm looking at Defy. Your expertise appreciated…

    • Derrick, every wood species is different and so are the stain brands when it comes to staining new wood. Best to follow the advice of the manufacturer. Defy stats you can use their Defy Hardwood stain on cedar right away. Personally as contractors we would wait though for at least a couple of months.

  31. Phil says:

    Would appreciate some advice with my situation. I live in Toronto and my cedar deck was recently built from wood that has been sitting out since the spring. Started cleaning the deck a couple weeks with Cabot Wood Cleaner and the cedar looks like a combination of its previous natural colour and the grey weathering along with fuzzies. Not sure if this is due to not enough cleaner used or the temp dropping. Could these fuzzies be avoided or is sanding always required?
    At this stage given the constant drop below 10 degree celsius temperature, would it best to wait till spring to re-clean and stain (with Australian Timber Oil)?
    And would I need to use wood brightener after cleaning? Cabot told me their brightener does not do anything to improve the wood in absorbing the stain?

    • Phil, fuzzies are the result of removing wood fibers. The more wood fibers that come off due to graying, the greater the chance of the fuzzies. If the temps are not cooperating then it may be best tow wait until warmer temps in Spring. Brighteners always help by restoring the pH balance that is raised by the causticss of a cleaner or stripper

  32. Lena says:

    I live in eastern washington (colder, drier, sunny). I have a newly built cedar fence that has been weathered from September to now. I plan to use restore a deck and then stain it as soon as possible. I didn't know cedar was supposed to be stained right away? I thought I was supposed to wait until the wood immediately absorbed water that was flicked on it (which it now does). Should I used one of the stains mentioned in this article for new cedar (timber oil or armstrong clark) or should I choose a different type of stain since the cedar is weathered? I would like a semi-transparent stain.

  33. Bill says:

    I have just replaced about 20% of my cedar deck flooring as that amount was beginning to rot mostly from removal of a hot tub. The deck is 25 years old and the rest is in good shape. Now I am debating about how to attempt to match the old versus new. I used Floods every other year for 25 years and was satisfied. Do I sand the old boards ? Use a solid base stain ? Any other suggestions ? Help ! Thank you.

  34. Nancy says:

    We have a log cabin home in Northern Michigan and have used structures on it from sherwin williams and the house is holding up very well, but on the other hand is the deck, it seems like we are redoing it every couple of years to make it look nice. Cleaning, Brushing sanding and applying deckscape on it, but it just does not last. I am seriously thinking about a stain on the floor of the deck and keep the railings the natural color. What is your opinion and what are your suggestions on what products would last longer.

  35. Deborah says:

    I had a Western Red Cedar deck built 2 1/2 years ago. Based on the info I had at the time, all the cedar was stained (all sides) prior to building, using Cabot transparent oil-based stain, tinted to a warm brown colour. Much of the exposed areas of the deck needs to be redone, due to wear & tear, snow shovelling etc. Although uprights and railings etc seem fine. Unfortunately, my local stores tell me that Ontario no longer allow oil-based products due to some environmental changes and I can't get the Cabot product any longer. I assume (tho haven't verified yet) that this applies to all brands that are oil based. Can you recommend anything? I live about 125 km NW of Ottawa, Ontario Canada.

    • Deborah, that is not true. Your country has a lower 250 VOC restriction. This does allow oil based stains if the VOC is lower than 250. Try Armstrong Clark stains for this.

  36. Merrybethb says:

    We had a cedar deck built in August of 2012. We have not treated it at all. We live in central Minnesota, and the deck is south facing, but shaded by trees on either end. Portions of it receive full sun for 3-4 hours a day. After extensive reading on your site, I am led to believe that washing it, lightly sanding then sealing with Armstrong Clark would be our best option. Anything else I should know or be corrected about?

  37. brian says:

    I"m deciding on what type of ground floor deck to install. if I use Cedar and install it and let it weather for a few months, will the non-stained underneath effect the stained top side? I'm in Long Island N.Y. with all 4 seasons.

  38. Shane says:

    What is considered the Best Stain to use for cedar deck? I have a large deck that I need to get stained, but I don't want to waste my money on something that is not going to penetrate properly for Cedar and then I have to redo it down the road. I am looking at Defy Extreme, but not sure that's what I need. I order I sample of the cedar tone and applied it, but it didn't seem to change much of the color on my cedar. I guess I was looking more for that wet cedar look which brings out the bright cedar color. I read that Timber Oil Brand is a good one to use because it is a deep penetrating paraffin oil-based wood and deck stain. Again I am not sure. Any feedback here would be greatly appreciated! I just want to make the best choice.

  39. ben says:

    i have a 6 year old covered cedar deck that i powerwashed 3 yrs ago, looked great for awhile but is back to full gray. I am going to clean/brighten and stain this year. trying to decide on the right stain. i want a semi transparent that is easy to reapply in the future, also looking for one that is available locally. So i need to choose between sikkens srd re, cabot timber oil, and flood.

  40. wayne says:

    built new cedar last year stained with timber oil. have enough left to restain or should I change stain to Armstrong clark. how best to clean pollen from cedar trees between cracksa

  41. Rita Sottovia says:

    Can you stain a sanded cedar deck in the hot sun???

    • Depends on the brand you are using. Many stain will flash dry and not look good when applied in hot direct sunlight. Armstrong Clark is one of the few brands that can be applied in the sun with no issues.

  42. John Smith says:

    I have a cedar deck that was initially stained with SuperDeck Natural transparent stain. It is under snow load for 3 or 4 months during the year and seemed to weather fairly well considering the conditions – higher elevation and snow! I thought it weathered fairly well but am looking for something that might give it a little more protection. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I prefer a transparent look. Perhaps with these conditions I will need to treat the deck each year. I was hoping to find something that would last a couple of years. Thank you.

    J. L. Smith

  43. Jeff says:

    I am building a new cedar deck, and was considering not sealing/staining at all. Aging to gray will match our existing stained decks and house. Is it a bad idea to not stain or seal ?

  44. Bart Louwagie says:

    We are planning to buy new tight knotted Cedar in a few days, installed north or NY city, some in shade, some in sun, and we have been told we need to prep ALL surfaces with stain to prolong life, prior to installation. That does make sense to me. I don't hear that recommendation from you. At the same time you recommend three steps: Clean, Brighten, Stain..
    Question 1: If we go straight to stain will the long term result be very different?
    Question 2: What cleaning and what brightening product?
    Question 3: Does the "do all sides" make sense to you?

    • You need to clean and brighten to open grain and remove the mill glaze. You should not skip these steps. Use the Restore A deck Kits. No need to do all sides, just the wood that is exposed to the elements.

  45. Regina says:

    I just had a small cedar pergola built in our backyard. It has direct exposure to the sun/rain. I love the new red color of the cedar and want to keep it that way! What is the best product to use to keep it from greying?

  46. Jeff Totman says:

    I have a 3 year old cedar deck that I've tried treating with TWP and it looks awful. The deck is in Maine and faces southwest with no nearby trees so it gets tons of afternoon sun. After the deck was built 2 summers ago, I waited about 6 weeks and then cleaned/brightened it, and then applied two coats of TWP. It looked great for about 2 months but by fall there were quite a few areas of grey/black starting and by the next summer, there was more black/gray than cedar color. I thought the problem might be due to only having given it 6 weeks to thoroughly dry in place, so last summer I stripped it with Oxiclean and a stiff brush, then, after several hot, sunny days, a brightener and recoated with one coat of TWP. This summer it looks even worse than it did last summer so I"m giving up on TWP. I don't mind having to recoat each summer but don't want to have to strip it with something like oxiclean every year. What do you advise as the best stain or oil to use to protect my cedar deck here in Maine?

    • The issue is not with the TWP but with the prep and the waiting period. TWP suggest waiting 4-12 months (not 6 weeks) and apply only one coat of the TWP to new wood. In addition when you reappplied you did not strip. Oxiclean is a cleaner, not a strain stripper. At this point you need to remove the over applied stain down to the bare wood. Use a stain stripper such as HD80 or the Restore A Deck Stripper. Brighten all wood when done. If you want to switch brands, look at the Armstrong Clark. Hope this helps.

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