I have a privacy fence that is made of cedar. I am looking for suggestions / opinions on what to use to treat it. It has been cleaned. I see Thompson's (apx $50 - 5 gal) but see others (Olympic $120.....Cabots (?) $170.....) I want the fence to have a clear / wet look when dry. any suggestions? obviously cost will be a factor due to lenth of fence (350') I know "you get what you pay for" but would Thompson's do about the same but just have to apply more often (every couple of years?
I don't have a deck or a cedar fence, but I've been on internet DIY Q&A forums long enough to have heard a lot of bad mouthing of Thompson's Water Seal and a lot of praise about Cabot deck sealers and deck sealers made by the Flood Company.
Unless your cedar is heartwood, then you can't expect it to be rot resistant in the ground. It is only the heartwood of certain species of trees (including cedar and redwood) that is rot resistant. The sapwood of no species is rot resistant. So, while you may have bought cedar, you may have bought cedar sapwood, in which case you can't expect it to be nearly as rot resistant as cedar heartwood.
So, if it's not heartwood, for the part of the fence that's going into the ground, I would still paint an end cut wood preservative onto it each week for several months before sticking it in the ground. Each time you paint it with wood preservative more of that chemical will be absorbed into the dry wood, giving you better protection against wood rot.
I really don't know what the best product to use to give you a nice clear gloss on the above ground portion of the fence, but I'd be most inclined to go with a marine varnish (aka: "Spar" varnish). These were originally used on the masts of ships (which are exposed to a lot of sun and rain), but are nowadays made from phenolic resins much the same way that alkyd paints are made. But, any varnish that's meant to be used outside should stand up reasonably well on an outdoor cedar fence, too.
You can expect that any marine or "Spar" varnish won't dry to as hard a film as a varnish or polyurethane meant to spend it's life indoors, too. That's because the masts of sailing ships would bend under the force of the wind on the sails, and so not only would the varnish have to be soft enough to expand and contract with the wood as it's moisture content changes due to seasonal changes in temperature and humidity, it would have to be soft enough to stretch and shrink (depending on which way the mast was bending) without cracking and peeling as well.
Still, it should dry plenty hard and strong enough to provide for good service on a fence.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nestor,
Check on consumers digest. Year after year Thompsons come in last or close to it.
Olympic or Cabets comes out on top.
Two coats work far better.
yes you are right, but sometimes here in our weather conditions you still need to go ahead and apply a preservative on it a nice stainThis message has been edited. Last edited by: LagimeBolso,
I beg you to not even think about applying any type of varnish or poly on that fence !!!
Once that thing starts peeling your going to have to go back and sand every single inch of it to redo it.This message has been edited. Last edited by: joecaption,
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