The rails and posts on our new porch are rough sawn cedar. A lot of it is
fairly well protected from the elements, but the stair rails run out from
under the roof and are already turning gray. Is there anything to treat the
cedar with that will not change its overall appearance?
Everything has some cost...the only thing that can slow down the
graying is a coating and they all have some characteristics. For
roughcut, varnishes aren't practical, so your best bet is probably a
transparent stain in a color near what you would like. It will still
Gray is what all wood eventually becomes, no matter what is applied. Some
folks prefer to use a semitransparent graying stain, that preempts the
natural oxidation process, and eases the wood color into old age, while
The July 2007 Consumer Reports, page 48, evaluates deck stains and
preservatives, based on a three year test. Your library carries them. Top
rated as usual are the Cabot solid color stains, which we use, and are
impressed with. Semitransparent stains will let more of the natural wood
color though, but are not as durable. Penofin, by the way, rates poorly
(18th, with 20th the worst) and is really expensive at 38 bucks a gallon. My
neighbor used it 3 years ago, and it is already turning dark with
mildew/mould. Avoid linseed oil and natural oil based preservatives, as
they also go mouldy pretty quick, as mildew/mould organisms love oil, and
live off it.
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