ABOUT WESTERN RED CEDAR:
Western Red Cedar Furniture in its natural unfinished state has a richly textured tactile grain combined with a glowing palette of warm, mellow tones ranging from light amber to deep honey brown. No man-made material can duplicate the depth of cedar's natural luster.
Western Red Cedar remains subtly aromatic, and the characteristic fragrance of Red Cedar just adds another dimension to its universal appeal.
CEDAR FINISHING OPTIONS AND TREATMENTS:
Because of the inherent nature of Western Red Cedar to withstand insect attack and the outdoor elements Cedar Furniture does not require a finish to keep its structure over the years.
Many folks prefer to allow their cedar furniture to "naturally age" outdoors without a stain or finish. Over time the colorful tones of the wood slowly weather to a handsome silver-grey and the grain of the wood will become slightly raised. Left completely natural this silver-gray color will eventually be highlighted by darker streaks formed from the reaction between the Cedar Resin and the zinc hardware.
If the dark streaks are not for you we suggest using a simple wood sealer as described below.
A good wood sealer such as Thompsons Wood Sealer is useful by blocking the pores of the wood. This inhibits the grain from becoming raised yet allows the natural fading of the wood to a gentle silvery-gray color.
If you would like to preserve the colorful tones of the freshly sanded cedar any number of finishes can be used on cedar furniture. The types we have tried and recommend are good quality penetrating sealers and transparent or solid exterior stains. There is a wide variety of colors to choose from which makes it easy to match your existing decor. We recommend 2 coats of a semi transparent stain with a UV inhibitor such as 'Sikkens Cetol 1' (natural) to preserve the handsome look of your furntiture. Every 2nd year you might re-apply a coat of stain to freshen the finish. Little or no sanding, preperation or primer is needed when you use a stain.
New on the market are wood sealers that contain Ultra Violet inhibitors that can be used to preserve the fresh tones of the wood.
Paint will work fine but as on any exterior surface, over time will begin to flake and will eventually need scraping and refinishing. Stain, however, is "breathable" and will not trap moisture, therefore - no blistering, no peeling.
Western Red Cedar should be preservative treated if intended for use in applications where it is dug into the ground. i.e. Fence Posts, Landscape Ties or Garden Arbor Posts.
CEDAR'S SECRET- RESISTANCE TO ROT AND DECAY:
Cedar The Tree
From Northern British Columbia, Canada, to California, a rugged spine of mountains stretches for almost 1,500 miles parallel to the Pacific coast of North America. Along the slopes and in the valleys of these mountains, the humus-rich soil nourishes mixed softwood forests in vast abundance.
The majority of Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) grows in coastal forests. Western Red Cedars grow also in the drier interior forests of British Columbia, Washington, Idaho and Montana where they are smaller in stature with a tight knotted growth characteristic. Cedars rarely grow in pure stands but are generally found in association with other species. Western Red Cedar forests are predominantly managed forests, in which controlled harvests, natural regeneration and reforestation programs ensure a perpetual harvest.
A Wood Of Warmth And Beauty
Whether used in patio furniture, panelings, ceilings, doors, windows, posts or beams, the presence and prestige of cedar enhances the estethic structure of any type or design.
The Gift Of Durability
Aside from being the choice material for Outdoor Patio and Garden Furniture, Cedar is the preferred material for all outdoor applications that seek visual harmony with the landscape combined with stability and durability. Various uses range from various furniture products to siding and patio decking to fences, planters, screens and shelters.
Indoors, cedar's dimensional stability makes it perfectly suited to a variety of uses in high moisture areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and saunas.
Beauty aside, the purely practical, dollars-and-cents value of cedar offers other benefits: the wood's cellular structure creates interior air spaces that give it an insulation value higher than most woods and much higher than brick or concrete. Buildings which feature cedar paneling, ceilings or siding tend to stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Cedar also has excellent sound suppression and absorption qualities.
A Wood For Craftsmen
The same structure that gives cedar its excellent insulating and sound suppressing qualities makes it a lightweight wood, easy to handle and craft for both the professional and do-it-yourselfer. Cedar is a pleasure to work using either hand or machine tools. The wood can be cut, shaped, planed, sanded, nailed and glued easily. It is free of pitch and resin and it finishes to a richly glowing surface that can be enhanced with semi-transparent or full-bodied stains or with paints.