Paint provides the most surface protection against weathering and wetting by water while providing color and concealing some of the wood's characteristics. Although paint can reduce wood's absorption of water, paint itself is not a preservative.
Alkyd oil-based primers usually offer the best shield against discoloration by water-soluble extractives. Latex paint, particularly 100% acrylic formulations, remain more flexible with age and are better able to accommodate dimensional changes by stretching and shrinking with the wood.
Solid-color stains are opaque finishes with fewer solids than paint. Available in a wide spectrum of hues, solid-color stains obscure the woods true color but allow some of the natural characteristics and texture of cedar to remain. Solid-color stains perform best on textured surfaces. They are non-penetrating and, like paints, form a film. A stain-blocking primer should be applied first, followed by a 100% acrylic latex-based top coat.
Members of the Western Red Cedar Export Association provide western red cedar to Belgium, France, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan and other markets around the world.