People like us, who are a fan of the natural elegance of wood, are aware of the power of the red cedar. It can turn your monotonous exterior house project into a thing of dazzling beauty. Due to its vibrant, natural red color, it elegantly matches the design of a house.

You can use it to build objects like gates, fences, decks, shingles, house siding, etc. The red cedar gained quite the reputation because it is durable, effortless to get, and inexpensive. However, the vibrant color can quickly lose its appeal without maintenance. 

The downside of having cedar is that it turns into a dull gray color quickly. Not a pretty sight, let us assure you and once it turns gray, it doesn’t go back to its natural color. Therefore, one way in which you can maintain the tone and texture of the cedar wood is to cover it up with a stain. 

Choosing the best stain for cedar can go a long way to keep it intact and robust. In this article, you will find some of the best fence stain reviews for cedar. They can help you keep your deck shining all-day every day!

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Best Stain For Cedar Reviews

Here are our top picks. You will find the top-notch products here and can choose without any hesitation.

1. THOMPSONS TH.041851-16 Transparent Stain, Woodland Cedar (Editor’s Choice)

THOMPSONS TH.041851-16 Transparent Stain

The Thompsons Waterseal Stain is one of the best products available in the market today. It has all the features that you need to protect and prolong the durability of your fence and other wooden structures.

Known as the best fence stain sealer, it can efficiently provide coverage of 400 square feet with each gallon. The stain will be able to protect your wooden surfaces from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Generally, UV rays cause the wood structure to dry out and rot, which leads to total damage, but a single coating of this will increase the lifespan and also keep the natural grain of the wood visible through the stain.

Since it is a water-based stain, it is quite easy to apply. The stain is also waterproof, which means water will only remain on the surface and will not be able to penetrate inside the wood.

This is great because water is the primary factor that causes wood to rot, attract moss, mildew, and algae. The stain consists of enhanced polymers, and these keep the shade new and intact on the surface for a long time.

You can use it on both dry and damp wood and is suitable for different types of wood surfaces such as decks, gazebos, fences, siding, etc.


  • Affordable and extremely durable.
  • Has enhanced polymers to resist fading.
  • Repels UV, moss, mildew.
  • Single coating is sufficient.


  • Might be a little slippery.
  • Not very suitable on damp wood.

2. Cabot 140.0003002.005 Wood Toned Deck Stain, Quart, Cedar (Best Value)

Cabot 140.0003002.005 Wood Toned Deck Stain

If you want both the exterior and interior wooden structures of your house to have a natural appearance, then opt for the Cabot Wood Toned Deck & Siding Stain. It boasts itself as the best wood fence stain sealer.  

You will love its application as it never diminishes the natural beauty of the wood instead retains and enhances it with the fantastic formulation. As it can provide five different shades, you can use it according to the tone of the wood.

Moreover, it can be used as a protective layer. As it has a unique formula, UV rays fail to harm both the coating and the surface beneath it. The timber color will remain intact for an extended period.

This best cedar deck stain and sealer acts aptly on the fence, wooden patio, stairs, decks, and other creations. Due to its water-resistant trait, you can use soap or other chemicals to keep the areas clean.

Additionally, it is simple to apply with the help of a few applicators. Maintaining your deck’s texture and ensuring its permanence is significantly easy. The elegant finishing leaves no mark of brush-stroke and allows no imprint of scratches.


  • The color will not fade away quickly.
  • You will love the way it upgrades the beauty level.
  • The coating acts as a strong guard against water and sunlight.
  • No special attention is required to keep the areas new.


  • You might have to paint two or three times.
  • It has no handle, resulting in a tough carriage.

3. Minwax 67000000 Antique Oil Finish Natural, quart (Premium Pick)

Minwax 67000000 Antique Oil Finish Natural

It is high time you buy the best oil-based fence stain, Minwax 67000000 Antique Oil Finish, if you do not want to damage your wooden furniture with inferior ones. Its high quality lets you enjoy the beautiful rejuvenation of your red cedar.

If you want to embellish the fence, stairs, cabinets, and other furniture with amazing finishing, it will be the best choice. As you just paint a single coat over the surfaces, it does not leave any marks on these.

Though it takes a longer time to dry out, it penetrates deep into the timber to protect it from UV rays. The harmful rays cannot cause any harm to both the coating and the surface. Therefore, the color will not fade away quickly.

Moreover, you will love the new shiny look that enhances the natural beauty of the structures. For retaining the natural glow, you can comfortably use soap or other chemicals.

Besides, the application is effortless with a brush or sprayer, and maintaining its fantastic texture does not require special attention. Its shield prevents any mark or scratch formation. Moreover, it deters the build-up of algae or mildew.


  • With a few applicators, you can use the shade.
  • The natural glow is retained for an extended period.
  • As it is water-resistant, the chance of rust formation is reduced.
  • No fungus can grow due to the unique formulation.


  • Its quantity is less compared to others.
  • You might not like the color.

4. OLD MASTERS 11916 WIP Stain, Cedar


Want to surprise your neighbors with your astonishing skill of reviving the beauty of old wood? No need to search anymore as you have the OLD MASTER 11916 WIP, the best fence stain and sealant.

Its proper application prevents the entry of harmful UV rays, protecting the texture of the fence, stairs, cabinet, or products of steel. As no mildew or algae can build their nests, you can enjoy the freshness for a longer period.

Furthermore, snow or heavy rain fails to damage the texture due to the presence of water-resistant chemicals. Therefore, undoubtedly, you can use water, soap, or other chemicals to keep the areas clean, retaining its shine.

Additionally, wooden creations do not lose their natural beauty. If you apply properly, you will notice how the added stain changes back to the natural color of the wood. It does not release any pungent smell.

Its fantastic chemical formulation confirms the safety of your children, pets, and older people. You can paint the exterior of your house without hesitation as it does not release toxic gases that might pollute the environment.


  • It protects the parts from UV rays.
  • The coating shields the wooden makings from the slightest abrasion.
  • It is safe and eco-friendly.
  • There is no loss in natural beauty.


  • It takes time to get dried out than others.
  • You might have to follow a few steps while applying.

5. TWP/Gemini TWP101-1G TWP Total Wood Preservative, Cedar ~ One Gallon

TWP/Gemini TWP101-1G TWP Total Wood Preservative

A desperate demand for the best cedar fence stain and sealer will be fulfilled if you once get in touch with TWP/Gemini TWP101-1G. It is packed with all the outstanding qualities to embellish the look of your house.

As a way to reduce and halt rust formation, the stain contains water-repellants. Therefore, abrasion does not occur even due to regular contact with water and deteriorate the texture’s lifespan.

Additionally, it acts as a barrier against the growth of mildew and algae. UV rays fail to harm the coating as these get reflected from the surface. The color remains the same for a long time, along with its glow and gleam.   

Moreover, as the liquid penetrates deep into the structure, the timber does not lose its natural beauty. On the other hand, the coating enriches and preserves the look with its shade. It works best in both horizontal and vertical places.

It is easy to both apply and maintain. Your expenditure is reduced as its application requires only either a brush or a sprayer. However, a single stroke of the paint provides a polished finishing, preventing any mark or scratch formation.


  • You can have rust-free areas for a considerable time.
  • It protects the fence and stairs from strong sunlight.
  • Applying it requires only a few materials.
  • A smooth finishing gives your house a fantastic appearance.


  • It is a bit expensive than others.
  • You might not like its smell.

Things To Consider Before Buying Stain For Cedar

Deciding what stain to buy for cedar wood can be a daunting task. Many different kinds of stains will work differently on the exterior cedar wood structures. So you need to be aware of some of the factors before you intend to buy the best outdoor fence stain.

best stain for cedar

Weather Condition

This is one of the essential elements which should be taken into consideration. Before you decide to apply a coating of stain on your cedar, you need to check on the weather forecast.

For instance, extreme humidity or cold might become a severe problem for the cedar. The stain cannot set correctly if the weather isn’t normal.

You also need to consider the type of stain that you’ll choose for your cedarwood.

If you happen to live in a place that has unpredictable weather throughout the year, then you need a stain that can withstand the climate and protect the wood from external factors.

Cleaning the Surface

Before you stain your cedar fence or deck, you need to know if the wood is old or new. This is because there is a big difference between applying the stain in a new cedarwood and a weathered, worn wood.

For instance, a brand new cedar fence needs to be prepared and installed correctly so that it can be suitable for any kind of stain. If you clean the wood with water, then it will open up the wood’s grain, which will allow proper saturation and adhesion.

You can also use some sort of cleaning agent like TSP. Furthermore, an old, weathered wood will have some moss and mildew all over it, so you have to wash it thoroughly before you stain it.

Applying Stain on New and Old Cedar

To use the best exterior fence stain on your new cedar, you need to do some tasks beforehand. The surface should be thoroughly cleaned and dried. You need to make sure that it is thoroughly dry before you apply the stain.

On the other hand, old and used cedar usually has a previous coating of stain on it. But there are several ways to remove it. You can remove the old flaking stains by power washing or with soap and water.

After it is done, you can put on the new stain on your old and weathered cedar.

Sun Exposure

The outdoor wooden structures, like fences, are regularly exposed to the sunlight. The UV rays from the sun can cause the cell structure to decay and rot within a short time. This will eventually let the moisture in and cause mold, algae, and mildew.

Therefore, you need the best exterior wood fence stain, which will protect the surface from being damaged by the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

How to Stain Cedar Wood

Staining cedar wood is tricky, to say the least. Thus, we present a short guideline on staining cedar wood appropriately.

how to stain cedar wood​

Examine the Cedar Fence

The first and foremost step is to inspect the wood extensively. Examining the cedar wood includes looking for screws, crushed pieces of wood, or nails. These things have to be instantly removed so that the surface stays smooth and precise.

You can also sand the rough parts before you apply the stain. Moreover, you need even the surface thoroughly so that the staining can be done without any errors.

Stain the Fence Surface

Once you have scrubbed, washed, and dried the surface properly, it is ready to be stained. You can use things like a roller or a brush to coat the surface with a stain. The primary focus is to apply it evenly without changing the directions.

If you change directions, the coating will look uneven after drying. Also, if you want the wood’s grain to be visible after you finish staining, then you can use the best transparent fence stain so that it highlights the surface and its structure.

Let It Dry

One of the vital steps is to let the surface dry after you have applied the stain. If you use the stain more than once, you have to make it dry after each coating.

You cannot check the surface of the fence to see if it has dried because this can leave unwanted fingerprints, which will cause the surface to look unattractive. It usually takes around one or two days to dry completely.

Therefore, you have to wait around for this duration until you apply the next layer of stain.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Q: How to Prepare the Surface Before Staining It?

The cedar wood surface has to be cleaned appropriately before staining it. You have to make sure that the surface is free from all the grease, dust, dirt, and mildew.

Moreover, any old sealer or stain should also be removed before you coat the surface with a new one.

Q: Is Sanding the Wood Necessary Before Staining It?

No, you don’t always have to sand the surface before you stain it. It mostly depends on the condition of the wood. If the surface has some rough parts, then you can try sanding it to make it evener.

Q: Why Should You Stain Cedar Wood?

Even though cedar has a vibrant, natural red color that highlights the beauty of your property, it does come with an expiration date. The red hue is bound to weather down over time.

External factors such as climate, sunlight will cause the color to fade into a dull gray shade, and eventually, the wood will lose its appeal.

So, to keep the color intact and durable, you need the best stain for cedar, which will be able to not only protect the wood’s color but also keep it safe from things like mildew, moss, and harmful UV rays.

Q: What Type of Stain Should You Use?

There are different types of stain, such as solid, semi-transparent, and transparent. A solid stain will completely cover the surface with its color, so the wood grain will not be visible.

On the other hand, a semi-transparent or transparent shade is known to be the best choice for ultimate durability and protection. The natural wood texture is also visible partially or entirely through the stain.

Final Notes

Cedar is the best type of wood you can have for any kind of wooden structure, such as fences, siding, or decks.

So, you can clearly understand that the best deserves the best. To make sure that the wood stays new and beautiful for a long time, you need the best stain for cedar that can get the job done effortlessly.

So, we hope that the reviews and information mentioned in this guide will help you make a proper decision. Feel free to try out the listed products as they’re thoroughly tested and verified, and they’ll surely deliver.

With that out of the way, we wish you a happy shopping!