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How to Restore Faded Cedar Siding

Jennifer Eblin

Wood siding is specifically designed to look natural while also protecting your home. Unfortunately, cedar and other types of wood siding become faded and dingy with long-term exposure to the sun. Restoring faded cedar siding is less expensive than replacing it and something you can do on your own.

Cedar siding can look natural but eventually fades in the sun.

Start by removing the existing stain.

  1. Cover the ground surrounding the house with tarps or dropcloths to protect grass and vegetation from harsh chemicals. Protect yourself with rubber gloves and goggles so chemicals don't burn your skin or get in your eyes.

  2. Dip the paintbrush in the paint stripper and apply an even coating of the liquid to the cedar siding. Read the instructions to determine how long to leave the stripper on the siding; it may be as long as an hour or as little as 20 minutes. Gently rub the paint scraper against the wood siding, peeling off as much of the original stain as you can.

  3. Rub 40-grit sandpaper all over the cedar siding, focusing on any areas that still have stain. Rub off as much of the stain as you can, then rub the sandpaper all over the siding. Make the wood siding as smooth and even as possible.

  4. Check the wood siding carefully, looking for any signs of cracking, chips or holes. Fill damaged spots with epoxy filler. Let the epoxy dry completely, then sand the epoxy smooth with the sandpaper.

  5. Apply an even coat of wood preservative to the wood, using a paintbrush. Wait for the preservative to thoroughly dry and look for any additional cracks or splitting. Apply a thin layer of caulk to larger cracks and use caulk on any exposed nails on the siding.

  6. Paint the cedar siding with primer, once the caulk dries. Wait for the primer to dry, then paint on a layer of exterior house paint, picking a color that matches the original or a fresh color. Apply additional coats as needed, making sure each paint layer dries before adding others.

  7. Tip

    If you plan on staining the cedar siding rather than painting it, apply wood stain once the caulk dries.