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After 12 years finally had to restain our yellow cedar home- some minor touch - ups were done in between but otherwise the stain held up beautifully. The secret?
1. Design of the house itself ( roof overhangs provide good cover ) no contact between logs and soil or snow, in general keeping water away and a drier climate ( me thinks)
2. Defy stain. I LOVE this product a) it's easy to apply b) easy to clean up c) fumes are tolerable and, c) it fades rather than peel or whatever other products do.

I came across this site when I looked for prep suggestions. Found some and here is now my experience with what worked. The tools:

power washer, oxyclean, oxalic acid, scrub brushes, paint brushes, garden sprayers ( I own a powered airless paint sprayer but ended up using the hand pump garden sprayer, easier to lug around), tarps to cover foliage, lots of water, a couple of willing teenagers, scaffolding for the higher bits and pieces, colour matched energy seal (permachink) to fix cracks and of course stain ( defy water repellant wood stain) , fall arrest, safety glasses, latex gloves - lets not forget the safety stuff
One wall at a time:
1. Power wash, keep your distance so there is no fuzzing - or you will be sanding.
Check inside of house for leaks and note the likeliest outside water entry point.( we had 2 spots that were minor)
2 use oxyclean solution spray on and scrub ( thats where the teenagers come in), rinse, rinse and rinse some more
3. Oxalic acid ( wood brightener) spray on, scrub some more , rinse, rinse, rinse and then rinse some more
4. Let dry - time is really dependent on ambient conditions - for us it was a 2-3 days minimum
5. Stain 2 coats wet over wet. Let dry
6. Use energy seal for any cracks in the wood. I did all of them as it prevents little critters from taking up home. Did the same on the inside when we built - hardly noticeable if you colour match it.
6. Admire the result.

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