Western Red Cedar is renowned world-wide for its unique weather-resistant properties.
IT DOES NOT WARP
Cedar is a lightweight and dimensionally stable wood that lies flat and stays straight. Which means it resists the natural tendency to crack and check, as you might find in many other wood species.
IT STAYS COOL
Western Red Cedar has an incredible thermal co-efficient, meaning even on hot days, it is cool to sit in.
Bacterial and Fungal Resistant
Its bacterial and fungal resistance coupled with the fact that Cedar is 80% the strength of Oak, makes it the most desirable wood to use for building Outdoor furniture.
IT WON'T ROT
Western Red Cedar fibers contain oils that act as natural preservatives to help the wood resist rot and decay making it excellent furniture material for moist or humid climates. These properties also make Cedar a very popular material for hot tub and sauna areas.
Western Red Cedar has been used for generations for roofing and shingles, fences, fence posts, planking for small boat hulls and, of course, for outdoor furniture. A Western Red Cedar fence post will last up to 16 years in the ground. We have found that left out year round, untreated and uncovered in Canada's rugged winters, the furniture will last a minimum of 8 to 10 years. Furniture that is brought inside or covered for the winter will last twice that long.
IT SMELLS GREAT
Naturally occurring organic compounds called (thujaplicins) give off that richly distinct cedar aroma that smells so good to humans but makes the wood highly unattractive to insects, moths and other pests. This is why Cedar is a choice material for closet liners and blanket storage chests.
A NATURAL ALTERNATIVE TO CHEMICALLY TREATED WOOD
Much of todays outdoor furniture consists of chemically treated materials. These materials hold up outdoors because they are soaked in a toxic stew of chemical preservatives that are strong enough to require warning labels for those who handle it. The three primary ingredients in pressure-treated woods are: copper, arsenic and chromium.
A controversy exists on the extent of arsenic exposure due to physical contact with CCA wood surfaces. Such surfaces include playground equipment, decks and picnic tables built using CCA treated wood. Studies have shown that virtually no inorganic arsenic is absorbed through the skin, but is readily taken up by ingestion. Thus, the potential exposure is hand to mouth, and therefore, children are considered the most vulnerable to this potential risk. Read more on this here!
CONSIDER THE ADVANTAGES OF USING CEDAR
Unlike Plastic or Resin furniture Western Red Cedar will not bow or sag over time and you won't come out to find your new patio set blown across the yard.
Your Cedar furniture will not become dull sun scorched and faded, but rather will hold its handsome appearance year after year.
Cedar is an all around safer/healthier choice for patio furniture and outdoor dinning sets than other wood materials that have been treated with preservatives.
WESTERN RED CEDAR - Naturally
CEDAR FINISHING OPTIONS AND TREATMENTS:
Wood Sealer Treatment
Applying a Stain
Using Wood Oil
Because of the inherent nature of Western Red Cedar to withstand insect attack and the outdoor elements Cedar does not require a finish to keep its structure over the years.
Many folks prefer to allow their cedar furniture to "naturally age" outdoors without a stain or finish. Over time the colorful tones of the wood slowly weather to a handsome silver-grey and the grain of the wood will become slightly raised. Left completely natural this silver-gray color will eventually be highlighted by darker streaks formed from the reaction between the Cedar Resin and the zinc hardware. If the dark streaks are not for you we suggest using a simple wood sealer as described below.
A good wood sealer such as Thompsons Wood Sealer is useful by blocking the pores of the wood. This inhibits the grain from becoming raised yet allows the natural fading of the wood to a gentle silvery-gray color.
If you would like to preserve the colorful tones of the freshly sanded cedar any number of finishes can be used on cedar furniture. The types we have tried and recommend are good quality penetrating sealers and transparent or solid exterior stains. There is a wide variety of colors to choose from which makes it easy to match your existing decor. We recommend 2 coats of a semi transparent stain with a UV inhibitor such as 'Sikkens Cetol 1' (natural) to preserve the handsome look of your furniture. Every 2nd year you might re-apply a coat of stain to freshen the finish. Little or no sanding, preparation or primer is needed when you use a stain.
New on the market are wood sealers that contain Ultra Violet inhibitors that can be used to preserve the fresh tones of the wood.
We do not recommend using oil finishes on your outdoor furniture as dust particles in the air will stick to
Paint will work fine but as on any exterior surface, over time will begin to flake and will eventually need scraping and refinishing. Stain, however, is "breathable" and will not trap moisture, therefore - no blistering, no peeling.
Western Red Cedar should be preservative treated if intended for use in applications where it is dug into the ground. i.e. Fence Posts, Landscape Ties or Garden Arbor Posts.
CEDARS' SECRET... resistance to rot and decay.
Western Red Cedar in its natural unfinished state has a richly textured tactile grain combined with a glowing palette of warm, mellow tones ranging from light amber to deep honey brown. No man-made material can duplicate the depth of cedar's natural luster. WRC remains subtly aromatic, and the characteristic fragrance of Red Cedar just adds another dimension to its universal appeal.