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Follow Step by Step: How to Stain Cedar Wood to Protect It

Red cedar is perhaps the most mainstream wood species for outside use in light of its regular rich, red tone and its normal protection from rot.

Utilized for shingles, trim, house siding, decking, wall, sweltering tubs, and entryways, cedar is modest, generally accessible, profoundly flexible, simple to create, and the best part is that it climates outstandingly well.

In any case, one angle is that cedar’s exquisite red turns a tedious dark shockingly rapidly. Whenever cedar has become dim, there is no regular method of returning. The solitary option now is to condition the wood with a color or other shading specialist.

Keeping up with your cedar’s tone is about decisions, timing, or more all, the right kind of treatment. To completely comprehend the most ideal approach to color or treat cedar, you first need to comprehend the subtleties of this novel wood’s enduring cycle.

How Cedar Wood Weathers

Cedar wood weakens gradually, because of its plenitude of regular oils. From a primary stance, cedar more than stands its ground. Untreated cedar wall can go for a long time before they should be supplanted.

In spite of the fact that enduring starts promptly with cedar, it rapidly eases back to a creep. Enduring rapidly advances into the wood to about 2mm before it eases back down. Be that as it may, over the long run, the endured part of the wood starts to fragment or drop away, presenting new wood to the components.

Should You Leave Cedar Untreated?

One frequently referenced selling point of cedar is that you can treat it with oils, stains, or paints—or let it climate all alone. A few proprietors like this look, while others might feel that it looks drained.

When completely endured, cedar takes on a light brilliant dark appearance. On the off chance that you like the climate beaten look of an ocean side bungalow or an old animal dwellingplace, cedar can foster that look completely all alone.

In any case, one part of cedar’s enduring cycle that doesn’t speak to certain mortgage holders is that it becomes dim unevenly. While this cycle isn’t evident over little regions, it is observable when you are taking a gander at wide breadths, like siding. This impact is significantly more articulated between various sides of the house, where the siding might encounter sun, wind, or precipitation at various rates.

Cedar Treatment Basics

When treating cedar, the most vital question is: how much of the real wood do you want to cover up? Do you like the natural but weathered look of cedar? Or do you prefer an even but unnatural look?

After installing your exterior cedar, you have about a two week grace period until the wood starts to discolor. After that, the color will rapidly change from red to gray.

If you do decide to color your wood, there are several options. Most cedar treatments are much like house paint in that they are composed of pigments and solids. The more solids in the treatment, the longer the cedar will last.

Treatment types for cedar
 The Spruce / Melissa Ling

Treating Cedar With a Bleaching Oil

If you want the gray, weathered appearance of naturally aged wood, but also want protection, you will need to take special efforts to make it look natural. Applying bleaching oil is a two-step process.

First, the oil tones the wood with a light gray pigment to fix and stabilize the color. 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. Cabot’s Bleaching Oil is one prominent brand of oil appropriate for artificially weathering cedar.

Pros
  • Best if you like the look of weathered cedar
  • Easy application
Cons
  • Frequent reapplication
  • Does not change look of the cedar much

Staining Cedar With a Semi-Transparent Stain

Semi-transparent stains are your best bet when you want the real look of slightly weathered cedar with protection. The few solid particles in this mix will not significantly obscure cedar’s wood grain.

However, with semi-transparent stains, you will need to take care with the application. Manual brushing is often the best option since spraying can result in blotching. Semi-transparent stain also beads up water, preventing moisture from penetrating the wood’s cellular structure.

Pros
  • Resists moisture
  • Lets wood grain show through
Cons
  • Can blotch if not applied correctly

Staining Cedar With a Solid Color Stain

Solid color stains have solid particles, but not nearly as many as paint. Thus, solid color stains let some of the cedar’s grain show through, but none of the color. What you get is a very uniform opaque color. The upside is that solid color stains will block most damaging ultraviolet light. Plus, this type of stain is excellent at repelling water.

Pros
  • Repels water
  • Blocks UV rays
Cons
  • Uniform color
  • Little of the grain shows through

Treating Cedar With Primer and Paint

Paint is your best option for treating cedar if your only intent is protection. Paint’s solids ward off light, and light is the main contributor to the deterioration of cedar. Lighter colors last longer since they reflect light more efficiently than darker colors. When you have a cedar fence that is very deteriorated, patching it and painting it with an exterior-grade acrylic latex paint can save it.

But be aware that it is notoriously difficult to mimic authentic wood color with paint. If you absolutely want some type of wood appearance, paint is not a good alternative. Because of cedar’s large pores, it is necessary to prime the wood before painting it.

Pros
  • Ultimate protection
  • Can save an extremely weathered fence
Cons
  • Obliterates the appearance of wood
  • Frequent reapplication may be possible

Safety Note

Red cedar dust can cause breathing problems or exacerbate the condition in people who already suffer from asthma. Volatile compounds within the wood have been identified with this condition. When sawing, sanding, planing, or undertaking other activities with western red cedar, be sure to use a twin cartridge respirator, not a paper mask.

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