What Is The Best Exterior Finish For Cedar?

cedar fence 2

One of the top choices you should consider is a high-quality penetrating oil stain. You see, cedar has natural oils and resins that make it resistant to decay and insects, so it’s important to choose a finish that complements those properties.

Penetrating oil stains work well with cedar because they soak into the wood fibers, enhancing the natural beauty of the grain and color.

Plus, they help to maintain the wood’s stability by locking in essential oils and moisture. As a result, cedar remains protected from the elements, like UV rays, rain, and snow.

Another great thing about oil-based stains is that they’re breathable, allowing any moisture inside the wood to escape, preventing decay and mold growth.

When it comes to maintenance, you’ll find that oil stains make it easier to reapply the finish when needed, without having to remove the old layer completely.

However, it’s important to note that you should be careful when choosing the right oil stain. Some products may contain harmful chemicals or additives, so it’s best to opt for a high-quality, eco-friendly one.

And don’t forget, it’s essential to prepare the cedar surface properly by cleaning and sanding before applying the stain to get the best results.

What are the most popular and recommended brands of high-quality penetrating oil stains for cedar?

There are quite a few options out there, but I’ll tell you about a couple of them that people seem to really like.

First up, there’s this brand called Ready Seal. They have a reputation for being very user-friendly because their product is goof-proof. What I mean is, it’s super easy to apply, and you don’t have to worry about streaks or laps.

They offer a range of colors that complement cedar really well, and it’s also a semi-transparent stain, so the natural beauty of the wood shines through.

Another brand that people often recommend is Sikkens, also known as Sikkens Proluxe. They have a line called Cetol SRD, which stands for Siding, Rails, and Decks.

This particular product is a one-coat, translucent exterior wood finish. It’s quite durable and offers great protection against the elements, like UV rays and moisture.

A lot of professionals and DIYers love Sikkens because of the long-lasting and beautiful finish it provides.

One more brand worth mentioning is TWP, which stands for Total Wood Preservative. They have a series of oil-based stains that are specifically designed for cedar and other types of wood.

Their products are known for providing excellent protection and longevity. TWP stains are also environmentally friendly, which is always a plus!

So those are just a few popular and recommended brands for high-quality penetrating oil stains for cedar.

Ready Seal, Sikkens, and TWP are all well-regarded options that you can consider for your project. Whichever one you choose, just make sure to follow the application instructions carefully

Is it better to oil or stain cedar?

The age-old question: to oil or stain cedar? Well, let me give you some insights to help you decide which one might be better for your specific situation.

When you oil cedar, you’re essentially nourishing the wood and replenishing its natural oils. Oiling enhances the cedar’s color and grain while providing some protection against moisture and UV damage.

However, it’s worth noting that oil finishes tend to require more frequent maintenance, as they can wear off or fade more quickly compared to stains.

On the other hand, staining cedar offers a bit more in terms of protection. Stains, especially the high-quality penetrating oil stains we talked about earlier, soak into the wood fibers and lock in those essential oils and moisture.

This helps keep the cedar in good condition, protecting it from the elements like UV rays, rain, and snow. Stains are also available in a range of colors and opacities, from semi-transparent to solid, allowing you to choose the look that suits your project best.

So, if you’re looking for a more natural appearance and don’t mind the extra maintenance, oiling cedar can be a great option.

But, if you want something that offers more protection and requires less maintenance, staining might be the better choice for you.

Of course, every situation is unique, so consider factors like your local climate, the specific cedar product you’re working with, and how much time you’re willing to spend on upkeep when making your decision.

Should you put polyurethane on cedar for outdoor protection?

According to the research I conducted on this topic, polyurethane is considered one of the options for exterior cedar protection. If you are thinking about applying polyurethane to cedar there are some important points to take into account.

Polyurethane is a type of finish that’s typically used to provide a protective coating to wood surfaces. It comes in different forms, like water-based and oil-based, and also in various sheens from matte to glossy.

Polyurethane can offer good protection against wear and tear, and it’s quite resistant to moisture and chemicals.

However, when it comes to cedar, applying polyurethane might not always be the best choice. Cedar is a naturally beautiful wood with a distinct color and grain pattern, and one of the reasons people love cedar is its natural look.

Polyurethane can sometimes create a “plastic-like” appearance, which could detract from the natural beauty of cedar.

Moreover, cedar contains natural oils and resins that contribute to its durability and resistance to decay and insects.

A film-forming finish like polyurethane can potentially trap moisture within the wood, leading to issues like peeling or blistering over time.

This is why breathable finishes, such as oil-based stains, are generally recommended for cedar, as they allow moisture to escape and maintain the wood’s stability.

So, while polyurethane can be a good option for some types of wood, it might not be the best choice for cedar, especially if you want to maintain its natural look and feel.

Instead, consider using a high-quality penetrating oil stain, as previously mentioned, to enhance cedar’s natural beauty while providing protection against the elements.

What is the best thing to seal cedar wood with?

There are several options for protecting exterior cedar and sometimes so much information can be confusing.

If you want to know my opinion on what is the best sealer to protect cedar outdoors, although I had already mentioned it just at the beginning of the topic, I reconfirm it again.

A high-quality penetrating oil stain is often considered the best option to seal and protect cedar wood.

The reason it’s so popular is that it complements cedar’s natural properties, like the oils and resins that make it resistant to decay and insects.

Penetrating oil stains work by soaking into the wood fibers, enhancing the natural beauty of the grain and color while locking in the essential oils and moisture.

The great thing about using an oil-based stain is that it’s breathable, which means it allows moisture inside the wood to escape.

This is important because it helps prevent decay and mold growth, keeping your cedar in top-notch condition. And when it comes to maintenance, oil stains make it easier to reapply the finish when needed, without having to strip off the old layer completely.

Remember, though, that not all oil stains are created equal. It’s crucial to choose a high-quality, eco-friendly product to ensure the best results and avoid any harmful chemicals or additives.

Also, proper surface preparation, like cleaning and sanding, is essential before applying the stain to get the best results and protection for your cedar wood.

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