How To Protect Cedar Wood For Outdoor Projects

Use These Treatments to Make the Most Out of Your Lumber

Cedar is one of the most popular types of wood for outdoor projects. It’s used for everything from decking to gates, shingles, and even decorative pieces to make your backyard pop more. Its unique red color makes it highly stylish as well, and since it’s also durable, cedar becomes an affordable and smart investment as well.

One problem? That beautiful red color can turn grey fast if you’re not careful, and once that happens, you are stuck with that color for good, which is not something everyone wants.

But, you can prevent that from happening by poorly staining or treating the wood. Here’s how to protect cedar for outdoor projects!

Why Does Cedar Change Color?

Cedar has a lot of natural oils, which is why it’s so durable and deteriorates at a much slower pace than other types of wood. When it’s fully weathered, the red wood is replaced by a grey, almost silver color, which some homeowners actually like. But, the weathering will not create a uniform shade, and it can look strange for bigger constructions like a deck.

But it’s not just about the color. Weathering can create splinters that, over time, can flake away and expose underneath woods to the elements. This process greatly impacts the durability of the construction.

Protecting Cedar: the Basics

You will notice cedar start to change its color around 2 weeks after you’ve completed your outdoor project, which gives you a bit of time to look into your treatment options.

These options can also change the look and feel of your outdoor project, so be sure to take into account the style you’re aiming for.

Here are a few ways to project cedar:

  • Bleaching oil – this will help you get a more vintage look of ‘naturally’ aged wood, and the final results will be visible in a few months after applying the oil;
  • Semi-transparent stain – if you want to preserve the natural, slightly weathered cedar, this is your best option. It’s best done by manual painting since the spray application can create blotching;
  • Solid color stain – this helps you get a uniform color to the outdoor project, while still letting the natural grain show. Solid color stain is also a great water repellent, and protects the wood against UV rays;
  • Primer and paint – if you’re only concerned about protection, and not keeping the natural look, paint’s the way to go. It can fight off light which helps protect the cedar. Just know that by using a paint, you’re letting go of the ‘natural’ appeal of cedar, as it’s really hard to minim wood color through paints

Don’t Skimp on the Quality of Lumber for Your Outdoor Projects

No matter the type of look you want for your outdoor projects and which type of protection you choose, the quality of the cedar is essential to getting the best results.

So be sure to refine your search for trustworthy lumber supplies who can offer you the top-quality cedar you need for a professional finish!