can cedar be painted white

Can Cedar Be Painted White? Pros, Cons, and Painting Tips

Cedar is a wood well-known for numerous outdoor and indoor woodworking projects such as trim, siding, fencing, and decking. This wood’s excellent visual appearance and texture add a unique look to any woodworking project. Many people don’t suggest painting cedar because it will conceal the wood grain’s natural beauty. However, there are specific situations in that people tend to paint Cedar. Those who want to paint their Cedar railing on the balcony in white might wonder and ask, can Cedar be painted white? Here is what we discovered: 

So, can Cedar be painted white? Yes, it’s possible that Cedar can be painted white; however, an excessive amount of tannin from this wood can bleed through the paint. Such a scenario will result in having yellow and brown patches. Therefore, you are advised to apply the first oil-based acrylic exterior primer before applying the white point to Cedar wood. This will not just give Cedar a natural look but also avoid bleed-through. But there is more to learn about painting Cedar wood. 

Is Painting Cedar a Good Idea?

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Painting Cedar wood can be a viable option. Take, for instance, the cedar siding. This must be protected from getting damaged or ruined through weathering or impacts of a particular type of paint. Combining Cedar siding paint and acrylic paint will give the beauty and protection that the natural wood deserves. 

In general, it’s easy to paint Cedar, considering its beneficial qualities for paint. Cedar wood’s natural repellency is excellent, including its durability and aroma. This advantage can benefit the natural furnishings. Cedar is also smooth and has no raised grains or knots. You can consider painting your Cedar wood if you plan to construct craft projects using this wood.  

What About Painting It White? 

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Cedar wood can be painted in any color, including white and other custom colors. It’s therefore not a bad idea to paint your wood white; however, there are correct procedures that need to be followed when painting. Cedar is packed with tannins, and bleeding through the white paint is possible. To prevent the issue, make sure to apply thin coats properly. This will also prevent peeling and cracking; applying oil-based primer before painting Cedar wood white is necessary. 

Pros and Cons of Painting Cedar Wood 

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Painting Cedar wood comes with pros and cons. 


  • Cedar wood takes paint nicely. But it’s worth knowing that primer with a top coat can guarantee more extended service life than solid stain or a single paint coat. 
  • Painted Cedar wood can make your siding last for a long. If done right, painted Cedar wood can last for around 12 to 15 years. 
  • Painting Cedar wood provides a good level of protection for the wood. 
  • Painting can be beneficial for badly worn homes with peeling issues from previous painting applications. 
  • Painting your Cedar wood white makes it look more elegant, refined, and pleasing to the eyes. 


  • Applying paint to weathered wood with no primer might lead to adhesion issues. 
  • There will always be a possibility of bleeding through the white paint. 

These highlighted pros and cons indicate that painting can be an option, but one needs to take caution and follow the procedures when painting correctly to achieve excellent results. 

Helpful Painting Tips 

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Preparing the surface is sometimes overlooked, but this is often the key to success when dealing with Cedar wood. Natural wood such as Cedar should be primed before being painted, or paint can have some trouble adhering. Old Cedar wood can be painted white or dark colors, but this requires a heavy preparation. Sidings should be free from mildew, mold, and dirt. 

Other cedar wood painting tips you can follow are: 

  • Sand the wood surface properly 

Preparing the surface for the painting job is vital. The paint applied on the top of the wood should penetrate well so it will stay for long. Ensure that the top layer is cleaned off and free from loose wood fibers. This is the first tip you should follow before painting your Cedar wood. 

  • Primer application first before painting

Don’t forget to apply a stain blocker and primer coat using a roller upon surface preparation. Applying primer is strongly recommended as this can guarantee a longer life. 

  • Painting in the direction of the wood grain can create a difference 

While painting, one helpful tip to remember is to work in the direction of Cedar wood grain and not against it. You can achieve a smoother finish by working in the grain’s direction. 

  • Drying should not be overlooked 

Finishing the painting job isn’t the end of it all. It would help if you still dealt with drying the right way. After applying the final coat, Cedar wood must be left out to dry for 72 hours. This is an effective way to ensure paint’s adhesion, and it spreads evenly. 

  • Know what and what not to paint 

It’s imperative to know that not all Cedar wood can accept paint the same way. If your home has Cedar shake shingles as siding and does not presently have paint coating on it, don’t paint them. 

  • Always choose the right paint 

Choosing the right paint to use from the start is a great thing to do so that you won’t have to re-do everything or start over, as every added coating applied is working in connection with the other, providing maximum protection. The white paint you must use in Cedar wood must be acrylic latex paint. 

  • Check the weather

If you’re planning to paint Cedar wood, one major point is to check the weather. Rain or humidity might be disturbing factors for your painting project.


If “can cedar be painted white?” is the question. The answer is yes, but you must clearly understand that there are correct procedures to follow and helpful painting tips to keep in mind. Painting Cedar wood white will continue to be a popular choice, but people should take time to know how to carry out the painting job the right way, not to put their time, money, and effort to waste. Before the painting process, it would also be best to take all the tools and equipment you need to make the paint application successfully before the painting process.



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