How to Seal Cedar Wood for Long-Lasting Protection – 2024 Guide


Cedar wood is a beautiful choice for outdoor furniture, decks, fences, and more, due to its innate strength and alluring texture. To make sure your cedar project lasts for years to come, you must seal it properly. Sealing the cedar will protect it from the elements and keep your outdoor project looking great.

Benefits of Sealing Cedar Wood

By sealing cedar wood, you can protect it from damage caused by exposure to elements such as water and extreme weather conditions. The protection offered by sealers will keep the durability of the wood intact. It can also help to preserve its attractive grain and color while preventing fading and discoloration. Additionally, sealed wood is easy to clean, making it resistant to dirt and dust build-up.

Because cedar is a porous material, some of its characteristics are improved by sealing it with a protective coating such as varnish or polyurethane. For example, sealing can help increase water resistance and reduce cracking or warping due to temperature changes. Additionally, sealers recommended by WoodCritique can enhance the grain of the wood while deepening its natural color at the same time.

Finally, sealing your cedar wood will help preserve a pleasant scent because protective coatings reduce or eliminate airborne debris from accumulating on the surface of your deck or furniture. In this way, you won’t need to worry about having soiled items around your home that emit unpleasant aromas.


Types of Sealants

There are a variety of products designed to protect cedar from the elements and keep it looking great for years to come. Below are some popular options you can use to get the job done quickly and effectively:

High-Performance Wood Products

High-performance wood sealers are best used when the cedar is exposed to weathering or when moisture is likely to be an issue. They offer long-lasting protection while still letting the wood’s natural beauty shine through. You can use both penetrating formulas that absorb into the grain or non-penetrating varieties that sit on top of the surface in a film.

UV Resistant Products

If your cedar will be exposed to harsh sunlight, you might consider using a UV-resistant sealant. These results are great at blocking out harmful UV rays and removing fading that typically occurs over months or years. UV products come in both clear formulations and tinted versions, enabling you to preserve the elegant tones of your wood siding or decking board without sacrificing durability.

Stain/Seal Combinations

For maximum protection, there’s no better option than combining a quality stain with exterior-grade products formulated for cedar wood surfaces. This combination will provide both penetrating protection against moisture as well as a superficial aesthetic appeal that won’t fade over time like regular stain alone might do in harsher environments.


Preparation Process

Before you can seal cedar wood, it is important to prepare its surface. This step is primarily mechanical and involves removing any dirt, dust, or other sediment using a paint scraper or medium-grade sandpaper with a sanding block. Additionally, any existing paint should be scrupulously removed using a chemical remover designed specifically for wood. Following this preparation process will help ensure the surface is as smooth and clean as possible.

Once the surface has been cleared of any dirt and debris, use an electrically powered sander to further smooth out the surface of the wood. When satisfied with the smoothness ensured by sanding, vacuum away the dust particles that have gathered on top of the wood before proceeding to seal it.

How to apply Sealants?

Whether you have recently purchased a new cedar product or your existing one could use a little touch-up, below are some helpful tips for proper sealant application.

  1. Choose a quality product that is specific to cedar wood, such as an oil-based finish that penetrates deep into the grain of the wood and protects it without changing its natural tone.
  2. Apply it in thin coats with a paintbrush, roller, or spray gun; pay special attention to areas like joints/edges which are more susceptible to decay/damage over time.
  3. Allow each coat of the product at least 24 hours to cure completely before applying subsequent coats; this helps ensure even coverage and long-lasting protection from moisture and other weather conditions (rain, snow, etc.)
  4. As an additional step for outdoor uses, apply a layer of protective wax on top of the final coat of sealer – this will help repel water and make cleaning much easier in the future!


Once you have sealed your cedar wood, it should be regularly inspected for signs of wear and damage. Make sure that all seams, cracks, and joints are free of dirt or debris to allow moisture to escape. Check to make sure there are no voids or gaps in the sealant. If any issues are noticed during inspection, take action right away before any further damage occurs.

Cleaning the surface should be done regularly with a damp cloth to prevent the build-up of dirt and debris over time. Depending on how often the wood is exposed to moisture and other environmental elements, additional periodic treatments may be necessary using a special sealant designed for cedar wood surfaces. This can help ensure that your deck looks its best for years to come.

It’s important to remember that even with regular maintenance, sealed cedar wood can still suffer from sun fading over time due to UV rays. If desired, you might want to apply a UV blocking finish once every two or three years depending on the specific type of sealer used originally. Overall, properly taking care of your protected cedar wood will guarantee its longevity and increase the overall worth of your investment!


Sealing cedar wood is a great way to ensure it lasts for many years. With the right sealer, you can protect your cedar from moisture and prevent cracking or warping. A quality sealant will also make it easier to clean and maintain the surface of your cedar wood. If you’re looking for long-lasting protection for your cedar wood, we recommend following our steps above on how to seal cedar so that it can stand up against wear and tear over time.