Do you have to seal cedar siding?

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Cedar siding is a popular choice for homeowners due to its natural beauty and durability. However, to ensure its longevity and maintain its appearance, proper maintenance is crucial. One essential aspect of maintaining cedar siding is sealing it to protect it from wear, damage, deterioration, and discoloration. In this article, we will delve into the reasons why sealing cedar siding is necessary and explore the benefits it offers.

Do you have to seal cedar siding?

Cedar siding needs to be repainted or resealed annually to enhance its longevity. Applying a protective coating is essential as it safeguards against deterioration and discoloration. It is worth reconsidering the idea of leaving cedar siding in its natural state, as while rustic cedar exudes character, it is also more susceptible to wear and damage.

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Understanding Cedar Siding

Before we discuss the importance of sealing cedar siding, it’s essential to understand what cedar siding is and its characteristics. Cedar siding is made from cedar wood, which is known for its natural resistance to rot, insects, and decay. It possesses unique properties that make it an excellent choice for exterior applications, including siding.

Cedar siding is valued for its aesthetic appeal, as it adds a touch of warmth and natural beauty to a home’s exterior. Its distinct grain patterns and color variations create a rustic charm that many homeowners find desirable. However, it is important to note that cedar siding requires regular maintenance to preserve its appearance and protect it from external elements.

The Need for Sealing Cedar Siding

One of the primary reasons for sealing cedar siding is to provide protection against wear and damage. Cedar wood is susceptible to moisture absorption, which can lead to swelling, warping, and cracking if not properly sealed. By applying a protective coating, such as paint or sealant, you create a barrier that shields the wood from moisture, preventing these issues.

In addition to wear and damage, sealing cedar siding also helps prevent deterioration and discoloration. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause cedar to fade and lose its natural color over time. Moreover, exposure to harsh weather conditions, including rain and snow, can accelerate the deterioration process. Applying a protective coating acts as a shield against these factors, preserving the wood’s original appearance for longer periods.

The Need for Sealing Cedar Siding

Annual Repainting or Resealing

To ensure the longevity of cedar siding, it is recommended to repaint or reseal it on an annual basis. This regular maintenance routine helps to maintain the protective layer and extends the lifespan of the siding. By doing so, you prevent moisture from penetrating the wood, reducing the risk of damage and decay.

Regular repainting or resealing offers several benefits. Firstly, it enhances the visual appeal of your home’s exterior by revitalizing the cedar siding’s color and finish. It allows you to experiment with different colors or retain the natural look of the wood, depending on your preferences.

Annual Repainting or Resealing

Secondly, the protective coating provides a shield against external elements. It acts as a barrier, preventing moisture from seeping into the wood and minimizing the chances of rot, warping, and cracking. This proactive measure significantly reduces the need for expensive repairs or replacements down the line.

Considering Natural State vs Protective Coating

While the natural, rustic look of cedar siding can be appealing, it’s important to weigh the benefits against the potential drawbacks. Rustic cedar siding, in its natural state, may exude character, but it is also more vulnerable to wear and damage. Without a protective coating, the wood is exposed to the elements, which can lead to faster deterioration and discoloration.

Opting for a protective coating, such as paint or sealant, offers significant advantages. Not only does it provide a layer of defense against moisture and UV rays, but it also helps to prolong the lifespan of the cedar siding. The protective coating acts as a barrier, shielding the wood from potential harm and preserving its natural beauty for a longer period.

Furthermore, applying a protective coating allows you to customize the appearance of your cedar siding. Whether you prefer a bold color that complements your home’s aesthetic or a more subtle hue that accentuates the natural grain of the wood, the choice is yours. The protective coating serves as a canvas for personal expression while ensuring the longevity of your siding.

It’s important to note that choosing a protective coating does not mean sacrificing the rustic appeal of cedar siding. Many sealants and stains are available on the market that can enhance the wood’s natural characteristics while providing the necessary protection. These products allow you to strike a balance between preserving the authenticity of cedar and safeguarding it against wear and tear.


In conclusion, sealing cedar siding is essential for maintaining its longevity and preserving its aesthetic appeal. By repainting or resealing the siding on an annual basis, you protect it from wear, damage, deterioration, and discoloration. The protective coating acts as a shield, safeguarding the wood against moisture, UV rays, and harsh weather conditions.

While the natural state of cedar siding may possess rustic charm, leaving it unprotected can lead to faster wear and damage. Considering the benefits of a protective coating, such as paint or sealant, is crucial. Not only does it enhance the visual appeal of your home’s exterior, but it also prolongs the lifespan of the cedar siding, reducing the need for costly repairs or replacements.

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Tom Hiddleston is a renowned expert in wood appraisal and a skilled craftsman with a wealth of experience in the woodworking industry. With over 20 years of experience, Tom has established himself as a leading authority in the field of wood identification, grading, and evaluation.

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