It all depends what you are looking for. If you want it to weather to
it's natural silver-gray color, do nothing. If you want the wood
color it was originally, and it is VERTICAL siding, you can try a mild
bleach solution, then a thorough rinse followed by TSP (tri-sodium
phosphate). Still, I'm guessing the only way you'll be successful
will be to sand it down. You need a belt sander with a non-aggressive
belt and a light touch. You will still have to sand any grooves by
hand. For a finish, the best is Sikkens.
If the siding is horizontal and overlapping, I don't know what you can
If you want it new again it may be a bit late, I have cedar also. My
friend tried all the commercial cleaners out and found Sherwin Williams
the best. Mold is its own issue, the straight laundry bleach in a garden
sprayer will kill, it also cleans somewhat. I would go learn about
Sherwin Williams product, it is im sure 10-15x the price of bleach but
might be worth testing a sample area comparing to straight cheap laundry
bleach. Don`t dilute the bleach, it already is 97-98% water. On coating
it depends on your cleaning results and the look you want. Read Consumer
Reports ongoing 8yr? stains testing. If it comes real clean a clear or
transparent product will look best. Mid ground Semi transparent. if its
blackened its aged to far and solid color is needed. With 3 years and a
good clean if it restores itself a clear or clear with slight tint would
look great. Mine is real old and black I had to go solid. Try to pick
the longest lasting product since they only last a few years. Im pretty
sure Consumer Reports has Olympic clear at the top. You will need a
power washer. Buying a cheap electric 1300 lb will do, but get a good
brand. I went through 18 gallons last fall of bleach on a small moldy
house. Im sure the Sherwins product is Sodiun Hypochlorate [ Bleach} and
an acid or alkaline cleaner combo.
On Sat, 18 Mar 2006 08:52:04 -0600, email@example.com (m Ransley)
wrote (with possible editing):
Two comments. My home is all cedar - I paid extra for California
clear cedar and I want to keep it looking new. Some others have rough
cedar and like the silvery gray color it ages to. These comments only
apply to smooth cedar.
1. If your cedar is planed, I disagree about the power
washer. Cedar is one of the softest woods available and a power
washer will raise the grain so much that it will turn it significantly
rough. We tried power washing some of ours and on the lightest
setting it was way too much. We had to sand. Please, if you try
this, try it on a small area. Many painters use power washers to
clean the wood prior to regular painting, but I think it is overkill
2. We live in northern NH. By FAR the best coating is
Sikkens, although Olympic is very highly rated. Sikkens is also the
most expensive at about $40+/gallon in large quantity. However, we
found that Sikkens lasts by far the longest between coatings and labor
is easily the most expensive part of the job. Sikkens seems to last
as long as 4 years on the south side, and quite nicely 6 years on the
east and west sides. We recoated everything last year, but I'd guess
the north side would last at least 7 years before it needs a recoat.
We recoated with 2 coats. Part of our home was built 4 years ago. We
used then a semi-transparent there to bring the color closer to the
older part which is now about 15 years old. When we recoated last
year we used clear everywhere. You will find that cedar darkens
naturally but slowly. You can still see the grain in the older part
and it really looks almost as good as the day it was built - a warm
Powerwashing is all in how you use the tool, you can put in a zero
degree tip on 3500 lb and cut through a cedar 4x4. Or logicaly use a 35
tip or whatever, keep distance and have no more force then a heavy rain.
So to say powerwashing raises grain also means rain does it to. Water
will cut steel, with special equipment close up, but is a mist at 10 ft.
I didnt mean powerblast, it just tears it up.
On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 09:49:14 -0500, L.M.Rappaport wrote:
The cedar (rough/planed) is all the same hunk of wood. Which surface
texture you have depends on which way it's hung; rough side out or planed
out. I've replaced about 80% of the original spruce on my house with
cedar. I put it up rough side out and stained it with a solid (blue-gray)
stain to match the style of the house (NE cape).
(NW Vermont) I use Benjamin Moore on mine. Were I going clear I'd use
Sikkens too. It lasts about the same (four years on the South and East,
seven or better on the North and West). I gotta do it this summer.
The Sikkens gives it a "wet" look too, doesn't it?
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