Cedar Fencing – To Stain Or Not To Stain

Whether to stain your cedar fencing or leave it natural is one of the decisions you’ll have to make when using that wood. If you don’t treat your cedar fence it will fade to a grey-silver color which some think is quite pretty and others dislike.

Personal preference is the key with whether to stain your cedar fencing or just leave it alone. It has been said that, eventually, much of it will turn black, which most people don’t like at all. Others say that it only turns weathered grey and remains that color.

Some of the difference in belief and opinion may come from the climate that a person lives in, meaning that the fence would react differently based on sunlight, humidity, and other factors. Having your fence turn black might not be a good choice.

In order to avoid that, staining your fence may be necessary, and you can either have someone do it or do it yourself. This depends on how much money and time you want to spend on the project, as contractors can be costly and doing it yourself can take a lot of time and effort.

How to Apply the Finish to Your Cedar Fence

You can apply a finish to your cedar fence in a variety of ways like rolling, spraying, brushing or dipping. When painting cedar, first apply a good water repellent and allow plenty of time for it to dry. Then apply a primer coat before your final coat of actual paint. You can use a natural finish like a water repellent but keep in mind that it will need to be reapplied in a year or two depending on the wood and the exposure to the weather.

Keeping your finish maintained is simple if you regularly clean the dirt and any mildew off the wood. Make sure to use an actual mildew remover on mildew to especially if you have any intentions of refinishing at a later time. Stains can be caused by excess moisture or using the wrong fasteners and they rust. Avoid this by using only stainless steel fasteners. Fences have full exposure to the sun and the rain, so to get the most value out of your fence, make sure you take care with the finish and use the right materials and techniques.

The Importance of Finishing Cedar

Cedar that is unfinished will over time fade to an attractive gray color that is sometimes the preferred look but leaving cedar unfinished like that is not a good plan if you want it to last. Cedar should be finished within six to twelve months to prevent surface damage. Even a few weeks of exposure to the elements can drastically change the woods ability to hold the finish.

Opaque finishes like paint are a popular choice and provide the most surface protection for your cedar. Natural finishes like water repellents and stains are a nice choice for fences to retain most of the natural essence of the lumber but are more suitable to wood that is out of the elements as they are a somewhat temporary solution and will have to be repeated often. Make sure that whatever you choose to finish your cedar, you effective prepare the surface for the finish by not exposing to the elements before finishing and sanding if necessary.