Western Red Cedar takes oil-based stains beautifully. It can be installed after applying a transparent finish for a natural effect or a pigmented semi-transparent finish for a less rustic look. Using 100% acrylic latex paints in solid colors offers a smooth finish. Alkyd oil primers with mildew and ultraviolet shielding properties ensure the best results when finishing cedar. Avoid varnishes and other film-forming coatings that can crack and peel over time. Consult a professional siding installer about the finishes available for your cedar.
Factory-primed cedar can substantially reduce construction time. Ask your building supply dealer about 15-year warranty plans and ensure all board surfaces are sealed.