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Best Finish for Cedar Chest in 2024 [Top 5 Model Reviewed]

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Cedar chests are made of Cedarwood, and when exposed to moisture or humidity over time, it can cause the lumber to warp and crack. This is unattractive and dangerous for storing delicate clothing items in these damaged cedar chests.

A cedar chest is a beautiful addition to any bedroom. The smell of the wood and the memories it holds are always comforting.

But, if you want your cedar chest to last for years, there need to be some finishing touches applied before it’s put in place. But before you finish it, you need to choose the best finish for Cedar Chest.

Therefore, this article will discuss the five most superior finishes for western red cedar chests. During our discussion, we will also cover some of the most important things to consider when selecting the right one.

Rust-Oleum Cedar Finish (‎1906830)

Deft Finish Cedar

Mohawk Finishes for Cedar (‎M610-1406)

Best Finish for Cedar Chest – Our Top 5 Picks

A cedar chest is a great way to store linens, blankets, or anything else you want to keep dust-free and organized. It provides a beautiful, warm finish to any room.

Cedar is naturally aromatic and insect repellent, making it an ideal choice for storage closets, bathrooms, or basements.

There are many opinions on the finish for Cedar Chest, but one thing that remains true is that you need to seal your chest with a protective first coat of varnish every few years to keep it from drying out.

The following are the top 5 products to consider:

01. Rust-Oleum Cedar Finish (‎1906830)

The Rust-Oleum lacquer finish is a great way to finish your woodworking project. It provides a clear, glossy finish that protects your lumber and gives it a beautiful shine. This spray is easy to use, and it dries quickly so you can get back to work.

It is ideal for interior and exterior surfaces, including masonry, lumber, plaster, metal, and unglazed ceramic. It dries quickly and leaves a sturdy, long-lasting finish. Plus, it gives your home a natural color & looks that will last. 

The finish is high-quality and will leave your surfaces looking hard and lustrous. It cures quickly and has a shorter drying time than regular paint, so you can get the job done faster.

This product dries to the touch in 20 minutes and covers up to 7 sq. ft. per Can. It is perfect for adding a finishing touch to decks, railings, and other outdoor projects.

A high gloss finish can be achieved with this cedar chest finish by sanding and recoating. The finish can help protect against weathering and fading, making it ideal for outdoor projects.

This Rust-Oleum cedar finish (‎1906830) can provide an ultra-gloss smooth coating for a professional, factory finish look. It is perfect for lumber surfaces such as furniture, cabinets, and trim. 

Highlighted Features:

  • Provides a professional factory finish
  • Ideal for use on interior and exterior surfaces
  • Glossy clear coat for indoor and outward use
  • It dries quickly in just 20 minutes
  • Durable, long-lasting finish
  • Easy to use spray Can

02. Deft Finish Cedar

The Deft wood finish is a clear wood finish that features a satin finish. This clear wooden finish is designed to be brushed on and gives a satin sheen.

This cedar chest finish is a great product to use if you are looking for professional finish results. It is easy to apply and provides excellent results. The lacquer is also non-yellowing, so you can be sure your finish will look great for a long time.

The 100-Percent nitrocellulose lacquer is designed to provide a clear finish for interior timber and metal surfaces. It dries quickly and is resistant to wear and tear. It can be applied with a brush, making it easy to use.

Deft cedar is a quick-drying, self-leveling sealant that provides professional results in just two hours. It’s easy to apply, and it dries to a beautiful finish that will guard your cedar chest against the elements.

This finishing is easy CWF because it melts into itself and does not require light sanding between multiple coats. This makes the process quick and easy, and the result is a beautiful, smooth finish.

It is an easy way to finish and seal your cedar furniture, cabinetry, or other interior wood projects. It goes on quickly and creates a tough, enduring finish that will protect your timber from moisture and everyday wear and tear.

The Deft finish cedar is available in a satin finish, and a quart Can cover around 400 square feet. The finish is smooth and even, and it will help rescue your cedar chest from the elements.

Highlighted Features:

  • The lacquer is also non-yellowing
  • 100-Percent nitrocellulose
  • Self-leveling and quick drying
  • Dries to a satin sheen in 2 hours

03. Mohawk Finishes for Cedar (‎M610-1406)

The Mohawk Lacquer finishing is designed to provide a hard, clear, durable finish on the cedar chest. This product can achieve a mirror-like reflectance and comes ready to spray.

It provides a great depth of gloss and superior color retention. It’s also very resistant to cold checking, a common problem with lacquers.

This high-quality Nitrocellulose Lacquer is perfect for instruments and furniture because it gives them a beautiful finish that will last for years.

It is a specially formulated finish, designed to produce a superior finish on thin, flexible veneers. This makes it the perfect choice for applications, where a beautiful, long-lasting finish is essential.

The spray flow, flexibility, and durability make it a top choice for timber finishing. The rubbing qualities of the spray also create a smooth, shiny surface that is highly reflective. 

These finishes are easy to use and do not require any reduction. They have good spray flow leveling properties, making them ideal for projects requiring a smooth finish.

Mohawk finishes for cedar (‎M610-1406) are great because they are alcohol and scuff-resistant. They also have excellent rubbing and polishing characteristics, making them a perfect choice for projects that require a high level of detail and precision.

Highlighted Features:

  • High-quality Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Provides hard, durable finish
  • Rubbing qualities of the spray create a smooth, shiny surface
  • Mirrors a smooth, shiny surface that is highly reflective
  • Alcohol and scuff resistant

04. Watco cedar wood finish

The Watco wood finish is a clear shine finish that will give your wood a beautiful finish. It’s easy to apply and dries quickly, so you’ll be able to get your project done in no time.

Choosing this finish is great for giving new life to cabinets, doors, old furniture, and paneling. It’s also non-toxic, making it safe for indoor and outdoor use. Plus, it gives your lumber a beautiful cedar chest finish that will last for years.

This finish dries to the touch in just one hour, which makes it a quick and easy way to give your timber a fresh first coat of paint.

It dries to a crystal clear shine, providing an enduring and long-lasting finish. Plus, it covers up to 290 sq ft, so you’ll be able to get a lot of use out of this product.

This unique cedar chest finish is a great way to save your wood from scratches and other damage. It’s also a great way to eliminate the need for timber filler since it covers up any imperfections in the lumber. And you don’t even have to sand between two coats; this finish is effortless to apply!

The finish is formulated for a higher clarity finish than polyurethane. It also produces a beautiful, natural-looking finish that will enhance the beauty of your wood. Watco cedar wood finish is an easy-to-use, fast-drying lacquer that dries to a durable, crystal-clear finish.

Highlighted Features:

  • Unique cedar chest finish shields the wood from scratches and damage
  • Dries in just one hour to a crystal clear gloss
  • It covers up to 290 sq ft per gallon so that you can get
  • Eliminate the need for lumber filler
  • You don’ even need to sand between two coats
  • Dries to a durable, crystal-clear finish

05. Deft Cedar Finishes

The Deft clear wood finish is perfect for giving your wood a glossy, new look. It’s easy to apply and provides a protective layer that will help keep your timber looking fresh for longer.

This sealant is also non-toxic, so it’s safe for children and pets. Additionally, it’s water-resistant and alcohol-resistant, making it ideal for use on wooden furniture, floors, trim, and more. 

It dries quickly and is non-yellowing, so you can be sure your project will look great for years to come. Plus, this lacquer dries to a crystal clear finish in just 30 minutes!

This wood finish is 100-Percent nitrocellulose brushing spray lacquer for most internal timber and metal surfaces. It dries quickly and produces a hard, durable finish. You can use it on furniture, cabinets, paneling, and other wood surfaces.

These cedar chest Finishes are easy to apply and provide professional results. Available in a gloss finish, these finishes are perfect for any type of wood surface.

They penetrate deep into the wood to seal and rescue it from damage while also restoring the natural color & beauty of the wood.

Deft Cedar Finishes is an excellent choice for finishing rosewoods also other exotic hardwoods. It dries quickly and doesn’t require light sanding between multiple coats so that you can save time on your project.

Highlighted Features:

  • Provides a crystal Clear Finish
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes
  • 100% nitrocellulose lacquer
  • Safe for children and pets

These are the top 5 Best Finish for Cedar Chest that you can choose from. Each of these provides a beautiful and protective layer for your wood that will help keep it looking new and fresh!

So, don’t let the beauty of your wood fade away just because the sun has faded it. But before you purchase one, there are some considerations you must consider.

What to Consider Before Buying Cedar Chest Finish

cedar chest

The finish is a perfect way to save your wood from scratches and other damage. It’s also a great way to eliminate the need for wood filler since it covers up any imperfections in the wood. And you don’t even have to sand between two coats. This finish is effortless to apply! 

Before you purchase the finish for the cedar chest, there are some considerations you should take into account:

Type of wood:

The type of wood you have for your project is essential to consider before purchasing a finish. You’ll want a product that will work best for the particular species of wood you’re working with.

Type of Finish:

When it comes to choosing the right finish for a cedar, a few different kinds are available. Some finishes, like lacquer and shellac, dry by solvent evaporation and use materials such as acetone and alcohol to speed up the process.

If you’re looking for something that dries more slowly, the oil-based stain varnish is a good option. Or, if you’re working with delicate sheens, wax finishes are an excellent choice for wood furniture.

Color of your wood:

Another important consideration is the color of your wood. You’ll want to pick a product that closely matches the shade of your wood to get the best results when you apply it. 

A mismatched finish can look unsightly and will stick out like a sore thumb when you use it on your cedar chest project!

Ease of use:

best finish for cedar chest

If you’re a beginner looking for an easy finish, there are a few different options available to you.

You can go with a water-based polyurethane specially made for protecting wood or an oil-based finish that’s great for beginners. Just make sure you read the instructions carefully before start applying your product!

Type of Protection:

The amount of protection you need is also essential to consider when selecting the finish for a cedar chest. You’ll want something durable that can protect against weather and heat damage.

A finish with UV protection is ideal since it will absorb the sun’s rays to protect your wood.


Take into consideration the toxicity of the product you’re using. Some finishes are much more dangerous than others, so it’s essential to know precisely what you’re putting in contact with when you apply it to your cedar chest.

Use a finish that is a low hazard and won’t harm you or any pets who may come into contact with it.

Drying Time:

wood expands

The drying time is also essential to consider before purchasing the finish for a cedar chest. If you’re in a hurry, using an oil-based polyurethane will allow it to dry quickly.

If you have the time, however, then something like lacquer or shellac will give more of a glossy sheen and show off the beauty of your wood.

Spray or Brushed:

Lastly, you’ll want to consider whether you wish to use a spray or brushed finish on your cedar chest.

Both will produce beautiful results, but brushing will give more of a natural color & look that’s great for displaying the natural beauty of your wood. A spray can often be too glossy and doesn’t show your project in the best light.

Once you take these considerations into account, you can look through all of the finishes on our list to select the one that fits best! Whichever product you choose, you’ll end up with a beautifully finished cedar chest that will last longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s talk about some essential frequently asked questions for further information:

01. Is Boiled Linseed Oil Good for Cedar Chest?

Boiled linseed oil is a practical wood protector, both indoors and out. Upon curing, it protects wood from damage caused by the sun or water. It can rejuvenate old, dried-out wood and restore it to a healthy state.

02. Does Boiled Linseed Oil Darken Wood?

Linseed oil (whether raw or boiled) darkens in the presence of light. Thus, it darkens in conditions opposite to those that affect most finishes and woods.

03. Should You Oil Cedar Chests?

You can use 100-percent natural cedar chest oil to rejuvenate your chest. Be sure to follow the directions carefully. The oil will also restore your cedar chest’s scent.

04. What Oil Do You Use on a Cedar Chest?

The best finish for cedar chest includes tung oil, Danish oil, and lacquer. A tung oil finish will provide a long-lasting, durable finish that will last for many years. A Danish oil finish dries faster and is an option that is suitable for beginners.

Last Words

When it comes to finishes for your cedar chest, you have many different options to choose from. However, after considering the various factors we’ve discussed, we think it is upon you to choose the best finish for Cedar chest. 

No matter what type of product you choose, it’s crucial to consider the toxicity of materials and how long they’ll last on your project before making a final decision. 

In the end, you want to select a finish that will provide value and the best protection for your cedar chest. With this information, we hope this article has been helpful!

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