Paint, stains cleaning cedar siding

Published on November 23rd, 2016 | by Henri


Stain, don’t paint, cedar siding

Q.  We have a 90+ year old farm house in Kansas. We have painted it several time in the past 40 years. Each time the paint lasts for a few years.

Mold is starting to appear on the north side of the house, as it has before. We have washed it with a bleach solution and then primed and painted.

I am wondering what will happen to this cedar siding if we just put a metal siding over it?  Will it still be molding and cause concern after a few years under the metal siding?  Is there a way to keep it from molding?  Should we remove all the old siding and put up new siding that we don’t have to paint?

A.  Painting cedar is seldom successful because of the tannin in the wood. Cedar is so beautiful, it is best to stain it with a stain that inhibits mold formation. My long-time favorite is Amteco TWP (www.

The mold you find on the north side is likely to develop because this siding is exposed to the elements and does not get sunlight to dry it from any moisture, such as dew and rain. Even if you used a mildewcide in the paint, it only lasts but a few years.
Once the source of moisture is eliminated, the mold will die.

You can safely install metal or vinyl siding, but it is a shame to cover cedar, which represents a greater value than any other siding. Please consider removing all paint and staining the siding with Amteco TWP. It should last several years before needing a refresher coat.

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