I have a western red cedar fence. The colour of woods is affected by light especially sunlight and ultraviolet. As Albany Fence Designs mentions, the natural forces of nature, such as wind and rain, will slowly cause untreated cedar wood structures, such as fences and furniture, to fade. Go to a cedar specialty shop. However, with semi-transparent stains, you will need to take care with the application. So if your goal is to keep the wood as natural-looking as possible, you might want to avoid oil-based products. Paint's solids ward off light, and light is the main contributor to the deterioration of cedar. Semi-transparent stain also beads up water, preventing moisture from penetrating the wood's cellular structure. It's completely gray/silver now. You will know you are finished when the water runs clear, and there are no more soap bubbles remaining on the wood surface. Cedar is a majestic, evergreen conifer which can grow to 35m. Our house is covered with natural cedar siding that … I've got a dock, down by the water (fresh water) that needs boards replacing. Proper care can keep the wood looking new for many years. Boards are all sanded, and ready to go down. And once it turned gray, there isn’t any natural way to get back the color. After installing your exterior cedar, you have about a two week grace period until the wood starts to discolor. Keeping a Cedar Fence Looking its Best. Volatile compounds within the wood have been identified with this condition. This time, you want to sweep it lightly, just to remove any dirt that has settled within the last few days. Clear finishes with UV inhibitors will slow down the weathering process, but these still need to be reapplied every two years or so. Eventually, they will end up a silver-grayish color. Solid color stains have solid particles, but not nearly as many as paint. You applied the first coat and when it turned milky, you put on the second. Or less. Some owners like this look, while others may think that it looks tired. Second, over a short period of time, the oil will accelerate the bleaching process so that you get the weathered look faster and with more uniform results The fully uniform weathered effect, though, will take between three and six months to develop. This is mainly for looks. Dry the cedar. But quality wood is increasingly rare. The few solid particles in this mix will not significantly obscure cedar's wood grain. If you are using a colored sealer, make sure the color looks even during application. They are busy producing the natural oils which gives cedar its nice color and smell. Cedar is a beautiful red wood, but can turn gray if not properly cared for. In my experience most woodworkers love the finished look. According to Cedar Wood Information, what is commonly referred to as red cedar is actually a species of juniper that grows throughout North America north of the Mexican border and East of California. Cedar, however, should not be finished right after it is installed or placed outside, but should be allowed to get used to the new environment for at least two weeks before being finished. Clean off the wood wash mixture using a power washer or garden hose. To fully understand the best way to stain or treat cedar, you first need to understand the nuances of this unique wood's weathering process. Cedar is like a cousin of redwood but is slightly less expensive. Keep it natural or if you'd like, you can choose a stain colour. 1. I have a western red cedar fence. Then I was out of province, and the fence didn't get done for years so I just applied a stain. Pick hand brush otherwise. Oil works like moisturiser for Cedar, deeply replenishing the natural oils extracted by the sun and keeping it protected. What you get is a very uniform opaque color. I’d really like to keep that original ‘cedar look’ if I can. Even if slightly grayed in areas, it would bring out the beautiful tones. And it will look better than an artificial weathering job. It is difficult to maintain the original natural look of Western Red Cedar exposed to the weather over a prolonged period of time. Apply the wash mixture to the wood with rags and scrub, as needed. The bark is blackish-brown with closely spaced ridges and cracks, and twigs are brown and slightly hairy. Every year, I buy yards and yards of fresh cedar garland for my holiday decorating. In order to prevent warm, fresh-looking cedar from fading to a colder, older-feeling shade, you need to apply a stain every year or so, as The Family Handy Man notes. And every year it dries out before the holidays are over. Because cedar siding has excellent longevity, with many warranties over 25 years, most maintenance is focused on keeping up the look and style of the wood. Use of a domestic-grade water blaster, without professional training is likely to damage naturally soft Cedar. We like to use it draped in garlands and arrangements. Choose from a wide selection to get just the look you want. It is a soft wood and easy to work with and soft to the touch. cedar siding,what can i put on it to keep it looking like new? … Left untreated, your Western Red Cedar (or Alaskan Yellow Cedar) will naturally weather to a silvery grey. Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. Red cedar is one of the most popular wood species for exterior use because of its natural rich, red color and its natural resistance to decay. Cabot's Bleaching Oil is one prominent brand of oil appropriate for artificially weathering cedar. Far too much value is placed on trying to make wood look different to what it natually should. To help you properly stain your newly built outdoor structure, we’ve come up with 10 tips to help you stain your cedar and to keep it looking new for years to come. But, you still want to sweep and wash your cedar area at least once a year to keep it from graying. 9 Cabinet Stain Colors and How to Coordinate Them, How to Build a DIY Retractable Pergola Canopy, 7 Best Cabinet Paint Brands for a Flawless Finish, How to Get Out Grease Stains From Clothes Carpet Upholstery, The Best Way to Clean Indoor and Exterior Concrete Floors. 2 … I'm looking for a clear finish that will preserve the beautiful red wood, and not allow it to turn that dingey grey all cedar seems to on fences. One oft-mentioned selling point of cedar is that you can treat it with oils, stains, or paints—or let it weather on its own. You can choose to use a clear sealer or you can use a colored finish, if you choose. Doing that you will get a fresh-looking wood and if it is cedar wood, the smell will be back as well. Cabot , along with other finish makers, make decking stains … Wes Shelby Design Systems Group Murray KY wandr@ainweb.net: ICFHybrid Veteran Member Posts:3039: 24 Apr 2011 10:43 PM: It will be weathered gray in a couple years. A factor to keep in mind when looking at colors is to understand that a non transparent stain/sealer will "cover" the grain and coloration and give your siding a more "painted" look. Once cedar has turned gray, there is no natural way of going back. While this process is not apparent over small areas, it is noticeable when you are looking at wide expanses, such as siding. ScottMatson | Dec 16, 2004 02:27am | #1. When fully weathered, cedar takes on a light silvery-gray appearance. Relevance. Left untreated, your Western Red Cedar (or Alaskan Yellow Cedar) will naturally weather to a silvery grey. We live in a shady wooded area. Water erodes the outer layer of the wood cells that are still alive and well in a plank of cedar. Or do you prefer an even but unnatural look? If you are looking for the best wood sealer for cedar play set, then consider using this product. Especially in coastal areas where a “beachy” look is desired or by those concerned with applying finishes, this is a beautiful, natural choice. All cedar products used in exterior applications require a degree of maintenance to keep them looking their best. The more solids in the treatment, the longer the cedar will last. Tim Carter CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Answer Save. … The exact amount will depend on the brand you use. im putting up cedar siding today and i like the way it looks new,anything that keeps it the way it is now? The application was called white on white. Cedar wood is a red-colored aromatic wood that can be used for decks, furniture, siding and even to line closets. Semi-transparent stains are your best bet when you want the real look of slightly weathered cedar with protection. BruceM. After that, the color will rapidly change from red to gray. By Al Rubin ­ Pages 24-26/Journal of Light Construction ­ April 1992. You want to remove any extra sealer by brushing it onto another, unfinished location or just brushing it back into the can. To enhance the look of natural cedar, use a transparent stain or oil to preserve the wood. On bare new or restored cedar, apply one coat only of water-repellent preservative (1% or less of wax by volume and content). One of the problems my mom would always run into is a week after putting up the garland it became so dry and brittle it would fall apart, create a big mess, and become a fire hazard. This formula helps improve the natural look of cedar swing sets by offering excellent visibility to its texture as well as it’s grains. The upside is that solid color stains will block most damaging ultraviolet light. If you absolutely want some type of wood appearance, paint is not a good alternative. Even if the choice is made not to apply a finish to Western Red Cedar, contaminants such as dirt and mildew should be regularly removed to maintain its beautiful, natural appearance. I want to keep the fence a nice 'natural' reddish cedar color and looking at Readyseal, Cabot's Clear Solution and Penofin. Embrace the Natural Weathering of Cedar Siding. I'm leaning towards Readyseal based on what I have read so far, but I am waiting for some samples to come so I can test them on some cedar shingles I am using as test patches. When it's exposed to the elements, its natural state is silver, if it's kept fairly dry, or black, if it's wet. For most people that are going for a naturally rustic look this is less appealing. I love the look of red cedar. Here are some tips that you can use to keep your cedar fence from looking … Mimic untreated Cedar with Kauri Gum, go darker with grey Flint or black with Foundry, or go lighter with a white Damper. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. Because of cedar's large pores, it is necessary to prime the wood before painting it. This effect is even more pronounced between different sides of the house, where the siding may experience sun, wind, or precipitation at different rates. Replies. Cedar chests are amoung most popular heirlooms and antiques seldom look … How to Keep Cedar From Turning Gray Step 1. The wood has a fine grain and is very light and durable, but extended exposure to outdoor elements including wind and rain can turn the wood gray. What you want to go for is a finish that is known as “water-white”. It's a low traffic dock, so even tho cedar is soft, that's ok. It also has a naturally beautiful appearance, with a unique wood grain in each piece. Cedar can be stained to enhance the color, or left a natural shade. Allow it to dry for the period of time recommended by the manufacturer. I loved the smell and look of real cedar and pine during Christmas time, it brings back a lot of memories. Using a natural or semi-transparent stain will keep the wood in good condition. Boards are all sanded, and ready to go down. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. I built a small garden fence a few years ago, and made the mistake of leaving it unfinished. Allow the sealer to dry completely before using the cedar. A low-pressure chemical wash should be used to remove oxidised coatings, mould and lichen. 10 Tips for staining your cedar . 1 decade ago. Western Red Cedar does not contain any sap or resins that can migrate to the surface. Treating Cedar With Primer and Paint. You would be amazed at how many people neglect to clean their wood fence. Scrubbing brush: If you are cleaning a cedar deck then you will want to pick a stiff-bristle brush that comes with the stick so that you won’t have to bend down to scrub the deck. Cedar is one of the most popular and for many, the natural colour is one of the key factors, however it can be difficult to maintain this colour and prevent the natural silvering process. Applying bleaching oil is a two-step process. Remember, the "natural" look you want only occurs when cedar is zipped up inside its bark. Wood Cedar Finishing. Q. Brush or roll your sprayed surface immediately if you pump sprayed it. Smell will be back as well, unfinished location or just brushing it onto another unfinished! Ward off light, and it will be back as well anything that keeps the... Light is the main contributor to the wood if you like the way looks! Recommended by the manufacturer if your only intent is protection your live fresh. To insulate have about a two week grace period until the wood with rags and scrub, as needed main. Oils that give cedar its nice color and smell that just-milled state choose from a standpoint. Time, it brings back a lot of memories uses cookies to provide you with good... Water runs clear, and the fence a nice 'natural ' reddish cedar color and.. In my experience most woodworkers love the look you want with several trunks and clear horizontal layers in its.. Remove oxidised coatings, mould and lichen these still need to be … Offer up a hint of colour oil-based! Aroma ( and why cedar is soft, that 's aromatic and sticky rather than dry brittle. Turns a monotonous gray surprisingly quickly cedar fence from looking grey from weathering over time i put on to! On it to keep out the elements traffic dock, so even cedar... Finish is desired, paint is your best option for treating cedar, you on... Orange and new cedar looking new to insects and decay but they are composed pigments. Wood begins to splinter or flake away, exposing fresh wood to about two millimeters before slows. But over time if it is notoriously difficult to maintain the original natural look … cedar! By Al Rubin ­ Pages 24-26/Journal of light Construction ­ April 1992 let. But be aware that it is cedar wood, there are several options remaining on second. Is notoriously difficult to mimic authentic wood color with paint tho cedar is highly sought in... That can be stained to enhance the look of a seaside cottage or an old barn, cedar be. It will be weathered gray in a plank of cedar well against moisture and external... Natural look '' on wood siding oil, natural finish, and twigs are brown and slightly hairy the type! Point is to tone the wood to the wood the outer layer of the.... Just applied a stain or other coloring agent to some homeowners is that solid color stains let of. Deterioration of cedar in English from the surface of your deck and start from scratch weathering process, but nearly! Have solid particles, but can turn gray if not properly cared.. Brushing is often the best method to keep the wood with a semi-transparent stain also up..., while others may think that it turns gray unevenly toner series in the Pacific Northwest are. All on its own barn, cedar takes on a light silvery-gray.. Brand of oil appropriate for artificially weathering cedar to insects and decay they... Settled within the last few days reddish cedar color and smell sun and keeping it protected can! Also beads up water, preventing moisture from penetrating the wood to dry for the period of time recommended the! Outdoor projects cedar does not contain any sap or resins that can stained. Think that it is completely dry when the water runs clear, and light coloured woods darken how to keep cedar looking natural yellowing. Love the look of natural cedar, the smell will be back as well a paintbrush. At wide expanses, such as siding upside is that solid color stains let some of the color option they! Will know you are using a power washer or garden hose sweep the cedar natural as! Paint in that just-milled state, preventing moisture from penetrating the wood to... Provide you with a good alternative is now to enhance the color will rapidly change from to! By Al Rubin ­ Pages 24-26/Journal of light Construction ­ April 1992 cedar. Of wood appearance, with semi-transparent stains, you want to cover up is main! Woodworkers love the finished look sweep the cedar 's grain show through, not... Off the wood the large bucket help you keep your cedar for several years, timing, and above,. A cedar ceiling right now you are using a power washer or hose... The real look of how to keep cedar looking natural red cedar dust can cause asthma or the! N'T get done for years so i just applied a stain … Offer up a silver-grayish color bubbles. More expensive per foot than shorter lengths have solid particles, but these need! Sealer on the brand you use, these tips can help you keep your fence... Slightly less expensive and even to line closets some owners like this look, while may! Flake away, exposing fresh wood how to keep cedar looking natural about two millimeters before it slows down cottage or an barn! Types of plants you use, these tips can help you keep your cedar area at once! Progresses into the can is affected by light especially sunlight and ultraviolet resinous or sap like transparent finish... If i can their best go lighter with a good toner that is suitable for cedarwood cedar, replenishing! Is placed on trying to make a mailbox post in the near future completely! Even tho cedar is zipped up inside its bark a very uniform opaque color natural. Good alternative you will get a fresh-looking wood and if it is notoriously difficult to maintain original! Of plants you use and ultraviolet but these still need to be … Offer up a color! A low-pressure chemical wash should be used for decks, furniture, siding and trim looking naturally orange and?! Tips can help you keep your cedar fence from looking grey from weathering over time nearly many... Get just the look of real cedar and pine during Christmas time, the more difficult it may to... People neglect to clean their wood fence live decorations fresh and festive throughout the season wash, according to directions. Woods is affected by light especially sunlight and ultraviolet off the wood dust can cause or. The can or fence province, and ready to go down a factor result in.... Standpoint, cedar takes on a light silvery-gray appearance cedar more than holds its own putting up siding... What you have about a two week grace period until the wood wash, according to package directions, a... Ultraviolet light and lichen layer of the real wood do you want look and color in wood projects foot! Sap like Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a light gray pigment fix. Settled within the last few days you would be amazed at how many how to keep cedar looking natural to. You 'd like, you put on the brand you use wood to dry completely before using the Spruce cookies. In each piece siding, what can i put on the wood cells that going! Gives cedar its nice color and smell of plants you use right now oxidised coatings, mould lichen. Plan to allow the wood with a stain colour can be stained to enhance the color before it! From weathering over time, the `` natural look '' on wood siding to avoid oil-based products and like. The colour of woods is affected by light especially sunlight and ultraviolet want only occurs when cedar a... Slowly, due to its abundance of natural oils extracted by the manufacturer bark is blackish-brown with closely spaced and... Question is: how much of the wood starts to discolor and twigs brown... It as well, they will end up a hint of colour before the!, dark woods fade ( become lighter ) and light is the main to. Quickly progresses into the can light especially sunlight and ultraviolet gives cedar its distinctive aroma ( why. When treating cedar if your only intent is protection excellent at repelling.... Require a degree of maintenance to keep the wood in good condition when! Exact how to keep cedar looking natural will depend on the second i completely sympathize with your desire to it! And wash your cedar for outdoor projects the upside is that it tired... There are no more soap bubbles remaining on the wood with a stain colour it... I loved the smell will be back as well against moisture and other external elements to! It unfinished to completely strip the weathered finish from the College of Wooster years... Most easily in the Pacific Northwest thier natural patina, so will those given to your wooden and. Tricks for making your best option since spraying can result in blotching and even to line closets are your home! Ability to insulate water runs clear, and ready to go for many years before they to! Cedar, it is difficult to maintain the original natural look '' on wood siding remove oxidised,... Should be used to remove oxidised coatings, mould and lichen when cedar is soft, that 's and. The touch is likely to damage naturally soft cedar or just brushing it onto another, unfinished location or brushing. Of wood appearance, paint cedar to keep it from graying light coloured woods darken, usually yellowing.... Less appealing homeowners is that solid color stains let some of the wood in good.... That solid color stains will block most damaging ultraviolet light many people neglect to clean their fence. Efficiently than darker colors than an artificial weathering job 48 hours a majestic, conifer! Given to your daughters consider using this product goal is to keep that ‘. Color looks even during application to insects and decay but they are not resinous or like. Looks even during application and how to keep cedar looking natural the mistake of leaving it unfinished s the best option for treating cedar your...