How do I maintain my red cedar cladding in its original colour?
Please can you advise what is the product you supply, that I need to use to maintain my red cedar cladding in its original colour. I do not want it to fade to a grey weathered colour. Where can I buy this from?
We receive every day a range of different questions on how to treat Cedar cladding, or how to restore cedar. Although each query is slightly different, the above question is repeated very often as with the installation of more and more garden office cladded in Cedar, more and more customers are keen to maintain the colour of Red Cedar Cladding (Western Red Cedar) without letting it fade or become grey and enquire about Woodoc and Red Cedar cladding.
We have a number of products that would be suitable depending on what final result you (the customer) want and the amount of effort you want to put in (both now and for future maintenance).
First of all let us say that we are glad to hear that the customer wants to prevent the greying of the wood as the greying is the first symptom of the rotting process of the wood advancing.
As you might know, the greying process is due to the UV breaking down the lignin in the wood. As the deterioration process advances, the moister level increases the spores of mould present in the wood get activated so you see signs of blackening. This means that eventually a combination of the destruction of the lignin and the mould growth the wood fibre gets detached, so you start seeing cracking and braking of the wood external layers. Then the process starts all over again for the next layer of wood, until the wood is completely rotten and collapses.
Our exterior products all have UV protection compounds and the choice is mainly driven by two aspects: First the kind of finish you are looking for (Matt, Low Gloss, Gloss), second the accessibility/desire for a longer maintenance cycle.
We see 3 broad options available:
OPTION 1 Oiled look – Matt finish – Seasonal application
For a natural, oiled, low effort solution you can use our Woodoc Wood Dressing (https://www.woodoc.biz/collections/exterior/products/woodoc-wood-dressing) . This is a non-film forming product so will not crack and peel, however it will need reapplication when it starts looking dry (every few years, but in high wear areas may need a season application). It is extremely easy to use as it can be applied to rough timber and does not need sanding between coats. It also just sinks into the wood so does not leave drip of brush marks. It comes in Clear, Golden Brown and Dark Brown and the Clear can also be tinted with our other colours to get the shade you want. The clear offers UV and mildew protection (blackening of the wood) but a tinted product always gives better UV protection - like wearing a T-shirt in the sun vs. Sunscreen. All our tints are semi-transparent so you see the wood underneath.
OPTION 2 Smooth Sealed look – Low Gloss, Satin, High Gloss – Longer maintenance cycle depending on orientation of surfaces and exposure
If you want a smoother, sealed look we recommend either Woodoc 30(Low Gloss - https://www.woodoc.biz/collections/exterior/products/woodoc-30), Woodoc 50 (High Gloss) or Woodoc 50 Matt (https://www.woodoc.biz/collections/exterior/products/woodoc-50), these are all clear but again can be tinted if you choose. The polymer is the same as Woodoc Wood Dressing so you can use the Wood Dressing as an anti-mildew undercoat and to increase the UV filtering (Please note that if you want to do this it is recommended to use a single coat of Wood Dressing). These products do need to be applied to smooth wood and do need to be rubbed down between coats to get a good smooth finish. I've attached a couple of photos of Cedar cladding finished in Woodoc 50 Matt for your reference.
OPTION 3 Smooth Sealed look – Matt (Soft sheen) or Gloss Longer still maintenance cycle: Woodoc Wood Dressing + Woodoc 50 Matt, Woodoc 30 or Woodoc 50 Gloss
This option is a combination of the previous two options, and it is possible because the polymer in the different products are all compatible.
Using Woodoc Wood dressing as an undercoat provides you, not only with additional UV protection, but also with anti-mildew protection. The use of the sealer (Woodoc 30 or 50) over the top will add further UV protection and because you are sealing the surfaces, a better resistance to the damage made by water.
OPTION 4 Smooth Sealed look – Matt or Gloss – Longer still maintenance cycle
Waterborne Life Plus Primer + Woodoc Waterborne Marine
This final option in Clear (i.e. without the addition of any of our stains/colours) might be the one that offers the longest resistance against UV rays.
The Plus-life primer, extends life of sealer/finish by binding with the lignin in the wood and protecting it from the sun's harmful UV rays. Because this chemical bind the resistance to UV is greatly extended(https://www.woodoc.biz/collections/exterior/products/woodoc-water-borne-plus-life-primer).
The Woodoc Waterborne Marine is the waterborne version of Woodoc 50 and Woodoc 50 Matt(https://www.woodoc.biz/collections/exterior/products/woodoc-water-borne-plus-life-primer) so it has UV protection compounds, salt resistant compounds, very low odour and dries very quickly. In this case as in all the others, if you were to add one of our stains/colour you would further increase the resistance to the UV rays.
So, as you can see there are several options opened to you. We would be happy to discuss these further if you require any more information.
In terms of where to buy Woodoc, you can check if there is a shop near you using our stock locator (https://www.woodoc.biz/pages/store-locations) or you can purchase it online and we will send it out to you.
We hope the information above are helpful, but understand that each project is slightly different, please do not hesitate to call us as we are happy to discuss your project and answer any questions that you might have. We look forward to hearing from you soon.