Is there a redwood siding sealer that won't darken the wood? It has been stripped and is under the porch roof with no rain or sun exposure.

Asked by katia
Concord, CA

I want to protect it from occasional water splattering when I water potted plants.


Polly Osborne, FAIA, LEED AP

Answered by Polly Osborne, FAIA, LEED AP

Los Angeles, CA

Polly Osborne Architects

December 3, 2010

Look for sealers and preservatives intended for log cabins. I've found they work the best on redwood.

  • I use borates as they are said to be less toxic than other types of preservatives.
  • You could use linseed oil for non-toxicity, but you would affect the color and have to re-apply it often.
  • Wood stabilizers, such as TimberPro's IWS, are an option, but they will also change the color of the wood.

A discussion of health concerns about borates can be found in this Environmental Health Perspectives article.


For more information:

Read Matthew Bremer's Q&A "Can you recommend a nontoxic waterproof wood sealer for my outdoor window boxes?"

Tagged In: siding, natural wood finish

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