Recommended cedar treatments 

Recommended cedar treatments 

Cedar weatherboards or timber cladding can be a fantastic feature for your home. They not only add a unique touch but also offer beneficial acoustic and thermodynamic properties. However, without proper care, cedar can deteriorate, negatively impacting the appearance and value of your property. 

So, what timber treatments do Cedar Solutions recommend for protecting your Cedar and timber cladding? 

First and foremost, we advise against using urethanes, thick film-forming treatments, or paint, as these can crack and peel, becoming difficult to maintain or remove over time. Similarly, avoid wood oil or stain treatments that haven’t been tested in New Zealand conditions or promise unrealistically low or no maintenance. The saying, “If it sounds too good to be true…” is a good rule of thumb. 

The best product for your cedar will depend on what has been previously applied and various practical and environmental factors. It is also beneficial to involve a specialist who has experience in this field. 

Wood Oils 

Whenever possible, we recommend using a wood oil, such as Resene’s Wood-X or Dryden Wood Oil. Wood oil is a good choice because it is easy to apply, replenishes the natural oils in the timber, adds anti-fungal properties, is not film-forming, and only requires one coat for each re-treatment. This makes maintenance easier and less costly. Both products come in a range of colours. The colour tones are added to the clear oil to provide additional UV protection. The colour tone still allows for a translucent coverage that accentuates the cedar grain below. 

We do not recommend using linseed or other ‘natural’ oils that lack the necessary anti-fungal or stabilizing elements to protect the timber. 

Timber Stains 

For timber stains, we recommend reputable, time-tested brands such as Resene Woodsman, Wattyl Forestwood, Cabot’s Deck and Exterior Stain and Dryden WoodMaster. Both oil (solvent) based and waterborne (Aqua) stains offer good protection. 

The choice of timber stain will depend on what has been previously used, the condition of the cedar cladding, and environmental considerations. Keep in mind that stains are ‘film forming,’ so repeated applications may lead to a buildup of product, resulting in a more opaque and possibly glossy surface over time. 

Retreatment times 

Each product manufacturer will have their own recommended re-application or retreatment schedule. 

Wood oils typically need a “top up” maintenance re-oil within 12 months of the initial application. After that, re-treatments are usually required every 3-5 years. 

Some stains need re-treatment “after every two summers,” and it’s crucial to adhere to this schedule following the initial application. However, over time, the re-treatment interval might extend to every 3-5 years, depending on the cladding’s exposure to the elements. 

Programmed Maintenance 

After selecting the right product to protect your cedar, the next step is to ensure regular and proper maintenance. For more information on maintaining the cedar on your home, see our Cedar Cladding Maintenance articles. 

If you have any questions or need advice, feel free to contact us. New owners of cedar homes can learn more about maintaining their cedar by reading our article Cedar Maintenance: Protect & Enhance Your Wood Structures. 

The information presented here is general in nature. Since it does not take into account your unique circumstances, it may not be suitable for your needs. We encourage you to contact us for specific advice before taking any action. 

Feel free to contact us on 0800 CEDAR1 (0800 233271) or contact us via our contact form and we will arrange for a no obligation assessment, and quote for your cedar maintenance.