Quality grades of cedarwood don’t need to be stained, even when used outdoors. The wood resists moisture and rot and will naturally weather into a greyish shade that many find beautiful. Still, some people prefer to stain cedar decking. You may want to stain it to change its color or maintain its original color. You may simply want to stain it to ensure it stays consistent, as aged cedar is blotchy. Staining can also have the benefit of improving longevity by protecting the wood from UV damage, reducing its swelling and shrinking and providing other benefits.
Just as they sound, transparent stains are see-through and will not change the color of your cedar decking. They do, however, help protect the decking from the sun, water, fungus, and other environmental concerns.
Semi-transparent stains are the right option if you want to add just a touch of color to your decking but not lose any of the natural wood look. You’ll see the texture through these stains. You can add a semi-transparent stain to weathered cedar to bring back some of its original reddish color.
Opaque, Solid Color Stains
While some people may balk at the idea of putting a solid color stain on cedar, it’s a possibility. The solid color will hide most (but not all) of the wood grain but will also make the wood a deep, rich color. Don’t let people shame you out of choosing a solid color if you want to–it’s your deck. Although, you might want to choose a cheaper wood than cedar if this is the route you commit to.