Bleaching a Cedar Fence

What You'll Need
Oxygen bleach
Pump spray bottle
Water hose

Bleaching a cedar fence can restore it to its natural red-orange color. Like all other types of wood, cedar also loses its natural color due to its exposure to sunlight and other elements. Cedar wood is derived from several different classes of cedar, such as Eastern cedar, Spanish cedar and red cedar. To revive the beauty of a cedar fence, all that is needed is oxygen bleach and some home materials.

Step 1 – Wait for Perfect Timing

If the cedar fence is situated in an open area open to direct sunlight, wait for the time of the day when the fence is completely shaded. Sunlight has damaging effects on the color of wood being bleached. It also causes the wood to change its hue. If the fence is located in a shaded area, there is no need to wait for the sunlight to be blocked by clouds. The fence can be bleached right away.

Step 2 – Mix an Oxygen Bleach Solution

Mix the oxygen bleach with water to form a solution in a bucket. The proportion would depend on the instructions set by the manufacturer. Check the instructions on the bleach product to confirm the right ratio between bleach and water. Typically, 1:12 ratio is okay. Be sure not to use chlorine bleaches because this may cause a discoloration on the wood. 

Step 3 – Fill the Pump Spray Bottle with the Solution

A pump spray bottle allows efficient use of the solution and ensures that none of the solution is put to waste. If it is not available at home, purchase one at a local supply store. These bottles are cheap and come in different sizes. Purchase one that has at least a capacity of 500 ml or 1L. Fill the bottle until it’s almost full.

Step 4 – Soak the Cedar Wood in the Solution

To bleach the wooden fence, spray every surface until it gets totally soaked in the solution. Allow the solution to stay on the wood for about 30 minutes. This will allow the product to work its bleaching effect into the wood.

Step 5 – Scrub the Wooden Fence

Scrub the wooden fence with a brush to remove any dirt on the surfaces of each wood. The scrubbing motion will also allow the oxygen bleach to work its way through the wood. It also removes any dirt that may hinder the bleaching effect. While brushing, notice how the cedar comes back to its natural color.

Step 6 – Rinse Well with Water

After scrubbing, rinse the cedar with water. Use a water hose to flush all the bleach and dirt from the wood to reveal a more natural looking wood. Make sure to rinse thoroughly. Any oxygen bleach left on the wood may continue to bleach the wood and cause unevenness in hue.

When working with oxygen bleach or any type of bleach, always wear protective gloves because the solution may irritate the skin.