Staining Cedar Columns

We are inching closer to our two year anniversary of living in our house and are slowly crossing things off our list to make this house a home. This included staining cedar columns on our front porch. When we first moved in, they weren’t yet faded from the harsh winter, our house was barely a year old when we purchased it. The cedar posts were not stained yet and the builders left this last item up to us. I couldn’t make a split second decision, nor was it top on our priority list.

This summer, after putting in our landscaping and irrigation system, the posts just screamed to be stained. They looked weathered and pathetic. Slowly, other neighbors who were in the same boat, began painting or staining their posts. However; I couldn’t just paint mine any random color, we have black shutters, a black front door, and a tan trim color. Not a lot of color to work with.

After much Pinterest research and Facebook polling with mock-ups shown and I settled on Behr’s Semi-Transparent Stain in Chocolate.

I was THISCLOSE to going with black, but I wanted to incorporate the brown hues in the rock siding that flank our garage. It doesn’t help that it made me feel a little like Joanne from Fixer Upper – this image from one of their houses was my inspiration (though, it makes me wonder if I had gone transparent would it look even more similar?).

I spent a Sunday afternoon cleaning the posts and sanding them down. Over two lunch breaks in two days, I was able to stain the cedar posts – one of the fastest and most satisfying DIYs I’ve completed. The one thing I loved about using this stain is that I didn’t have to wipe off any excess, just brush it on and you’re done! It’s not perfect, and there are spots I should have sanded a bit more throughly before staining, but overall I’m happy with the end result!

The Inspiration (from Fixer Upper):

Semi-Transparent & Transparent Chocolate in action:



Here is the mock up using the stain color above in photoshop:

Here is the before/after for your viewing delight:


During (one coat):

After (two coats): 

What a difference stain makes – I’d love to add some handles to the garage doors to help balance out the black shutters. Also – it never bothered me until my best friend pointed out the the windows above the garage are shutter-less. I had never really noticed before and now I can’t un-notice it :)

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