Using either red cedar shakes or shingles on a building gives a great rustic look.  With cedar’s basic resistance to the elements, it’s a practical choice as well.  For either roofing or siding coverage you can’t beat the look of wood.  However, the final appearance will depend on the finishing option you chose.  With cedar you have several options for the final finishing.

Red Cedar has a natural resistance to the elements. You can leave it as is and the Red Cedar will age to a silver gray color. This is prized by many people. Treated wood is a good choice if you want to go this route. However even treated shingles will have a longer lifespan if you apply some finish to them.

Red Cedar Shakes


If you want more control over the final color you can apply a stain to the cedar with or without a clear coat over it.  You can keep the rustic wood look and control the final color of the wood.  If you wish the natural color you can use the clear coat without stain.  Using stain and clear coat does protect the wood and gives you a longer life for the roof or siding.

The other finishing option is paint.  You can paint the cedar to whatever color you wish.  The natural oils in the cedar can discolor paint so be sure to apply a oil based primer coat to seal it.  This can also lead to peeling.  Check with your paint supplier to make sure the chosen paint is the proper kind for cedar.

If you have the luxury of being able to work with the cedar shakes and shingles during construction, you have another option. This is called prefinishing. They can be stained or painted before being put on the building.   This assures the best finish for the wood although it is a labor-intensive task.

As with any design ideas, be sure to investigate them before committing.  Look at some buildings with the different finish options.  You will want to be sure you like the final look before you apply the finishes.  Stains can be painted over, but it’s much more of a problem to go from paint to stain.

Get Expert Guidance for Your Cedar Shakes and Shingles Selection

We at East Tennessee Building Supply can assist you with your questions on this topic.  We offer all the Perma-Chink stains and finishes at a discount.   

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