Red cedar is a stunning choice for fences for its deep, rich, red color. You can see it used throughout home exteriors whether on shingles, trim, siding, decking, or fences. Beyond its beauty, cedar is a popular choice because it is readily available, inexpensive, and long lasting. But a major downside, for many, is that cedar can easily turn a dull gray without proper care, and once it goes gray it stays that way. But there are some things you can do to keep your cedar fence from fading in the sun. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Function vs. Form
Thanks to cedar’s own oils, it deteriorates slowly. As a result, cedar does an excellent job maintaining longevity from a structural standpoint. Regardless of color, cedar fences can go for many years without needing replacement. Weathering gets into the wood about 1-2 millimeters deep, but then stops. Over time, the portion that water has penetrated will splinter or fall away, exposing the inner wood to the elements and repeating the same process.
While your cedar fence may work just fine, it may appear less than beautiful relatively quickly without the proper maintenance. Once it is fully weathered, cedar transforms from a beautiful red into a light silvery-gray. While the color change might not bother you, the gray is not evenly distributed. This might not be noticeable in small patches, but over an entire section of fence it looks splotchy and very unattractive.
Treat to Protect
Thankfully, there are many ways that you can treat and protect your cedar fence from losing its form over time. First, you need to decide how much of the wood you would like to cover up. You can ensure your fence is one consistent color, stain the wood, or cover it up entirely with paint. Many people do not realize exactly how quickly cedar begins to weather. You have a mere two-week grace period until discoloration begins, and cedar can rapidly turn color without your prior planning.
Bleaching oil requires you to like the gray, weathered appearance but still offers you great durability and protection. First, you tone the wood with a pale gray pigment to cement the color. Second, you allow the oil to accelerate the bleaching process so that the weathered look comes quickly and looks even.
These are a great option for those seeking the look of cedar and protection from weathering. There are not many solid particles in the stain, so the wood grain itself will not be majorly obscured. However, because the stain is not full coverage, you need to take care in applying it to your wood fence. Spraying may result in a blotchy result, and careless painting may leave an uneven color.
Solid Color Stains
Solid color stains have a balance between containing many solid particles and not having the 100% coverage of paint. Some of cedar’s wood grain will show through, but none of cedar’s color will. Solid color stains block more damaging UV light and give your wood fence a uniform and opaque color.
Primer and Paint
If you are seeking long-term lasting protection, paint is the best option. The heavy concentration of solids in paint will protect the cedar fence from light, and light is cedar’s greatest enemy. Paint offers you the choice of any color and the protection you want for years to come.
Cedar? Vinyl? Chain link?
Hercules Fence has been providing homeowners with quality fences for over 50 years. We are well equipped to meet your needs, whether they are residential or commercial. Contact us to see how a fence can increase your property value by giving us a call at 301-441-1600 or visiting us online. To see examples of our work, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Flickr.