New red cedar siding: Oil, Stain, Bleach Oil?
I'm in the process of renovating a house from 1963. The second and third floors originally had pine siding that was left totally unprotected for 30 years and then repainted in 1993 (this is very common in France where we live).
We had to remove the wood because because of major modifications (windows, extension, etc.) and would now like to replace it with red cedar siding. Unfortunately, this is a pretty new material in France and we are getting totally conflicting information from those we ask!
We really love the look of new red cedar siding and would like to keep it that way as long as possible. We also like the gray/silver look of older red cedar, but only when it's uniform and we doubt that the very large roof overhang and dormers would allow that to happen naturally :) The old pine was in great condition, except for the Northern facade , so I think UV will be a greater concern than water.
Choice of Oil
Here, there is a lot of use of transparent natural oils that saturate the wood. We need to apply it regularly at first, but then less often as the wood is saturated. I can't find any info on how red cedar ages with this treatment. Does it get darker red with UV exposure? Or will it eventually get gray despite this treatment? Does it get gunky and built up over years of application?
Choice of Stain
If we go with a totally transparent stain that is regularly maintained, will the wood maintain its natural colors? Does a facade stain count as a sealant or do we need another product on top?
If we go with some type of bleaching oil like Cabots to give a uniformed weathered look, will the wood degrade faster? I read that it accelerated the effects of UV rays. Beyond the color change, will the wood look old and unkempt?
With all of these treatments, will the facades have similar colors if maintained?
I would really appreciate any input and especially photos! You probably can't imagine just how expensive it is to install N.American red cedar in Europe and we really don't want to make a mistake!!!!