How to care for cedar wood with exterior oil treatments

Updated February 21, 2017

Although cedar is naturally resistant to rot, its life can be extended by applying various wood treatments. Exterior oil treatments are one way to preserve and extend the life of your exterior cedar wood including on decks, patios and outbuildings. These oil treatments are formulated specifically for certain types of wood, so make sure that the oil treatment you use is made for cedar. Many are formulated to help prevent water and UV damage. Apply a cedar oil treatment to your outdoor structures with cedar every one to two years.

Clean the surface of the cedar to be treated with a stiff shop brush and water to prepare it for the exterior oil treatment.

Allow the cedar to dry for 24 to 48 hours. Brush on an even coat of cedar oil treatment with a natural-bristle brush.

Clean and reapply the oil treatment every one to two years to properly maintain the treatment of your exterior cedar. Allow 72 hours before heavy use.


Keep the surface of the cedar clean and free of debris to maintain the cedar between treating the wood.


Wear hand and eye protection when caring for cedar.

Things You'll Need

  • Stiff shop brush
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Cedar oil treatment
  • Natural-bristle brush
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About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.