The Cherokee people of the United States have the tradition that cedar wood contains the spirits of their dead ancestors. They look upon cedar trees and wood with special regard and carry it in the form of small pieces as a protective power, and it is sometimes placed above the entrances of homes to keep evil from entering. Even their traditional medicines use pieces of cedar wood.
In the modern world, cedar wood is an important material for manufacturing cedar patio furniture for home patios and gardens and other places. It is also used for siding, patio decking, fences, planters, screens, and roofing.
Properties of Cedar Wood
Cedar belongs to the pine family, found in Asia, North America, and Africa. Several qualities make cedar wood a desirable material for manufacturing cedar patio furniture.
First, cedar wood exhibits a long-lasting beauty as compared to other softwood. It also has a lower chance of warping because its cell walls are thinner, allowing it to shrink and swell less as compared to other wood types.
Consequently, items of cedar wood do not easily warp or split. Cedar wood is naturally resistant to decay and insect attacks while remaining light, strong, and free of pitch and resin. Finally, when it comes to painting, staining, and gluing, cedar wood is unsurpassed. Though weathering will turn cedar color to a pleasant gray, a protective coating should be used to preserve the original richness of color.
Caring for Cedar Patio Furniture
It is common to leave cedar patio furniture outdoor without any artificial means of caring for it. Usually it does not stain nor decay, although its color is altered to a pleasant-looking silver-gray; however, continuous weathering outside eventually brings dark streaks. To cope with this, you can use various types of finishes (e.g. wood sealer, stain, or paint).
Stain finishes protect the wood from degrading effects of solar radiation. Before applying a pigmented stain, it is advisable to apply it to a small portion to see whether the desired effect results. Oil finishes should not be used for cedar patio furniture. The most natural form of oil finish for cedar wood is Linseed oil, although it will help retain the look for only a maximum of two years or so.