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How to Care for Your Cedar Patio Furniture

Tips to keep it  looking great and lasting longer

By Lisa Readie Mayer
Published: January 20, 2011
Photo by Western Red Cedar Lumber Association
Beautiful, durable and naturally resistant to rot, insects and warping, cedar is an excellent choice for patio furniture. To keep it looking great and performing well for years, follow these simple tips from the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association:

1. Hand wash periodically with mild detergent and a soft rag, and rinse with a hose. Do not use a pressure washer, as it may damage the wood.

2. For stubborn stains or mildew, apply a mild bleach and water solution, rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry before applying any stain or sealant.

3. Unfinished cedar ages naturally to a silver-gray finish with a raised grain. Wood sealer helps preserve the original warm color and protects the wood from moisture and dirt, and it will also keep the grain from rising.

4. For a colored finish, apply a transparent or solid stain every couple of years. Breathable stains, available in many colors, are a better alternative to paint, which traps moisture, and blisters and peels.

5. Finishing oils should not be used; they will attract dust and grit.

6. Check and tighten fastenings each season and, if possible, consider storing cedar furniture in a garage or shed in the winter months.

Reader Resource: Western Red Cedar Lumber Association,
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