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Hey folks. I have a birdhouse plan that calls for using cedar building shims for shingles. In a couple of tests, I used Watco natural danish oil, and also spray shellac. Both darken the wood satisfactorily, but with the shims not being really a reddish cedar, I'm not getting any reddish effect at all. Just darkening. Does anyone have any suggestions on what would be a good thing to use? Thanks. Jim
 

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Depending one what kind of cedar shims you got .If it is northern white cedar you won't get the color you are looking with out a stain. I believe the color tone you are looking for ' you would get from western red cedar. Most of the time shims are made from leftovers and could come from anywhere.Now there are other cedars out there to like red cedar used in cedar chest.
 

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Check on this, but I think you're not supposed to finish bird houses. They prefer raw wood, a little rough with a long reach from the opening to the nest so marauding birds can't reach in and attack the babies. The roughness lets them hold on without putting in a perch peg. Marauding birds are more a danger when there's a perch peg. Different birds require different shapes and sizes, particularly for the opening.
 
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