Real Cedar     Advanced Performance Design     Siding and Roofing

Ecoshel Cedar Shingle System

"The new smart way to install cedar shingles."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - This Old House .

Produced in British Columbia and Quebec, Canada,                  Copyright © 2019 Ecoshel, Inc., Boston, MA.                     All rights reserved.                     TM: Ecoshel, Smart-Shingle.

About Ecoshel

(617) 383-4970

Cedar Shingles, Semi-transparent Cape Cod Gray, Installed, photo

Prefinished Performance

Bleached / Unfinished

Semi-transparent Stains

Solid Color Stains

Order Color Samples

Finish Maintenance

Custom Color Prefinishing

8+ Years Semi-Transparent

20 Years Solid Colors

Prefinished Performance

8+ Years Semi-Transparent

20 Years Solid Colors

Prefinishing in a controlled environment provides a higher quality finish with significant performance advantages.

Western Red Cedar is an excellent base for paints and stains, and a properly applied factory finish can last just as long on cedar as it does on artificial siding products. Real time testing of western red cedar, prefinished with a solid color, was rated "good as new" after 20 years of exposure to typical conditions.


The key to achieving a durable, long lasting finish is to apply the finish in a controlled environment, before the shingles have been exposed to sunlight and environmental contaminants. Exposure to direct sun, rain, and high or low temperatures, during finishing or curing, can also degrade the quality of the finish.


For the best performance, shingles must also be kiln dried to a specific moisture content before the finish is applied.


Factory prefinishing coats all of the shingle surfaces, front, back, and edges, to prevent the shingle from absorbing moisture. "Back priming" significantly increases the life of the finish, and also provides greater dimensional stability, which helps prevent cupping and curling. Prefinishing uses much more finish than painting in the field, but, typically, still costs less.


 Another advantage of prefinished shingles is that they can be installed in any season or weather conditions.


Ecoshel Shingle-Strips are ideal for prefinishing because they require very little cutting and handling, so touch-up and cleaning after installation is minimal.

Semi-Transparent Stains

Nothing has more curb appeal than homes sided with  high quality Western Red Cedar shingles finished with a semi-transparent stain that highlights the natural beauty of the wood.

Sanded WRC has a wide range of wood tones from blonde to dark brown that interact nicely with various semi-transparent tints.

We recommend semi-transparent stains with the Premium #1 grade which has subdued clear vertical grain, and beautiful tonal transitions.

The Standard #2 grade includes some flat grain shingles, which have a stronger grain pattern that works well with solid colors and darker semi-transparent stains.

Premium #1 Vertical Grain

Cedar shingle, semi-transparent stain, Olympic Naturaltone, Vertical grain

Cedar Naturaltone

Standard #2 Flat Grain

Cedar shingle, semi-transparent stain walnut, russet, flat grain


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All Ecoshel shingles will last a lifetime, with or without paint or stain. The only maintenance concern is how long the finish will last, and how the finish affects the color of the wood.

While solid color stains will look good as new after 20+ years, the challenge for a semi-transparent stain is to provide enough protection from UV rays to prevent "graying" of the wood beneath the finish. Ecoshel's PPG finishes use high quality trans-oxide ground pigments and UV blockers to provide the best protection from graying.

Generally, darker stains like Walnut, will block UV much better than lighter stains like Sierra or Cedar Naturaltone.              Clear finishes and "Toners" are not recommended because the wood will begin turning gray within a year or two.

You should plan on refinishing lighter stains in about 7 years. Darker stains can last twice as long. They will begin to fade, but, depending on the style of house, that can be a nice quality. Like a pair of old jeans, semi-transparent stains are a work in progress that will develop character over time.

Semi-transparent stains are easily renewed  by adding another coat, or washing with special solutions that will restore the new wood coloring. Because Ecoshel uses stains rather than paints, there is no film to crack or peel when the finish fails, so re-finishing is relatively easy. See the maintenance section for information on restoring semi-transparent finishes.

Solid color stains can always be applied over semi-transparent stains, so if you really want a very low maintenance finish, you might still consider starting with a semi-transparent to enjoy the beauty of the wood, and then top coat with a solid color when it's time to refinish.

Semi-transparent stains are divided in to 3 different color groups. Follow the links below to explore all of the options.

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Additional custom Naturaltones are available.

Always check actual color samples before placing your order.

Ecoshel color samples are provided on individual shingles in #1, #2, or Rustic grades.



Sierra 700

Ecoshel 101

Walnut 708


LT 045

Ecoshel 404

Sand 807

Straw 109

Ecoshel 309

Ecoshel 208

Ecoshel 077

Cedar    716


Ecoshel 504

Russet 705





#2 Flat Grain Image Coming Soon

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Weathered Grays

Ecoshel 525

Ecoshel 929

Ecoshel 1222

Ecoshel 1525

Ecoshel 1929

Ecoshel 2222

Ecoshel 2626

Ecoshel 2929

Ecoshel 121

Ecoshel 727

Ecoshel 1020

Ecoshel 1323

Ecoshel 1727

Ecoshel 2020

Ecoshel 2424

Ecoshel 2727

Ecoshel 323

Ecoshel 828

Ecoshel 1121

Ecoshel 1424

Ecoshel 1828

Ecoshel 2121

Ecoshel 2525

Ecoshel 2828

#2 Flat Grain Image Coming Soon


Color Tints

A new color selector for Semi-Transparent Color Tints will be available soon.

Solid Color Stains

Real time field tests have shown that kiln dried cedar prefinished with a solid colors paint or stain will be "good as new" after 20 years. If you want a finish that is nearly maintenance free, then a solid color stain is your best option.

Your order can be prefinished with virtually any solid color. Choose one of the Ecoshel /PPG colors below, or provide a color spec or sample to match.

We recommend the #2 grade with solid color finishes because the stronger flat grain patterns show through as beautiful, subtle, changes in sheen.

Ecoshel uses premium quality 100% acrylic PPG stains that provide excellent performance, and are very resistant to fading and mildew.

Tannin bleeeding can occur with high quality western red cedar. Tannins are tea colored compounds in the wood that can migrate to the surface causing discoloration. Tannins are water soluable and  are easily washed off, but tannin bleeding can be avoided completely by choosing a 2 coat process that uses a special tannin blocking primer.

Premium #1 Vertical Grain

#1 cedar shingle, solid color stain, Beachwood.

Beachwood SC

Standard #2 Flat Grain

cedar shingle color, solid color stain, Beachwood.

Beachwood SC

A new color selector for Semi-Transparent Color Tints will be available soon.

Bleached / Unfinished

Bleaching finishes can be used to accelerate the weathering process, providing a natural gray weathered appearance without a stain. Bleaching finishes include a temporary gray stain that is designed to weather off as the bleach in the finish works to change the color of the wood from the new wood color to gray.

Bleaching finishes can be used with both western red cedar and eastern white cedar. Although white cedar will more readily transition to gray than red cedar,  the bleach finish will accelerate the process, and  help eliminate the uneven black staining that usually occurs.

Bleached shingles have the advantage of no finish to maintain, and unfinished Ecoshel #1 western red cedar shingles will last at least 50 years in sidewall applications. Eastern white cedar shingles are not as dimensionally stable and will probably last longer if prefinished on all sides.

The disadvantage of bleaching finishes is that you have less control over the color, the shade of gray, than if you use a stain.

Traditional bleaching oils have been recently phased out in favor of new low VOC versions that claim to work just as well, and faster. We are currently testing the new bleaching finishes and will update this section with photos soon.

Because they are sanded and kiln dried, unfinished Ecoshel western red cedar shingles and shakes always weather readily to a beautiful gray in roofing applications. As unfinished siding, much depends on the environment. Closer to the seashore, they may tend more toward gray. Further inland, they will eventually develop a rich dark brown color. Unfinished western red cedar sidewalls will typically be quite uneven in tone, as the exposure to sunlight and rain will also be uneven.

Order Color Samples

To order color samples, or learn more about the finishing options, call us at (617) 383-4970, or email

Finish Maintenance

Coming soon - detailed instructions for cleaning, maintaining and restoring semi-transparent, and solid color finishes, as well as unfinished shingles.