Fence wood sealing. What to do? Olympic vs Behr?

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Forum topic by Millo posted 03-27-2010 03:07 PM 19597 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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543 posts in 3047 days

03-27-2010 03:07 PM

Dear all,

I’m still NOT a real lumberjock as I haven’t completed anything—just done some exercises, more on that in a few weeks, to try document what I have learned and tried to learn, LOL!

Anyway, I moved past November, and as strange as it might be for Austin, Texas, it has rained pretty much every week since then. The Winter was fairly cold and long as well, preventing me from sealing our fence. Well, now our fence looks like crap. Now the weather forecast says there is not going to be any rain until Friday. We already have had 2 days without rain—woohoo! So now…

I still want to seal/stain my fence. I’ve noticed some neighbors that seem to have used only stain and it seems to wear out anyway—and this is a fairly new neighborhood. Also, I’ve seen the sprinkler patterns on the bottoms of section of their fences. So, it seems applying a good seal is the way to go.

Now, there is some graying starting to occur, which I guess it’s fungus, mostly on the horizontal braces that hold the boards up, but also on some of the boards. The boards have lost much of their attractive natural color. They’re the typical rough cedar.

So, what do you guys recommend, if anything? I HATE GREY FENCES in a neighborhood environment. I know, it’s part of how it goes, but I still dislike it. For a farm, sure, but for a house in a neighborhood the greying looks kinda depressing.

I was wondering a few things, like: should I powerwash it? Then apply some anti-fungal thing? Then seal with semi-transparent stuff? Or…

Just seal it with a solid color? Are there any products that stain, seal, and kill fungus all-in-one?

And finally, are Behr and Olympic pretty much the same thing, or is one better than the other? I know Behr has some anti-fungal crap as part of their line and obviously tell you to use Behr sealing after that treatment, as opposed to using any other brand. Not sure Olympic has it. Of course, the Behr thing could be just another product to sell people, or it could legitimately useful. Any experiences with these? I have been talked out of Thompsons Water Seal by more than a few people.


8 replies so far

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3753 days

#1 posted 03-27-2010 04:16 PM

I’ve been using Olympic products for quite some time, on our deck, and have been satisfied with them. I do use the oil based product, however. I tried the water based stuff and didn’t like the drying time and the residue left over.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3695 days

#2 posted 03-27-2010 05:44 PM


View hazbro's profile


109 posts in 2987 days

#3 posted 03-27-2010 05:44 PM

pressure wash it, and then I would go with Penofin. That’s the Seattle recipe for exterior cedar.

-- measure once, keep cuttin' til it fits

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3047 days

#4 posted 03-27-2010 06:20 PM

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Please, keep them coming. I will make a decision soon on what to do, as aI will take the first few steps today—beautiful, sunny day outside! We haven’t that many of those, and the few have been days when I’ve ben busy with indoor work-related stuff. Looking forward to spending hours outside even if it’s doing works, and even with my horrible allergies right now.

Never heard of Penofin, “googling” it right now.

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3047 days

#5 posted 03-27-2010 09:34 PM

Cabot better than Olympic? I got a $80 gift certificate to Lowe’s, but they don’t have any 5-gallon Olympic Maximum cans. They got the Cabot, which is about $15 more.

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3198 days

#6 posted 03-27-2010 11:34 PM

Cabot is good, but since you live in a high sun area, I would suggest that you use a semi-transparent stain to help keep from bleaching the wood. Some of the best is wood defender.
They also have good instructions to help you get it right.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3047 days

#7 posted 04-23-2010 07:26 PM

Hey guys, thanks for your reply. Because of the gift certificate for Lowes, I went with Cabot. I tried a cheap spray pump, very wasteful and anyway I had to spread it by hand, which made it as time-consuming and things it cam out REALLY blotchy, so I ended up doing most of it w/ a roller and a brush. Yup. I put MANY and hours and a lot of physical effort into this. It came out so-so; LOL! It would have been better to power-wash, sand, etc, but that would’ve meant possibly 3 to 4 times as much work, time and about 3-2 times the money!!! So, it’s what it is and it least it looks more “alive”, pleasant now.

Thanks once again. I absolutely LOVE this site!

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3047 days

#8 posted 04-23-2010 07:27 PM

Oh, I did use a semi-transparent Cabot finish, the “REdwood”. It’s more like “burnt-orange”, like the UT Longhorn official color, LOL!

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