How To Restore Aged Cedar Shakes Siding

2 Materials
2 Weeks

Cedar Shakes are so beautiful and long-lasting wood shingles that are so often seen on coastal homes.

If left untreated, they will naturally gray as seen here. If the cedar shakes are not cleaned on a regularly basis (every 3-5 years), mold and mildew will set in over time, which is what happened to our home here in coastal Maine, that we recently inherited from my parents. To see more on my featured blog series and our Maine home click here "In My Mother's Home..."


Cedar Shake Siding Weathered almost 30 years.

Cedar Wash Wood Cleaner

We wanted to restore the cedar shakes back to a more golden color with hints of the weathered gray, as well as remove all the mold and mildew that had gathered over the years. We tried several solutions and settled on Redihan's, Cedar Wash Wood Cleaner. It's eco-safe and organic. Each house and cedar shake shingle does weather differently, therefore it is important to test out what works best on your own situation. One container of Cedar Wash Wood Cleaner covers about 1200 square feet at about $24 a container. We used about 4 containers for our two-story, Cape. We simply mixed this powder with water in a large spray container per the directions on the bottle and sprayed it onto the house. We then waited 15 - 20 minutes and used a handled brush to scrub the cedar shakes gently, as you don't want to crack or break them, and then hosed the shakes down to wash everything off. The gray, dirt, and mildew just poured off the house. It was not a difficult process and the outcome was so well worth the effort it took!

Brushing the Cedar Shakes

Brushing down the cedar shakes after spraying the home with the cedar wash wood cleaner.

Washing the Cedar Shakes

Hosing down the cedar shakes after spraying the shingle siding to remove the dirt, mildew, and gray.

Washed but not Water Sealed.

Here is how the cedar shakes appeared after the cleaning. What a difference!

However, we weren't finished yet. We wanted to water seal the cedar shakes as well, so they will last

for years to come especially with coastal Maine's harsh climate.

i.e. The bottom shakes on the home, unfortunately, are rotted and will need to be replaced.

To see the post on the Essex Green Home Trim, click here "Beautiful Essex Green Coastal House Trim"

Applying the Water Sealer

From here we applied Super Deck's Cedar Natural Stain to the cedar shake siding. It took about 13 gallons to cover the entire home. This is simply sprayed onto the house with a plastic spray container and then we used a paintbrush to brush over it to be sure that there was no running. Our cedar shakes were very dry so the cedar absorbed the solution very quickly. It will definitely vary depending upon your own shake's weathering. We also chose to apply only one coat. You may want to consider two coats.


We did need a large ladder that we borrowed from a handy man friend to reach the high points on the home.


The golden color now shines prominently and just looks so classic. We painted the trim Benjamin Moore's historical Essex Green. To see the blog post on the Essex Green trim, CLICK HERE!

Restored Cedar Shakes

The cedar shakes look different in all kinds of light. I captured them for this post as best I could on a late afternoon, fairly overcast August day.

Front Door Restored Cedar Shakes

Front Door with Essex Green Trim

Sun Shade Sail

We also added this dark green and white striped Sun Shade Sail, after pricing out numerous awnings to suppress the sun in the sunroom. Awnings are just so expensive and were going to take weeks if not months until one arrived and was installed. That's when we decided on the Sun Shade Sail. Such a simple solution to this problem and less than $100. Super easy to install too. The sunroom in the back of the house would reach temperatures well into the 100's with the afternoon sun hitting it. This has cooled down not only the sunroom but the entire house because of this shade. LUV IT!

Restored Cedar Shakes

Front of the House

Restored Cedar Shakes

The landscaping will be something we will tackle next summer. We did manage to plant a few small boxwoods and a couple of white snowball hydrangeas in the front of the house. I luv boxwoods, as they stay green all year round and look beautiful next to a blanket of snow in the winter.

Restored Cedar Shakes Siding

Front of the Home

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Ann | Dabbling & Decorating
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  • Smudgesmom Smudgesmom on Aug 25, 2020

    We bought our home in 2018 & it didn’t look like it does now in this picture. Those cedar shakes were very hard to come by here in SC. Neither the box or lumber stores here carry them (although both Lowe’s & Home Depot show them on their websites). We contact Lowe’s corporate office & they located them in VA & had them transported to our local store. Now we’ll know the product to use to clean them. We did have them treated already.

  • Merry Mount Merry Mount on Aug 20, 2021

    Why not use Consan Triple Action. It is organic and is a fungicide, multicide and disinfectant. It is a sanitizer and was once used in operating room.

    Used in ratio of 2 Tsp per gallon. Apply it, let it set 24 hours and will cut your washing time in half and drastically prevent wood damage.

    I sold it when I worked at a paint mfg. company.