Keep Cedar Wood Protected
Red Cedar wood is widely known for its richness, color and natural firmness to decay. It is one of the most renowned species in the world of wood. The ravishing red color of cedar is so attractive that it captures the mind of the person at very first instance. A wide range over cedar is bestowed by nature and is not expensive. Gates, decks, fences, house siding, roofing and a lot more is gratified by the look of cedar.
One negative aspect of cedar is that, it turns gray from beautiful red very rapidly and if happened, then this gray can never retain back its original red ever. The reasons could be the exposure to outdoor factors like heavy wind, rain or ultra violet rays. All you can do is tint the wood with a stain or with some sort of colouring agent. Another point that you need to consider is that after installation, always permit cedar to get used to new environment for about a period of fortnight before its final finishing. This will give you a fine result for lifetime.
Not to worry as you can definitely save cedar with all this hassle just by maintaining your cedar with the correct treatment from time to time. Well, there are many who love the gray shade of cedar too and so it’s all about your choice. With a view to acknowledge the details about right care solutions of cedar, you first need to be very familiar with the niceties of this popular wood’s weathering procedure.
How Cedar Wood Weathers
Cedar wood is naturally blessed with oil content in abundance. The declension process of cedar is very slow and so the unprocessed cedar fences do not demand replacement easily. They can go great for good number of years. Though cedar wood weathers instantly, but then it also slows down gradually. The procedure of weathering is so quick that it speedily enters into the wood to approximately two millimetres before retarding. And if not taken care on time, the weathered part of wood directly impact the fresh wood to such elements that it further results in splintering of the wood.
The visual aspect of cedar is absolutely a different thing. If the weathered look of a cottage at the sea shore or an old farm fascinates you, then the entire credit goes to cedar itself. The reason is: Cedar is naturally bestowed to spring up that look on its own. You will find it somewhat light silver gray, if completely weathered.
One thing that many people do not appreciate about cedar’s weathering procedure is that it becomes gray in an irregular manner. This means that its acquired gray color does not cover it wholly but partially; somewhere you can see it gray especially on the corners and sides and somewhere it remains the same as before. But moreover the gray color is quite visible as it covers a wide area and not small portions. Especially, the wide ones are those that are more exposed to sunrays, heavy winds and rainfall at various paces.
Cedar Treatment Basics
While handling cedar treatment basics, the first interrogation that will pop in the mind is; up to what extent we have to cover up the real wood. Also, what is your choice when it comes to the look of cedar? Do you want it natural along with weather-beaten or would you go for it’s even but artificial look?
Once the installation process of exterior cedar completes, it takes about only two weeks time for the wood to begin the process of losing its color. You will see the color of cedar wood changing from red tone to grey tone within no time. This process is extremely quick.
There are various alternatives available if you have made up your mind to color your wood. Many of the cedar treatments are familiar like the home paints; meaning thereby that they are compiled with solids and pigments both. Hence, it makes very clear that if you want the cedar wood to endure for long then there should be more solids in the treatment.
Treating Cedar with a Bleaching Oil
Though, the weathered look of a vintage cedar wood is bound to lend it that gray tone which you really desire but it needs a protective covering too. For this, you will need to put some sincere efforts to confer a natural look & safety to your cedar. The best option for the same is ‘Bleach oil treatment’. It imbibes of treating cedar with bleaching oil in two steps. Foremost, the oil helps in toning the wood by coating a light gray colored pigment to furbish and brace the color.
Secondly, after some time, the bleaching oil will play its role by hastening the process of bleaching in order to get the weathered tone quicker and with much consistent results. This entire weathered process will take a span of three to six months to reflect its uniformity. One of the best oil brands that is recommended for weathering cedar wood unnaturally is ‘Cabot’s Bleaching Oil’.
Staining Cedar With a Semi-Transparent Stain
If you are willing to safeguard the original look of moderately weathered cedar, then staining cedar with a semi-transparent stain will act as saviour for you. Though, there are few solid particles in semi-transparent stain too, but these won’t significantly blot out the cedar’s grain. All you need to be careful about is, only with its application.
Spraying results in streaking and so is not preferred in this process. Manual brushing is the best recommendation. Staining cedar with semi-transparent stain is potent enough to reverse water by preventing it to penetrate in the cells of the cedar wood. Thus, there is no question of moisture to develop and damage the wood.
Staining Cedar With a Solid Color Stain
There are solid particles found in solid color stains. Though, these stains are not as strong as that of paint; but their effect might result in the slight visibility of cedar’s ingrain. But this won’t impact its color as you are bound to get a perfect non-transparent color.
The best part of such solid stains is that they act as a powerful protection for cedar wood thereby not allowing the harmful ultraviolet rays to get in. In addition, such types of stains are also effectual in revolting water. So, staining cedar with a solid color stain is a great measure too.
Treating Cedar With Primer and Paint
If it is only about protecting the wood, then treating cedar with primer and paint is also a perfect option. Light is considered to play a vital role in worsening the quality of cedar and paint hinders the passage of light in the cells of the wood thereby protecting it firmly.
Prefer light paint colors as they last for good long time and are efficacious in reflecting light in comparison to dark paint colors. But mind you, it is a challenging task to imitate original wood color with paint color. So, if you want the originality at the best then do use primer before paint. Moreover, this will also negate the appearance of large pores of cedar.
The dust of red cedar is not good from health point of view. It might cause asthma to people with slight breathing issues or exasperate the condition of asthmatic persons. The volatile compounds present in the wood are the reason to it. Say no to paper mask and only use a double cartridge respirator when projecting any activities like: trimming, sandpapering, sawing, shaving etc with western red cedar wood.
Step 1: Get rid of dust particles by sweeping of the cedar wood with the help of broom. This will surely remove large dust particles and even few of smaller ones too.
Step 2: Follow the instructions mentioned over the packet. Take a big bucket and mingle the exact proportion of water and exterior wood wash as instructed. Then, as per requirement, apply this ready mixture on the wood with the help of a rigid scrubber or rags. The stiffness of the scrubber will sway away all dirt and stains.
Step 3: Clean off the wood wash mixture using a power washer or garden hose. You will know you are finished when the water runs clear, and there are no more soap bubbles remaining on the wood surface.
Step 4: Let the cedar wood dry completely for some time. It will take around two to three days to perfectly dry up. But in case of you are in hurry and are working in a small space, then make the use of fans to speed up its drying process.
Step 5: Once it is dried properly, brush the cedar gently in order to bump off any direct particles that has descended in the previous days during its drying work.
Step 6: Lastly, take a big paint and swing the wood sealer over the deck. You are free to make a choice between a colored sealer and a plain clear one. If you opt for a colored sealer, the application of color should be so fine that it lends it an excellent finishing. Do not even touch the cedar, before the sealer dries up completely.
To conclude, proper and timely care will always keep your cedar as good as new thereby maintaining its color too. Also, do follow necessary precautions from day one to conserve cedar forever.