Q: How I can maintain a uniform color on the cedar shingles on all four sides of my house? Nobody seems to know why the color on some sides is so different from that on the other sides.

— Edward, Livingston, NJ

A: Norm Abram replies: The color of wall shingles varies according to its exposure to moisture and sunlight. Those with greater exposure will lose their natural, fresh-sawn color faster than ones that are more protected. That's just what wood does when it's left outdoors.

The only way to get uniform color is to apply some kind of finish, either a paint, stain, or bleaching oil. If you decide to go this route, be sure to clean the shingles thoroughly first using a mix of diluted bleach and laundry soap to remove dirt and mildew. Just don't pressure-wash them — you'll shorten their life span considerably.

Bleaching oil
Cabot Bleaching Oil
Samuel Cabot Incorporated
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