Cedar wood is less likely to warp, splinter, or shrink, making it an excellent choice for outdoor fences. But although they have a natural advantage against the elements, decay, and rot, sealing cedar fences is still a good idea. This adds an extra layer of protection to make your fence even more durable.\n\n\n\nThe best cedar fence for most people is the Ready Seal Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer. It's easy to apply, blends easily, doesn't leave blotches or streaks, and protects from UV rays and moisture.\n\n\n\nReady Seal is the best cedar fence sealer overall on our list. However, you may want to try other products if\u2026\n\n\n\nEase of application is your top priority. Go with Eco Advance Exterior Wood Siloxane Waterproofer (available on Amazon).You're on a tight budget but still want a 2-in-1 product. Go with the Thompsons WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain (available on Amazon).You want a high-quality one-coat product. Go with Cabot Wood Toned Deck & Siding Stain (available on Amazon).You have a fence that\u2019s more regularly exposed to water. Go with Seal-Once Marine Premium Wood Sealer (available on Amazon).\n\n\n\nIn this article, I'll list some things you need to consider when buying a wood sealer for your cedar fence. You'll see how each product rates in each category and why other products might be better suited for your needs than the Ready Seal.\n\n\n\nBest Overall: Ready Seal Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer\n\n\n\nWhen sealing your cedar fence, most people apply at least two products: wood stain and sealer. Ready Seal Sealer combines both into one product. This way, you get both waterproofing and UV protection.\n\n\n\nAside from providing all-around weather protection, Ready Seal is easy to apply. Often, wood stain requires some experience or even a professional to apply it properly in order to avoid streaks and blotches, but Ready Seal blends on its own. It settles without streaks, blotches, or laps and doesn't require back brushing like most wood stain products. \n\n\n\nYou can use any tool or application method- brush, roller, or sprayer. However, clean-up of this oil-based product does require the use of mineral spirits.\n\n\n\nThis stain and sealer is perfect for any cedar fence. Its stain pigment is colored a natural cedar, so it will enhance the natural beauty of your fence while protecting it from the elements and preventing the wood from graying.\n\n\n\nPros\n\n\n\n2-in-1 productDoesn't require back brushing and doesn't leave streaks, blotches, or lapsReapplication doesn't need stripping or sanding\n\n\n\nCons\n\n\n\nExpensiveMineral spirits required for clean-up\n\n\n\nBest for Easy Application: Eco Advance Exterior Wood Siloxane Waterproofer\n\n\n\nThe Eco Advance is a water repellent that protects against water damage, stains, pool chemicals, mold, and mildew.\n\n\n\nAn airless sprayer or pump sprayer is recommended to apply this product, but you can also use a brush or roller. While other products need around an hour or so between coats, you just need to wait 30 minutes before applying the second coat of this product.\n\n\n\nWood stains and sealers are known to have a strong odor. However, the Eco Advance has a low to zero VOC formula, which is almost odorless. Burning eyes due to product fumes won't be a problem.\n\n\n\nSince Eco Advance is water-based, it offers effortless clean-up. There's no need for mineral spirits. You only need soap and water to remove any extra product.\n\n\n\nPros\n\n\n\nLow to no odorNon-toxic and safe for pets, plants, and peopleDries clear\n\n\n\nCons\n\n\n\nNo UV protectionDoesn\u2019t give much scratch protection\n\n\n\nBest Budget Option: Thompson\u2019s WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain\n\n\n\nThompson's WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain protects from moisture, water damage, mildew, and UV damage. This semi-transparent product has a warm, woodland cedar color that enhances your cedar fence's natural beauty and color.\n\n\n\nThompsons is a one-coat formula, and it's recommended that the product is applied lightly on your fence to avoid oversaturation and possibly cause blotches. You can also use multiple methods to apply it: brush, roller, or sprayer.\n\n\n\nBefore applying Thompson's WaterSeal, your fence's air and surface temperature should be 50-95\u00b0F (10-35\u00b0C).\n\n\n\nThough one coat already offers a good level of protection and a beautiful finish, other DIYers and those that have used the product also recommend applying two coats. Just make sure it dries before applying the next coat.\n\n\n\nBecause it is a 2-in-1 product that recommends only one coat, this is the cheapest option that still offers a beautiful finish and the protection provided by both wood seal and wood stain. Thompson's company states that the product can last up to 6 years on vertical surfaces.\n\n\n\nPros\n\n\n\nQuick and easy to apply one-coat formulaA budget option that offers 2-in-1 protection\n\n\n\nCons\n\n\n\nSome users have said it lasts several months to a year\n\n\n\nBest High-Quality One-Coat Product: Cabot Wood Toned Deck & Siding Stain\n\n\n\nCabot Wood Toned Deck & Siding Stain uses a blend of resin and oil that penetrates deep into the wood. It protects against moisture, mildew, UV rays, and other damaging weather elements. A perfect choice for protecting your fences, siding, decks, and trim.\n\n\n\nCabot's finish dries a bit dark, enhancing the natural grain of a wood fence. Over time, it weathers to a more natural wood-toned color. This product has five colors and a cedar option that\u2019s suited just for your cedar fence.\n\n\n\nThe company recommends only a one-coat product application to avoid oversaturation, streaks, and blotchiness. However, it is recommended to reapply this wood sealer and stain yearly, depending on the wear and tear your cedar fence goes through.\n\n\n\nNote that this wood stain is not suitable for indoor application.\n\n\n\nPros\n\n\n\nCedar-toned pigmentOne coat application400-600 sq ft\/gal coverage (on smooth surfaces)\n\n\n\nCons\n\n\n\nNeeds yearly reapplication\n\n\n\nBest for Wet Environments: Seal-Once Marine Premium Wood Sealer\n\n\n\nSeal-Once Marine Premium Wood Sealer is ideal for environments that are more regularly exposed to water. That means homes and settings close to the sea, rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water or rainy weather. This sealer bonds to the fibers of your wood fence to create a water-resistant shield.\n\n\n\nSeal-Once is water-based and has an ultra-low VOC formula that makes it extra safe for pets, plants, and people. This product is also UV stable, so it will not yellow when exposed to long hours of sunlight.\n\n\n\nThis wood sealer is also very easy to apply. You have the choice of using a synthetic brush, pump sprayer, air-assisted sprayer, or airless sprayer. Make sure that the second coat is applied within one hour of the first while it\u2019s still damp.\n\n\n\nPick a clody day for applying this product or do it in a shaded location that\u2019s out of direct sunlight. Otherwise, it might dry too quickly.\n\n\n\nPros\n\n\n\nSuitable for wet or high-moisture environmentsAvailable in clear and tinted formulasEasy to clean with soap and waterLow VOC formula\n\n\n\nCons\n\n\n\n2-3 hours surface dry timeCannot be applied under direct sunlightExpensive\n\n\n\nFactors To Consider\n\n\n\nThere are three main factors to keep in mind when choosing the right wood sealer for your cedar fence:\n\n\n\nEase of ApplicationProtectionCost\n\n\n\nI'll discuss each of these below:\n\n\n\nEase of Application\n\n\n\nWhen it comes to application, you want to know if you'll be able to DIY it, if you'll need some experience, and if the tools you'll need to do the job are available at home. You wouldn't want to run back and forth from the hardware store to get what you need.\n\n\n\nOther factors that affect ease of application are:\n\n\n\nTools: Some sealers need specific application tools like brushes, rollers, or sprays, though many products can be applied with any tool.Number of coats: More coats mean more time and effort to seal your fence.Drying time between coats: When multiple coats are needed, you must wait a recommended time before applying the next coat.Other factors: Temperature, wood moisture, and other requirements before or during application.\n\n\n\nLet\u2019s see how each of the listed sealers compare when it comes too ease of application:\n\n\n\nWood SealerToolsCoatsDrying timeNotesReady SealBrush, Roller, Sprayer21 hourRequires no back-brushing, blends on its ownWood moisture should be below 15%Eco AdvanceBrush, Roller, Sprayer230 minutesOdorlessThompsonsBrush, Roller, Sprayer1n\/aSurface and air temperature 50-95\u00b0F (10-35\u00b0C) during applicationCabotPaint Pad, Stain Brush1n\/aWood moisture should be below 15%Seal-OnceSynthetic Brush, Sprayer2> 1 hour (while still damp)Low odorApply out of direct sunlight\n\n\n\nWinners: Eco Advance Exterior Wood Siloxane Waterproofer, Ready Seal Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer\n\n\n\nNo matter the rating, it is recommended that all wood fences are repaired, washed, and left to dry for at least 24 hours before applying sealer. Sanding is recommended to let the wood better absorb the sealer. Check your product's instructions.\n\n\n\nRemember to sweep off or vacuum up any dust that may be left behind before sealing your fence.\n\n\n\nIf you have a newly installed fence, it is also recommended that you wait at least 30 days of "dwell time" before applying any sealer or other product to the wood.\n\n\n\nProtection\n\n\n\nWhen searching for a wood sealer for your cedar fence, you'll come across three main types of products that offer different kinds of protection:\n\n\n\nWood SealerWood Stain2-in-1 wood sealer and stain\n\n\n\nWood Sealer\n\n\n\nA wood sealer's main job is to protect wood against water and moisture. They can be water or oil-based. Water-based sealers create a barrier against moisture when it dries. Oil-based wood sealer also protects against moisture and helps prevent mildew and rot.\n\n\n\nSealers dry clear, don't change the wood's color, and leave the fence's natural beauty to show.\n\n\n\nWood Stain\n\n\n\nWood stain dries transparent or semi-transparent. This product contains some pigment that changes the color of the wood and aims to enhance its natural grain. The pigment in wood stain offers natural UV protection.\n\n\n\n2-in-1 Wood Sealer and Stain\n\n\n\nUnless stated in the product description, a wood sealer and a wood stain will mainly protect against either moisture and rot or UV protection. A 2-in-1 product will offer protection against both of these and will almost always contain some pigment. The pigment will change or affect the color of the wood.\n\n\n\nWood Sealer\/ StainTypeMoisture ProtectionUV ProtectionReady SealStain and SealerYesYesEco AdvanceSealerYesNoThompsonsStain and SealerYesYesCabotStain and Sealer YesYesSeal-OnceSealerYesYes\n\n\n\nWinner: Ready Seal Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer, Cabot Wood Toned Deck & Siding Stain\n\n\n\nCost\n\n\n\nOf course, the price tag is the first things you\u2019ll look at when choosing a sealer for your cedar fence.\n\n\n\nHowever, that\u2019s not all you should consider if you\u2019re worried about cost:\n\n\n\nNumber of Coats: Applying more coats of sealer means you will have to purchase more of it.Coverage: Most companies and products usually state this as square foot per gallon (sq ft\/gal) (sq cm\/liter)Lifespan: After applying the sealer, how long will it last before you have to reapply?\n\n\n\nWood SealerCoatsCoverageLifespanReady Seal2125 SqFt\/ Gal3-5 yearsEco Advance2100-300 SqFt\/ Gal5 yearsThompsons1150-400 SqFt\/ Gal6 yearsCabot1400-600 SqFt\/ Gal1-2 yearsSeal-Once2150-300 SqFt\/Gal2-4 years (up to 10 years)\n\n\n\nWinners: Eco Advance Exterior Wood Siloxane Waterproofer, Seal-Once Marine Premium Wood Sealer\n\n\n\nEach product's lifespan is stated on the product can itself and on their company's website. However, most customers and professionals say that, depending on the weather conditions of each location and the wear and tear of your fence, stain and sealer should be reapplied every 1-2 years.\n\n\n\nKey Takeaways\n\n\n\nWhen choosing the best cedar fence sealer for you, check what type of protection you get (moisture, mildew, and\/or UV protection). Also consider the ease of application and the cost of the product.\n\n\n\nAlways read and follow the instructions for each product to avoid any unexpected issues and get the best results. Don't forget that you should at least wash and dry your fence before applying any sealer or stain.\n\n\n\nIf the product you want has pigment, make sure it will suit your cedar wood fence.