How to Restore a Cedar Fence

"Good fences make good neighbors," according to poet Robert Frost.

Restore your cedar fence to keep it looking nice.Restore your cedar fence to keep it looking nice.
If you do have a fence, you want it to always look its best. You can make your fence look good by keeping it in good shape and repair. Cedar fences are attractive and will last a long time when properly cared for. You can do several things to restore your cedar fence to almost new condition. Plan to spend a weekend working on your cedar fence to restore it. Both you and your neighbors will enjoy the difference a restored fence makes.

Give your cedar fence a good cleaning to remove any loose debris. Use a pressure washer to help remove stubborn stains. Rent one if you do not own one, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for which type of cleaner to use and how much of it to use.

Use a scrub brush to remove any stubborn stains that the pressure washer could not remove.

Replace any broken or damaged cedar planks. Pull off the damaged planks, being careful of any loose or rusty nails. Use a hammer and new nails to attach new planks.

Select a cedar stain to refresh and restore the look of your cedar fence, as well as to protect it. Use a natural bristle paintbrush to apply the stain. Start at one end of the fence and work your way around. Work on one plank at a time, starting at the top and brushing the stain downward. Watch for drips in the stain, and go back and brush again to smooth them out.

Allow the stain to dry according to the manufacturer's directions. Give it a second coat, if necessary, to protect your cedar fence from the elements.

Things You Will Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Cleaner
  • New cedar planks
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Scrub brush
  • Cedar stain
  • Paintbrushes


  • The length of time it takes for the stain to dry depends somewhat on the weather. Plan to stain your fence on a warm, sunny day. A slight breeze is also helpful in expediting the process of drying stain.
  • Lighten the appearance of your cedar fence by spraying it with oxalic acid. Be very careful when doing this by wearing goggles, long sleeves, pants and protective gloves. The standard mixture is 4 oz. of acid to 1 gallon of water, but check the manufacturer's directions for exact mixtures.


  • Make sure to use the proper tip for the pressure washer so you do not ruin the wood planks in your cedar fence. These machines are very powerful and can actually do damage if you use them improperly. Check with your manufacturer's instructions or ask an employee at the rental place which tip is appropriate for cleaning cedar wood fences.