Seal a New Cedar Fence?


    We are installing a new cedar board fence in our yard and have received conflicting advice on sealers. Would we substantially increase the lifetime of the fence if we seal it once? ought we reseal it every 2 or 3 years, or shall we omit the seal altogether, since cedar weathers naturally? Thompson’s Water Seal was recommended. Any advice appreciated!

    7 Replies

    1. We had a cedar fence installed last year (early summer) and let it “dry” for the summer. Used a stain sealer in the fall (Behr) and after the winter it looks like I just finished staining it.

    2. Don’t do what I did…I got Cabots stain in a white transparent shade. I do not like a fence that weathers naturally and I wanted to lighten up my space. It has been 5 years and it looks bad and is peeling even though it is advertised for cedar use.

    3. We replaced our stockade fence last year with a new white cedar fence. Per the installers advice, we also let the wood dry a few months before we applied a stain and sealer. It still looks like new after about one year. I prefer the stained look rather than the weather look of the cedar fence.

    4. fyi, the reason people often advise letting it sit for a few months is to let the natural oils of the cedar wood to dry out before you apply any sealant. This is particularly true of cedar fencing which comes from very new growth cedar and has alot of oil. I have done both on scores of feet of cedar fencing. My advice is to let it sit through the summer and then in the autumn, when it is generally drier, wash the cedar with a mixture of mildew killing solution and then use either Cabot’s Autstralian timber oil or Thompsons. I’m partial to Cabot’s.

    5. We always apply at least a single coat of Australian Timber Oil (Natural) homeowners can then let it weather or maintain it, if you desire a long lasting coat to maintain the beauty of Cedar I would recommend you look into Arborcoat waterborne exterior deck & siding 638 stain from Benjamin Moore, its a 2 step process after application of stain you apply a protective clear coat 636, this in turn will not only protect your fence but it will increase the lifespan of it as well, many homeowners love the nice weathered look, my personal preference when it comes to cedar leans more towards maintaining the beauty of it.

      Feel free to visit my website at to see some of the work we have done in Brooklyn.

    6. I have one that’s now 17 years old & is in very good shape even though a neighbor’s got a newer one that isn’t. The people who did mine at roughly this time of year told me to let it season for a few months & then seal it w/ Thompson’s before winter. That’s what I did.