Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How To Care For Cedar Wood Furniture

Northern White and Western Red Cedar are very desirable woods, perfect for indoor and outdoor use.  Northern White Cedar is very popular with homeowners who prefer a rustic decor for vacation homes and cabins.  Western Red Cedar is preferred by those who desire a more refined appearance.  Both are durable, resistant to insects and rot.  They can be left natural and untreated, or can be painted or stained.

If left untreated, cedar wood will turn to a silvery gray color. Untreated cedar is quite beautiful, however, the wood may become discolored by algae over time if exposed to excessive dampness in shaded areas.  A solution of 1 part non-chlorine bleach to 5 parts water with 1 ounce of detergent per gallon of solution will usually eliminate such stains.  Even after years of use, cedar can be refinished by sanding to a bright clean appearance.

If you decide to stain your cedar furniture, there are many types of stains.  Penofin is highly recommended because it enhances and maintains cedar's natural beauty. Some stains also have water and mildew repellant ingredients.  Penetrating stains soak into the wood without leaving a barrier on the surface.  So the the surface of the wood doesn't blister or peel like painted surfaces.  Natural cedar wood usually has knots, deep surface texture and other unique characteristics which are beautifully enhanced by penetrating stains.  For best results, always follow stain manufacturers' instructions.

If you opt to paint your cedar furniture, be aware that the natural color and grain of the wood will be hidden.  However, there are so many wonderful shades of paint on the market, you can let your imagination run wild.  Match your existing décor, or change the look as you wish.  Bright solid colors, floral patterns and designs from nature can be painted on the furniture.  As always, follow the manufacturers' instructions on the label for best application results.

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