How to Repair Exterior Cedar Siding


One of a traditional exterior building material that can beautify and protects any addition of your house is cedar siding. The cedar siding can adds a lot of richness and warmth to your home’s exterior. Even though the cedar siding is also water resistant and durable, over time it still can be damaged due to the exposure to moisture and ultraviolet (UV) rays where it can sometimes split or warp in severe kind of weather. Apart from that, insects and birds can also bore holes into your wood siding. Some of the ways to repair your exterior cedar sidings are by using wood cleaner if you want to remove sun-damaged wood fibers, to fill some of the small cracks and holes with exterior wood putty or even removed and replaced badly damaged siding with a new cedar siding. Below are some of the tips that can help you repair your exterior cedar siding on your own.

To repair exterior cedar siding, you need:

  • Wood cleaner
  • Nylon scrub brush
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Pry bar
  • Slater’s ripper
  • Hacksaw blade saw
  • Circular saw
  • Corrosion resistant nails
  • Hammer

Repairing Exterior Cedar Siding

How to Repair Exterior Cedar Siding

  • In order to remove cedar siding that has been damaged by the sunlight, you can simply use a mixture of wood cleaner onto the damaged area.
    • You will find that the wood cleaner is sold in a concentrated formula.
    • Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully whenever you are using the wood cleaner solution in order to remove the sun damaged wood fiber.

Normally cedar or redwood is used for making exterior siding for your house and it is also known as clapboard (or Lap). The clapboard is applied horizontally to the side of your exterior house in long overlapping lengths. In order to slow down its deterioration from water, sun and insects, you can also use paint or stain the sidings.

  • Next step that you need to do is to wet the wood by using your hose first before you can start to apply the wood cleaner.
    • Then, you should leave the wood cleaner to sit on the wood for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
  • After that, you need to use a nylon scrub brush to scrub the cedar siding vigorously.
    • By doing the scrubbing method, you would be able to remove the grayed and sun damaged wood fiber thus leaving only the healthy underlying wood intact so that your cedar siding can look just as new.
  • Lastly, you should rinse the cedar siding down with water thoroughly.
  • For those of you who encounter minor defects on your cedar siding, you can simply use your putty knife in order to apply exterior wood putty especially onto a small cracks as well as holes in the cedar siding.
    • You can work your putty down into the small holes.
    • Then, smear the putty over the top and also the edges of the affected area.
  • Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions especially in terms of the drying time.
    • When it comes to smaller repairs such as nail holes, it only require a few hours of drying time.
    • As for wider and deeper repairs, you might need to leave them for at least 24 hours to cure completely.
  • Once the putty that you used has dried completely, you can proceed with the sanding process by using a piece of 120-grit sandpaper to smooth your dried putty.
    • You need to work your dried putty with the sandpaper until you notice that it lies flush with the surface of existing cedar siding.


  • As for removing and replacing heavily damaged cedar siding, you need to use a pry bar so that you can lift the siding board and expose the nail shafts.
  • Make sure to pull out all the nails using a slater’s ripper. You can also cut them off using a hacksaw blade saw if you could not pull the nails out.
    • You should slide your hacksaw blade saw underneath the damaged siding before you can use it to saw the exposed nail shafts. Once you have finished, you should be able to remove the freed piece away from the damaged cedar siding.

A slater’s ripper is a tool that you can use for sliding underneath your siding board in order to hook and pull out the nails. A hacksaw blade saw is a tool which has a narrow and toothed saw blade mounted on a handle.

  • Take a circular saw so that you can cut the siding board to length and fasten it in place using nails.
    • The length of the nail that you should be using will depend on the thickness of your siding.
    • Make sure to use corrosion resistant nails especially when you are working with cedar wood. Besides that, you can also use galvanized, hot-dipped zinc coated, and aluminum nails.
    • In order to create a consistent appearance, you should follow the existing nail patterns of your cedar wood siding.

    Always remember that whenever you want to repair your exterior cedar siding, you should know that cedar can darken over time. Once this happen, you should be using wood brightener that can restore back its natural color plus also help to luster the wood.

    • Whenever you are using wood cleaner and wood brightener, remember to put on your protective clothing that includes your eye wear and rubber gloves because the solution can harm your skin and eyes due to the chemicals that it contains.
    • In order to find replacement for your cedar siding, you can simply look for it from your nearby building materials outlet or lumberyard.
    • Always measure your existing cedar siding in all aspects such as its thickness, length and width whenever you want to have an accurate replacement for your cedar siding.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC