I'm house shopping and I have a pretty good idea about the costs to maintain painted cedar exterior siding, but I've run into a few homes with stained cedar exteriors. How does the cost to maintain stained cedar siding compare to maintaining painted?

4 Answers 4


I have two small areas of solid cedar. I used a natural/brown stain and a sealer. It had to be resealed every 3 years to look good , every 5 years just to keep it from bleaching. The same time I built a shed with cedar plywood and painted it ; it is still good after 15 years.


Generally somewhat lower, as you generally get to skip the "scrape" step when the finish needs to be renewed.

  • Any ideas on ballpark percentage? 25%? 50%? Jan 26, 2015 at 22:27
  • But don't you typically need to restain more often that re-paint (depending on opacity of stain)?
    – DA01
    Feb 26, 2015 at 0:46

I called a popular exterior paint company, and they quoted me about the same price whether the cedar is painted or stained.


It all depends on the product used (Brand). With stain it's designed to penitrate the wood and seal it from the inside outward where as a paint sits on top of the surface which allows room for dirt and moisture to enter in behind creating more pealing or bubbling or lifting. In my opinion stained would be much more cost efficient than painted.

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