Sealing new cedar fence

kelleynelsonFebruary 20, 2007

Hey folks,

I am building a new white cedar fence once the weather gets warm enough. (~45-50 degree daytime temps).

I want to keep the fence a nice 'natural' reddish cedar color and looking at Readyseal, Cabot's Clear Solution and Penofin. I'm leaning towards Readyseal based on what I have read so far, but I am waiting for some samples to come so I can test them on some cedar shingles I am using as test patches. I tested Olympic maximum but am ruling it out because it doesn't seem to be favored vs. the others and is a bit too orange.

Different products seem to have different temperature requirements, but Readyseal seems the most forgiving.

Do I need to look at anything other than the moisture content of the wood (and temp requirements of the sealer) in order to know when it is ready for sealing? (Looking for 15% or less) Is any certain amount of weathering time needed to open the fibers of the new wood? I read a lot of conflicting rhetoric.


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Hey Kelly, there is no reason to wait for anything but good weather to finish your project x10 with cedar.I can recomend twp finish. Using a clear or natural grade will give you 0 uv protection use them and your project will go gray. John

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 5:59PM
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Thanks John - I welcome some reddish tint, I'd like the white cedar to look more like western red cedar. I just want to still be able to see the graining, etc.

It sounds like a lot of people's mistake with cedar is to wait too long to seal it and it quickly goes gray and needs cleaning and brightening work prior to first seal.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 6:19PM
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The fence is part way up and I have started staining some of the panels with natural cedar readyseal. Here are a couple shots, I'm pretty happy with the result!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 10:51AM
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That looks great! Would you mind telling me the name of the product you used and where you got it from. Would like to do mine before the onslaught of the summer sun!


    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 6:39PM
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Thanks! I am sealing it with ReadySeal's natural cedar color. I'd contact ReadySeal to find out who is a local distributor to you. It's easy to apply too.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 7:45AM
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Kelly -

I am planning on using Ready Seal for my cedar fence as well.

The fence was installed November 2006, so I will have to do some cleaning and prep work first....

But I wanted to know your opinion/review of the ReadySeal...Did you like it?

What did you use to apply the Ready Seal?
If you can, please post some pics of the finished product!

Here's my fence:

We are in the pricess of a backyard IPE deck coming soon!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 10:19AM
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I used readyseal shortly after reading and seeing kellynelsons' pic. It applies easily with a regular pump type garden sprayer which is what I used. Attempted at first with the wagner power sprayer but found the garden sprayer quicker and easier. They didn't have a distributor in my area so I had to order directly from them, product arrived next business day, I needed almost 20 gallons for two coats on both sides of fence except the back which borders a easement area. Don't have a great pic of it yet maybe I could post some better ones later if you need close up later this weekend. Did the stain in the attached pics about a month ago. Fence is cedar except the stringers which are PT pine and didn't take the stain as well as the cedar. I used the Natural Cedar color Readyseal.

I'm in the middle of a patio project so excuse the pavers and outlines of patio. Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 7:43PM
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Always golf:

Thanks for the pics....the fence looks great.

You say you used the regular garden pump sprayer.....Did you just spray it or did you spray and also back brush?

How heavy did you apply the Ready Seal for each coat?

Did you do anything to prep the fence....power wash....cleaners? anything like that?

How long between coats?

Thanks for the help.....hopefully the Ready Seal will work well enough to give us more time for golf!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 8:07PM
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Thanks for the compliment. Hopefully I get to golf this weekend, weather permitting. Just used the regular pump up type garden sprayer, no backbrushing. It doesn't streak when it dries, it dries very evenly. I think mine maybe put on kind of heavy? My fence was only a few months old so I didn't prep,because it hadn't started to turn gray yet.

Directions say that you have to wait at least 45 minutes between coats. I waited about an hour on one section and about 2 weeks on the other because I ran out and then the rains came for a couple of weeks. Also says that it is rain safe after an hour, which it is used sprinkler sys later that day. Directions also claim that it is goof proof. Just check out their website. My only complaint is that it is about $25 a gallon plus shipping if no distributor is near.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 11:45PM
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I'm glad the post was helpful for you guys!

It's been a few months now and the fence still looks excellent. (A couple months isn't long though.)

I put on two coats, about two days apart, so the maximum amount of sealer was absorbed by the wood. The application rates they publish seem to be for the recommended two coats.

I just applied and watched to make sure the wood was taking in the amount I was putting down. If you apply too much you might get dark runs from the pigment. Don't be stingy though.

Application is very simple - I used a few methods - garden sprayer, brush and my father in-law preferred to use a roller.

I think the best result came with using a ~$25 concrete and masonry pump sprayer and then brushing the sealer into the wood. Brushing alone works just as well, but the time to dip the brush really slows you down.

With that lattice top I think the sprayer is the way to go. Just try to find a way to screen the other side so your overspray doesn't go everywhere.

Wear gloves if you don't want your hands to stink like the stain for a day or two!

Those are some handsome fences you guys posted - Michael, it looks like maybe your nails are streaking the wood a bit?

Good luck with the IPE - It's very tough to get a stain that will last on IPE. Wood Tux is supposed to work well, I hear.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 12:04AM
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Perfect timing on your post and follow-ups. We're about to have an IPE deck installed with cedar fencing, and I just started my research today on how to seal the fence. I like everyone's pics, and I like easy :-). Think we'll go with the readyseal...and save my brain from information overload by reading too many more posts....

I'll post some pics in a month or so after we get everything done except putting the Woodzotic on the deck, which we'll probably wait and do in the fall.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 4:53PM
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Hello everyone.. I'm in need of a little advice and you all seem to know quite a bit about cedar fences.

About 6 months ago, I installed a brand new cedar fence completely by hand. I did everything from digging out the old posts to meticulously screwing on each picket. Needless to say, I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this project.

I noticed that the rosy color that I really love was starting to fade so I thought I would go ahead and seal it. I went to Lowe's and shopped around for a while. The brand that the employees recommended was Olympic's WaterGuard clear. I bought it and started using it. After covering one side of the fence I noticed that the term "clear" may have been misused. It darkened the wood a shade or two, but that's not what bothered me. What bothered me is that it also drowned out that rosy color I liked. I bought the product because it protected from water, UV, mildew, and had something called linseed oil.

After doing some research I have learned that linseed oil darkens the wood. Dangit!! Now I'm in a bit of a quandry...

Should I stop using this sealer and then continue the other sides of the fence with Readyseal (the part that is sealed already isn't the most visible part of the fence).

Or should I just finish with this product?

I'm worried that if I shop with this product and then use another that the section I did with the Olympic product will continue to darken because of the linseed oil.

Can anyone help? Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 1:36PM
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brianaustin, any follow up? What did you do? I just put up a cedar fence and I want to seal it but retain the color/look of new wood as close as I can...

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 12:28AM
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We built this pergola. We love LOVE the color variation of our Eastern Cedar! I was looking to use the ReadySeal in the Natural cedar, but I am scared that it is going to take away from the blond regions of the wood. There is no way around this completely because I know that I need a stain/sealer with some tint. I have done loads of research. I have found out that the uv protection really best comes best from the tints that slow down the oxidization process which leads to graying of cedar. I had planned on using DEFY UV or something like that which claims to have uv protection even though it is clear. The homebuilder sites and chats seem to disagree that this is really very possible without a lot of maintenance. We are not maintenance type people. It is a feat for us to get a project done in the first place.

Thoughts on my concern for the color variation to become more monochromatic with ReadySeal Natural Cedar? Also, has anyone heard of TimberPro UV? Price isn't our biggest concern as long as it lasts at least 2-3 years, but preferably more.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 4:09PM
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We are sealing a cedar fence right now alot of work , using applicator pads , they said spraying you would still have to back brush we are using Behr 501 semi transparent stain. looks real good on first application we are not sure if we are oing to do second coat or use a clear sealer with sprayer.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 6:53PM
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Mark...let me know how it looks?

i just finished an install of a new cedar fence and am trying to decide between semi-transparent stains, ready stain, or some type of thompsons water sealer with UV protection.

Any advice or recommendations?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 6:19AM
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