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Thread: Preserving Cedar Color

  1. #1

    Preserving Cedar Color

    I am building a new house and for the deck I hired a portable sawmill to come and make 5/4 eastern red cedar decking and 6x6's. It has all been planed and now is being installed. How and what can I use to keep the cedar looking the same as it does now?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Shoreline, CT
    Nothing will do that. Period.

    Something like Cabot's Clear Solutions which has only a light pigment, will come close, though any finishing material will darken a little. But the catch is that no clear, or nearly clear, finishing material will maintain the wood color for very long. If a manufacturer says reapply after one year, you can probably get away with reapplying twice a year. Nothing will work for more than a couple of years unless you are extremely lucky, live in a Northern state, and have just enough sun to avoid mildew. To keep it cedar colored for a longer period, use a pigmented stain in the color you want.

    My recommendation is to let it weather naturally to grey. Silver grey if it is white cedar, a darker grey if you are using a red cedar. That's why you use cedar instead of pressure treated--so it weathers more attractively.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Pueblo West, CO
    Something to keep in mind, since many people think cedar(juniper) and redwood will last forever...... The heartwood will the white wood or sap wood won't. So get rid of all the white wood you can or be prepared to treat it like it was pine or white fir, etc

    Most of the redwood I see at the box stores has so much white wood on it that it is almost worthless, but it is redwood so people buy it thinking they have something that will last

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Shoreline, CT
    All is right--mercilously cut away the sap wood. If you keep it, you would have to treat this pretty much like pine, with a solid color pigmented stain.

  5. #5
    From reading around the internet and talking to others I guessed that keeping it the original color would probably not work. In fact some of the wood is starting to fade now. I have to say though that given all the work I have put into this, the deck and the posts have come out great. There really isnt anything like going through the whole process from felling to finishing. I did manage to crack my chainsaw while doing it but in the end it looks better and will come out a bit cheaper than just buying pressure treated.

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