Cedar Fences FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do cedar fences need to be stained?

We do recommend you seal and treat your fence to help it last longer. You’ll want to do this shortly after the fence is installed.

Your fence won’t need to be stained every year. Most years it will just need to be cleaned, and then treated with a brightener to prevent grayness.

You’ll generally need to pressure-wash every two to three years. Once you do, you’ll want to use a good, oil-based stain to help your fence look its best. Avoid water-based, gel, and latex stains. You can paint the fence, but we don’t recommend it as paint won’t provide the same level of moisture protection.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance stain, try something transparent.

See also:
The Best Wood Brightener and Cleaner Brands for Cedar Fence
What’s the Best Fence Stain Brand for a Cedar Fence?
How to Stain a Wood Fence

Do cedar fences rot?

Cedar contains natural oils that make it rot-resistant. In addition, when you seal and treat your fence you do even more to ward off rot.

That said, cedar is a biological material. Eventually it’s going to start to decay. Fortunately, Northern White Cedar can take 15 to 30 years to do that, making it an ideal material for fences.

See also:
The Many Benefits of Having a White Cedar Fence.

Do cedar fences last longer than other types of fences?

They certainly do.

Most fence makers use pressure-treated pine wood to create their fences. On average, this lasts between 7 to 10 years, and climate makes a difference. Our Winter Wonderland isn’t particularly kind to this kind of wood.

Red cedar lasts 10 to 15 years on average.

Meanwhile, Northern White Cedar lasts 15 to 30 years.

There are, of course, an endless variety of wood types that people can use to build fences, too many to list here. However, it’s safe to say that Northern White Cedar is one of the longest-lasting woods you can use, particularly in our local climate.

See also:
Cedar Fences vs. Pressure Treated Pine Fences

Can you paint cedar fences?

You can, but we don’t recommend it. Paint comes with a lot of problems. The wood doesn’t absorb it very well, which means it only takes a few years for it to start chipping and peeling. That turns your beautiful new fence into a careworn eyesore.

Here in Wisconsin, winter weather can even cause paint to fail in less than a year, especially on a cedar fence. Paint in fact reduces the lifespan of your fence just because cedar needs to breathe.

We recommend using an oil-based stain product instead. Stains won’t limit you to dull browns. They come in all kinds of colors: red, purple, blue, green, yellow…whatever your imagination can come up with.

See also:
Should I Paint or Stain My Wood Fence?

How long do cedar fences last?

It depends on what kind of cedar you use. Red Cedar usually lasts 7 to 15 years. Northern White Cedar, the type we use, is especially rot resistant, so it can last 15 to 30 years.

We only use Northern White Cedar to ensure you get the most out of your fence investment.

To get the most out of your fence we do stress that it’s important to give it the proper care.

See also:
Red Cedar vs. White Cedar—Which is Better for a Fence?