A Basic Guide on Sanding Cedar Siding

Used by many homes all over the United States, cedar is considered by many homeowners to be one of the most attractive and durable building materials.

Cedar is noted for its ease of use, lightweight nature, and stability. It can also be easily sanded in order to eliminate any defects on the surface as well as to prepare it for staining or painting job.

A Guide on Sanding Cedar Siding

You will need

  • Belt or disc sander
  • Wood cleaner
  • Wood brightener
  • 80- and 120-grit sandpaper
  • Nylon scrubs brush


  • Using a rough sandpaper can help remove material from the wood. In order to smoothen the surface of a cedar wood and prepare it for finishing, a finer sandpaper can do the trick. It is also important that the sanded cedar wood must be treated with wood brightener in order to ensure that the wood is properly conditioned for finishing.
  • Using a wood cleaner, thoroughly clean the cedar wood. Most wood cleaners in the market are available in concentrated form. With regards to the proper dilution process for cleaning the wood, make sure to follow the instructions provides by the manufacturer. Mix the wood cleaner and carefully apply it to the cedar siding.
  • Using a nylon brush, vigorously scrub the cedar wood. Rinse the cedar siding using water. Before sanding the cedar wood, make sure to let it dry for 24 hours.
  • Choose a rough sandpaper to get rid of any damaged wood fiber. In order to remove surface materials in great quantity, using a disc or belt sander that comes equipped with an 80-grit sandpaper can do the job efficiently.
  • Sanding the cedar siding will require you to start in one corner of the wood and gradually transition to the wood grain part. In order to avoid making too much damage on the wood fiber, it is recommended to sand relatively quickly. Using the 80-grit sandpaper can result to a relatively rough sanded surface and filled with fine grooves.
  • For finishing, ensure that the 120-grit sandpaper is properly fitted. You can go back over the sanded area of the wood to ensure optimal smoothing.
  •  With the help of a water hose, rinse any noticeable sawdust from the cedar siding after sanding.
  • Carefully mix the wood brightener and generously apply to wet wood. Let the wood brighter sit for at least 30 to 45 minutes. Next step would be to rinse the cedar siding with water. Keep in mind that scrubbing the siding while working with a wood brightener is not advisable.
  • Let the wood dry for at least 24 hours before doing any staining or painting job.


  • As one of the essential tips in sanding cedar wood, make sure to be careful when using wood brightener and cleaner products as they contain harmful chemicals that can cause adverse reactions to the eyes and skin. When working with these chemicals, make sure proper protection is worn such as a protective eyewear and rubber gloves.
  • Also, sanding cedar wood can produce small dust particles that can be harmful when inhaled. In order to protect your lungs from these elements, make sure to wear an NIOSH-approved ventilating mask.

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