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.