Treating cedar fence boards

When you install a new fence, you don’t do it to be faded, peeling or to fall apart. Cedar is a very good option as a fence material because it resists to insects and wood rot. It also swells and shrinks much less than any other type of wood.

Besides all this, cedar is still wood and for this reason it occasionally  needs maintenance.


  1. If there are vines or plants that stay in your way, use some twine to tie them back.
  2. Put water in a power washer and add trisodium phosphate degreaser. Dilute the chemical substance, keeping in mind the manufacturer’s recommendations. Turn the power washer on.
  3. Power wash the entire fence from a distance of 18 inches. Start from the top of the fence and go all the way to the bottom, without staying too much in one spot. Do this until you finish the whole fence.
  4. Screws are better to tighten fence boards than nails, but only if you use non-corrosive ones. If you need to, take some waterproof glue and apply it on the split boards. In the end, use a wood preservative to treat the posts and the bottom of the fence.
  5. Don’t do anything to the fence for at least 24 hours. If you live in a cold or damp climate, it’s better to let it dry for at least 48 hours.
  6. Some oil stain needs to be applied on the cedar boards using a roller. To cover the entire area of the fence, even the small corners and crevices, you should use a brush.
  7. Take into consideration the manufacturer’s recommendations for the stain and if you feel the need, you can always apply a second coat.


  • For a nice looking fence, you should treat the cedar boards every five years.
  • If you use sprinkler heads, don’t put them too close to the fence so that you prevent rotting.
  • Vines should not be allowed to climb the fence. To prevent this, place trellises between the fence and the vines.
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