best wood for outdoor projects

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Forum topic by TDW posted 1152 days ago 1809 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 1611 days

1152 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: pergola cedar outdoor project

My wife wants me to build her a pergola. Can anyone tell me the best wood for my area which is humid and hot in the summers, I live in Kentucky. I was thinking of cedar but how do I treat the cedar? Any ideas would be appreciated.


-- Tom, Ky.,

6 replies so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 2754 days

#1 posted 1152 days ago

I live in Kentucky.
I use Eastern Red Cedar for outdoor projects.
One finish for cedar that I like is Sikkens Cetol.

-- 温故知新

View rrdesigns's profile


493 posts in 1812 days

#2 posted 1152 days ago

Western Red Cedar is the wood of choice in my neck of the woods (Oklahoma). There are many clear and tinted sealers out there to choose from. I’ve used “Behr” and “Superdeck” sealers with good results.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

View andy6645's profile


1 post in 1960 days

#3 posted 1152 days ago

If you like a “light” color to the wood try cypress. Excellent outdoor wood.

Norton, MA

View richgreer's profile


4522 posts in 1701 days

#4 posted 1152 days ago

In my opinion, the very best wood for withstanding weather is ipé. My deck and all my outdoor furniture is ipé. It is all over 10 years old and it shows no signs of weathering. It will last longer than I will.

It is heavy, dense and hard. Yes, it is hard on tools, but they can be re-sharpened.

Using a protective finish is optional. It will last with or without a protective finish. The difference is that without a protective finish, it will go gray (which I like).

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Dan's profile


3543 posts in 1507 days

#5 posted 1152 days ago

Redwood has always been considered one of the top wood choices for outdoor use. Its probably harder to find new but maybe worth a try.

I got lucky and knew a guy who was tearing down a huge Redwood deck at his house. I grabbed all the lumber and reclaimed it. Very nice lumber.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View shipwright's profile


4900 posts in 1424 days

#6 posted 1151 days ago

Red Cedar or, if cost is no issue, of course there’s always Teak. Either will finish well with Cetol and both will weather beautifully silver grey if left alone.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

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