I do have about 100 wood fence panels that I want to reuse to build a fence. I know next to nothing about woods. What kind of wood is this? I don't know whether this wood has been treated or not. Could it be redwood or red cedar?

I plan to restore the wood using Clorox, water and a little bit of dish soap. I plan to apply sealant after the restoration. Do you think the restoration is worth it, when combining it with new panels? Or would it look too different? Thank you!

Wood fence panels

  • Take a short piece to the lumber yard, they might be able to identify the type of the wood and provide advice.
    – r13
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 21:11
  • Doubt if you can get them to look like new panels, but maybe two new and one old mixed and match idea, instead of trying to make all look the same.
    – crip659
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 21:19
  • They look like treated softwood. I don't think bleaching/washing them is going to get you very far. You might try running them through a thickness planer if you have access to one, or hitting them with a sander and fairly large grit sandpaper. That process will probably involve more labor than benefit as well though.
    – gnicko
    Commented Jan 22, 2022 at 2:45

3 Answers 3


These are my best guess.

Those look like the standard fence board from HD or Lowes, which are normally softwood with a redwood or cedar stain or them.

They would not be treated with any preservative just stained.

I see no purpose but a lot of work to "restore" with Chorox and washing with soap and water. You might do a quick clean up with a high pressure water and a rinse with Chorox and soap and water.

Reusing will save you $500-700 verse buying new replacement for the 100 board. The new board will not have any sealant applied.

I would reuse and mix with the new boards, give the whole fence a heavy coat of stain or exterior paint to have the fence have a uniform appearance.

You can put a couple of the old and new boards together, give it a coat of stain or paint and see if you like the appearance.

  • Agree with the guess but around here they sell both treated and untreated fence boards. Hard to tell between untreated but stained vs treated with nothing else applied. Not that it matters much going forward.
    – Olivier
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 21:39
  • Cedar fence boards are standard in TX. I would not waste time "restoring" them . They get gray in the sun ; stain or paint them if you want another color. Here in E. TX ,sun block preservative must be applied every year if you don't want gray. Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 22:18

I don't think it is redwood or cedar. It looks like fir to me. Probably douglas fir. Clear.

Whatever it is, it looks like good stuff, and I wouldn't do anything to it. It won't take long for the any new lumber you get to look like the existing lumber you have. Don't clean it. Don't seal it. Just nail it to some new rails and enjoy.


The type of wood is likely to vary depending on what country you're in. The only thing I'm prepared to say is that they don't look like firewood.

Forget trying to bleach or wash them: the major effect you'll have is interfering with any subsequent treatment.

Make sure they're adequately dry, sand lightly including the sides, and soak overnight in a staining preservative e.g. Cuprinol. If you can't soak then paint it on liberally, but it's essential that you get plenty into both ends of the boards.

Don't be tempted to varnish or paint them, since as well as preventing most water getting in it will also prevent all moisture getting out and that's a recipe for rot.

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