A.Much depends upon the desired look. If you want a weathered gray look that is common in coastal areas, a clear water-repellent preservative can be used as a natural finish. It reduces warping, prevents water staining at the edges and ends, and helps control mildew growth. However, it does not, and cannot, maintain the new look of the cedar.

If you want the gray look immediately, a preservative stain is the answer. Semitransparent stains contain inorganic pigments, water repellents, and preservatives (mildewcides and fungicides). A semitransparent stain is more durable than a clear water-repellent preservative because the pigment absorbs some of the ultraviolet light, which...

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