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Best Finish for Red Cedar | Top 5 Reviews [2022 UPDATED]

Finish for Red Cedar

Cedar wood provides stylish furniture due to its elegant appearance, lightweight, and durability. It naturally repels insects and has a pleasant aroma. But due to sunlight, its color will become gray.

The procedure of cutting and sawing cedar is relatively straightforward. It works well with power tools and hand tools alike.

You need to choose the best finish for red cedar to maintain its natural red color and beauty. Because it doesn’t accept stains and finishes as readily as other woods, the superior finishes penetrate deep into the wood to protect it from within.

Here we will review some of the top red cedar finishes and help you decide which one is suitable for you.

Odie’s Oil on Cedar

Storm System Acrylic Stain

Hope’s Pure Tung Oil Finish

Top 5 Reviews on The Best Finish for Red Cedar

You’ve just stained and sealed your beautiful cedar furniture, but you’re worried that the finish might not hold up over time. You want to be sure that you’ve chosen the foremost possible finish for your furniture so that it will last for years to come.

Here are five of the best finishes for red cedar based on performance, reliability, and ease of use.

01. Odie’s Oil on Cedar

When it comes to western red cedar siding, one of the most important aspects is finding the right finish for your project. Too often, people go with a finish that’s not compatible with the type of wood they’re using. Odie’s Oil is the perfect finish for a western red cedar siding project.

Key Features:

  • Safe for use around children and pets
  • Can be used on all types of wood
  • Perfect for use on outdoor projects
  • Great for use on boats, doors, floors, and decks

Odie’s Oil is a fantastic wood finish that is easy to apply and looks great. It can be used on all species of wood, as well as leather, metal, and plastic. This stain is also solvent free and non-toxic, making it safe for use in the kitchen and other cooking projects.

It can be applied with a cloth, and there is no need to sand or strip between coats. Odie’s Oil covers many times the area of other finishes, making it a great choice for larger projects. It is also a natural oil finish, safe for use around children and pets.

Odie’s oil on cedar is a high-coverage wood finish that is perfect for dense and porous woods. You will get up to 20 times the coverage with this finish compared to conventional finishes. Depending on porosity and wood density, coverage will vary.

It is a protective finish that works on all types of wood, hard and soft alike. As it contains UV inhibitors that act like sunscreen for your wood, it’s perfect for outdoor projects. Odie’s Oil is also great for indoor projects,

This Oil is a great all-around product that can be used for a variety of applications. It’s perfect for use on boats, doors, brightwork, floors, decks, and a variety of other surfaces. It’s also great for use on leather and metal and makes a great auto detailer.

Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • No need to sand
  • High coverage
  • Food safe

Cons:

  • Expensive

Verdict:

Odie’s Oil is the perfect finish for any woodworking project. It’s easy to apply, has high coverage, and can be used in a variety of areas.


02. Storm System Acrylic Stain

If you’re looking for a sealer that will protect your western red cedar furniture, then the sealer & stain protector by STORM SYSTEM is the perfect product for you. 

Key Features:

  • Protects against the harsh weather and UV rays
  • Penetrates deep into the wood for maximum protection
  • Covers 125 – 175 sq/ft on smooth ground
  • Covers 100 – 150 sq/ft on porous surfaces

This sealer & stain protector is easy to apply, and it dries quickly so that you can enjoy your newly western red cedar furniture quickly. Simply apply the sealer with a brush or roller, and then allow it to dry for 24 hours before using.

Safeguard your deck from the harsh weather with this semi transparent stain. It will penetrate deep into the wood to add an extra layer of protection against rain, sun, and other elements. Additionally, this sealant’s cedartone color will help you to match your outdoor décor.

This oil based stain is compatible with any wood species. You can use it on Mahogany, Cedar, Redwood, Pine, Douglas Fir, Spruce Stain, and Cypress. Also, you can use it as a wood fence protector or any other wood substrate protector. It is great for decks, fences, siding, and other wood substrates.

As it is a lap-free application, it dries quickly, and there is no trace of the application. It is an alkyd product, and it is VOC compliant.

The storm system acrylic stain is a versatile product that can be used on both smooth and porous materials. It provides 125 – 175 sq/ft of coverage on smooth surfaces and 100 – 150 sq/ft of coverage on porous areas. This semi transparent is available in various colors to suit your needs.

Pros:

  • Lap-free application
  • Dries quickly
  • VOC compliant
  • Easy to apply

Cons:

  • Slippery remains for a few days 

Verdict:

The acrylic stain is a versatile product that can be used on both smooth and porous areas. It provides excellent protection against harsh weather and UV rays.


03. Hope’s Pure Tung Oil Finish

An oil finish by Hope’s is a great way to protect and seal your wooden furniture. It is a natural product that is safe to use and will not harm your furniture in any way.

Key Features:

  • Penetrates deeply into wood fibers to create a durable finish
  • Dries quickly at room temperature
  • Safe for use on all types of wood
  • Waterproof and resistant to alcohol, moisture, and everyday wear

Hope’s Pure Tung oil finish is an easy-to-use oil that offers the ultimate hand-rubbed finish for all fine woods. It can dry at room temperature, making it perfect for those looking for a quick and easy way to safeguard their woodworking projects.

This is an excellent choice for those looking for a finish that will penetrate deeply into the wood fibers. When tung oil cures, it becomes a non-oily solid, permanently bonds to the wood. It is also waterproof, so you can be sure your furniture will be protected from any spills.

When it comes to wood stains, tung oil is a jack of all trades. It can be used on new, unfinished wood to give it a beautiful, natural shine. It can also be used on weathered or stripped wood to revitalize it and bring out its natural beauty. 

This product is non-toxic when dry and provides a beautiful, protective finish that will keep your wooden items looking great. It is an incredible product that will protect your wood furniture from alcohol, moisture, stains, and everyday wear.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Non-toxic
  • Dries quickly
  • Non-oily

Cons:

  • Slightly thick

Verdict:

There is no better finishing option than pure tung oil when it comes to wooden pieces.  Whether you’re looking to protect a butcher block, countertop, cutting board, or any other wooden surface, tung oil is the way to go.


04. Walrus Oil Furniture Finish

Walrus Oil is a unique and environmentally friendly furniture finish that uses polymerizing safflower oil, hemp seed oil, and tung oil. It is 100% vegan and will safeguard your cedar wood table and chair.

Key Features:

  • Perfect for furniture, picture frames, and other woodworking projects
  • 100% vegan that dries to a beautiful matte finish
  • Shelf-stable and can be stored properly
  • Safe to use on food preparation surfaces

This finish is perfect for furniture, picture frames, and other woodworking projects that need a little extra protection. It dries to a beautiful matte finish that brings out the natural color of the eastern or western red cedar wood.

Walrus oil is a furniture finish that can be used on cedar siding. It is simply applied with a brush or cloth and then allowed to dry for 24 to 48 hours. The excess can then be wiped away, and the finish will fully cure by 4 weeks, usually taking four weeks. It should be stored in a cool and dry place.

When in contact with oxygen, it is able to polymerize because of its high level of linoleic acids. It is also easy to apply and can be buffed to a high sheen over eastern or western red cedar.

Walrus Oil Furniture Finish is a biodegradable product that contains no harmful additives. It dries quickly and forms a durable, hard surface. The oil is shelf-stable and can be stored properly.

For best results, you should use one coat of oil and allow it to cure before adding additional or multiple coats fully. The finish is a great choice for those who want a lightly scented.

Since it is FDA food-safe, it is a great choice for those who are looking for an oil finish that is safe to use on food preparation items. It can also be used on children’s toys and in the nursery.

Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • Biodegradable
  • FDA food-safe
  • Versatile to use

Cons:

  • Takes 4 weeks to cure fully

Verdict:

The exterior finish is a great choice for those who are looking for an easy to apply, biodegradable oil finish to eastern or western red cedar wood. It is perfect for furniture, picture frames, and other woodworking projects that need a little greater protection.


05. DeckWise Ipe Oil

When you are looking for a natural oil to finish your cedar wood siding, look no further than Oil by DeckWise Ipe. This natural finish is designed to shield and enhance the appearance of western red cedar products.

Key Features:

  • Designed to safeguard and enhance the appearance of hardwood decks
  • Provides UV barrier protection to exterior hardwood
  • Low VOC oil-based formula minimizes odors
  • Penetrates deep into the wood for a long-lasting finish
  • Does not crack, froth, or peel off in harsh weather conditions

This oil provides UV barrier protection for exterior hardwood and thermal wood. It is perfect for fences, decking, and railings. This finish can help sustain these surfaces up to 15% longer than the standard Ipe Oil formula.

It is a specially formulated oil that helps to nurture cedar wood. The low VOC oil-based formula minimizes odors, while the essential natural oils help to feed and preserve the eastern or western red cedar furniture from the inside.

DeckWise Ipe Oil is a great way to protect your wood siding from the environment. It dries without a surface film, so it will not crack, froth, or peel off.

If you’re looking for a quality oil that will save your hardwood from harsh weather, this oil is a great option. This oil is designed to penetrate deep into the wood, and it results in a beautiful exterior finish that will last.

Keep in mind that this oil may not last as long as it would in more ideal conditions depending on your local weather conditions. But overall, it’s a great product that can help keep your hardwood looking its best.

Pros:

  • Penetrates deep into the wood
  • Non-toxic
  • Low VOC formula
  • Won’t peel off in harsh weather

Cons:

  • Lasts according to climates

Verdict:

Now that you know a little more about DeckWise Ipe Oil, it’s time to see how it can help your eastern or western red cedar wood. This oil is a great way to keep your wood siding looking its best.


We have ended our list of the 5 best finishes for cedar siding. We hope that this list has been helpful in your search for the perfect finish for your home. They provide superior protection from the sun and harsh weather, as well as bring out the natural beauty of the wood.

Factors to Consider When Buying the Finish for Red Cedar

semi transparent stains

Unprotected wood can quickly become discolored and faded from the sun’s UV rays. A good finish will help to save your wood siding from the elements and keep it looking its best. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best finish for your cedar siding.

UV Protection:

When you’re choosing a finish for your cedar chest siding, it’s important to choose one that offers UV protection. The sun’s UV rays can quickly fade and discolor unprotected wood. A suitable stain will help to keep your western red cedar furniture looking its best by blocking out the sun’s harmful rays.

Water Repellency:

Another important factor to consider when choosing a finish for your cedar chest is water repellency. Cedar is a naturally water-resistant wood, but it can still be damaged by water if it’s not properly protected. The best exterior finish will help to repel water and keep your wood looking its best.

Opacity:

When you’re choosing a finish for your cedar chest, it’s important to consider the opacity of the finish. A more opaque finish will provide more protection from the sun’s UV rays. However, a less opaque stain will allow the natural beauty of the western red cedar furniture to shine through.

VOCs:

solid color stains

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that can be released into the air when a product is applied. Some stains or finishes for cedar siding contain VOCs, which can be harmful to your health.

When choosing a finish, it’s important to choose one with low VOCs to minimize your exposure to these harmful chemicals. The best varnish for cedar siding contains no VOCs.

Dry Time:

Another important factor to consider when choosing the best finish for cedar siding is the dry time. Some finishes take longer to dry than others. If you’re in a hurry, it’s important to choose a stain that will dry quickly to get back to enjoying your western red cedar deck or patio.

Coverage:

When you’re choosing the best stain for red cedar siding, it’s important to consider the coverage of the finish. Some finishes will cover more area than others. If you’re working with a large area, it’s important to choose a stain that will provide good coverage.

Ease of Application:

When you’re choosing a finish for your cedar chest, it’s important to choose one that is easy to apply. You don’t want to spend hours trying to apply a finish that is difficult to work with. A good stain will go on smoothly and evenly, and it will be easy to apply.

Now that you know a little more about the best finishes for cedar siding, it’s time to choose the perfect one for your home. Keep in mind the factors we’ve listed above, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect finish for your needs.

How do You Stain Red Cedar Wood?

natural stains

You can stain cedar wood with a variety of finishes or stains like Transparent, semi-transparent, and solid color stains. Choosing the right one will depend on the look you want to achieve and how much protection you need from the environment.

Transparent Stains:

A transparent stain will allow the wood’s natural grain to show through while providing a little bit of color. Transparent stains are ideal for new cedar that is in good condition and doesn’t need a lot of protection. To achieve a weathered appearance, apply transparent oils.

Semi-Transparent Stains:

A semi-transparent stain will provide more color than a transparent stain while still allowing the original grain of the wood to show through. Semi-transparent stains are ideal for cedar in good condition but need a little more protection than a transparent stain can provide.

Solid Color Stains:

A solid color stain will provide the most protection from the elements without covering up the original grain of the wood. Solid color stains are ideal for cedar in poor condition or needs a lot of protection from the rain and sun.

Now that you know the different types of stains, you can choose the perfect one for your cedar products. Keep in mind the look you want to achieve and the amount of protection you need when making your decision.

Types of Cedar Wood Finishes for Your Cedar Chest

Types of Cedar Wood Finishes for Your Cedar Chest

There are a few different types of cedar wood finishes you can use on your cedar chest. You’ll need to decide if you want a natural look, a stained look, or a painted finish.

Oil-based Finishes:

Oil-based finishes are popular because they penetrate deep into the wood grain and protect the eastern or western red cedar from both water and sunlight damage. The wood furniture looks beautiful and light colored. These oils are formulated to achieve a weathered look.

Water-based Finishes:

Water-based finishes are easier to apply than oil-based finishes, and they don’t require as much maintenance after applying to eastern or western red cedar furniture. 

Lacquer:

Lacquer is a type of finish that dries quickly and leaves a hard, shiny surface. It’s easy to apply evenly, but it can be difficult to remove if you decide you want to change the look of your chest later on.

Shellac:

Shellac is a type of finish that’s made from natural materials. It’s easy to apply and dries quickly, but it doesn’t provide much protection from water or ultraviolet damage.

Varnish:

Varnish is a durable finish that can be applied to both indoor and outdoor western red cedar products. When choosing a varnish, be sure to select one that’s specifically designed for use on red wood.

Spar Urethane:

Spar urethane is a type of finish that’s designed for use on outdoor eastern or western red cedar products. It’s very durable and provides good protection from both water and sunlight damage.

FAQs:

Q: What Finish Goes with Red Cedar?

A: If you’re looking for a finish that goes well with cedar, we recommend choosing oil-based finish. This finish will help to bring out the natural beauty of the wood and provide superior protection from the elements.

Q: What do You Seal Eastern Red Cedar with?

The best sealers for Eastern Red Cedar are oil-based sealers, including tung oil, linseed oil, bleaching oil, and teak oil. These oils penetrate the wood and save it from water damage, mold, and mildew.

Q: Can You Seal Cedar with Polyurethane?

Yes, you can seal cedar with polyurethane. It is a clear finish that will protect the wood and give it a nice shine. It is important to apply a thin coat of polyurethane to the cedar so that it does not become sticky or tacky.

Q: Can You Use Tung Oil on Cedar?

Yes, you can use tung oil on cedar. It penetrates the wood and protects it from water and UV damage. Apply tung oil to clean, dry cedar using a natural bristle brush, working in the direction of the grain.

Q: Does Red Cedar Need to Be Sealed?

If you want to save red cedar from the elements, you’ll need to seal it. You can use a variety of finishes. However, tung oil is the best option because it penetrates deep into the wood and creates a durable, water-resistant finish.

Q: How Do You Keep Red Cedar from Turning Gray?

A: You can keep red cedar from turning gray by using a clear finish or stain on the wood. This will protect the wood and keep it looking new. You can also paint red cedar to keep it from turning gray.

Conclusion:

Red cedar is one of the most popular woods for outdoor furniture, siding, and decking because of its natural beauty and resistance to rot and decay. However, if not finished properly, cedar can quickly become discolored and damaged from exposure to the sun’s UV rays and rainwater.

Be sure to choose the best finish for red cedar that will provide the protection you need while still allowing the natural beauty of the wood to shine through. And remember, if you’re ever unsure about what to do, you can always ask our team of experts for help!

We hope you enjoyed this article and can select the perfect finish for your next project.

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