How do I paint an unfinished cedar fence successfully??

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I want to paint my dog ear cedar fence, but concerned about it lasting. It doesn't have a finish on it.

  8 answers
  • William William on Sep 07, 2018

    I used a solid stain on my fence. Going on 15+ years.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Sep 07, 2018

    Cedar is a great long lasting wood. It does not have to be painted. It will take on a natural silvery color. If you want, use a stain, not a paint.

  • Carol Jackson Carol Jackson on Sep 07, 2018

    Wash it, prime it, paint it, and seal it.


  • Morgan Morgan on Sep 08, 2018

    Cedar is a beautiful natural wood. Carol gave good points for painting it. Any paint job lasts longer if the wood is painted first. I would add in that if you wash it, let the wood dry completely before priming it.


    That said, Sal's comment about cedar is also true. It is a long lasting wood that ages beautifully. I had a cedar fence for 30 years that I would treat about every 5 years with boiled linseed oil. Unfortunately a drunk driver hit it and destroyed it.

  • Jokarva Jokarva on Sep 08, 2018

    I would use a penetrating oil finish instead. Easy to apply, easy to reapply in the future when needed, and won't flake/deteriorate like a paint finish will.

  • David Nelson David Nelson on Sep 08, 2018

    Get a guy!

  • Kim Kim on Sep 09, 2018

    If you want the cedar to retain its original reddish color, use a product called CWF (Clear Wood Finish). This is the brand name. It can be found at most home improvement stores. If you have or want a smooth finish, sand your fence then apply two coats of CWF, allowing drying time been each cost as directed in the product. If your wood is rough and you want to retain that rustic look, no sanding is required. For best results use a brush instead is spraying. If you choose to spray it on, you will still need to brush it to make sure it soaks into the wood. Be sure to apply evenly, brushing to “feather” out the color as overlapping the brush stokes, drips and runs will be very noticeable if allowed to dry without feathering. We have a cedar log home and have used this product for over 20 years to keep the color of the logs as close to original as possible. If you do not treat the wood, it will turn gray as mentioned in an above comment. Either way, cedar will last for many years.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Sep 11, 2018

    I highly discourage you from painting the fence. Forever forward it will need to be attended to while if you leave it natural, oil it or stain it you won't be stuck with ongoing issues.