How to Preserve Cedar Wood

Preserving cedar wood is a valuable practice that not only extends the lifespan of this beautiful natural material but also maintains its vibrant color and natural resistance to decay and insects. Cedar wood, known for its durability and appealing aroma, is commonly used for various outdoor and indoor projects. In this informative guide, we’ll delve into how to preserve cedar wood.

How to Preserve Cedar Wood

From understanding the unique properties of cedar to choosing the right preservation techniques, oils, and sealants, we’ll provide a comprehensive walkthrough to help you keep your cedar wood in optimal condition for years to come. Let’s explore the world of cedar preservation and ensure your wood retains its beauty and strength over time.

The Significance of Preserving Cedar Wood

Cedar is a type of wood that has been used for centuries to make furniture, buildings, and other useful items. It has long been valued for its beauty and durability, making it an ideal choice for outdoor applications. But in order to ensure the long-term performance of cedar wood, preservation is necessary. Without proper protection from moisture, sunlight, bugs, and other environmental factors, cedar can degrade quickly.

Preserving cedar wood is also important for aesthetic reasons. Without protection, the wood will begin to gray and fade over time. This process can be accelerated by exposure to harsh sunlight or salty air, leading to a dulling of the color and texture of the wood. With proper preservation techniques, however, you can keep your cedar looking like new for years to come.

Why Cedar Is a Popular Choice for Outdoor Use

Cedar is a popular choice of wood for outdoor projects due to its natural resistance to rot and decay. The oils in cedar also help repel pests such as insects, which ensures your hard work will last for years to come. Cedar also has a pleasant aroma that can add an extra layer of enjoyment when using your finished project. It’s known for its beauty and natural durability, making it a great option for outdoor projects.

When preserving cedar wood, it is important to use the right products to protect it from the elements. The most common way of preserving cedar wood is by using an oil-based sealer or stain. These products are designed to penetrate into the wood, providing protection against water and UV rays.

Using an Oil-based Sealer

A good sealer will also provide a more uniform finish and guard against fading in the sun. When using an oil-based product, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a brush for even coverage. Additionally, when applying products like stains or sealers, you should always work in well-ventilated areas to avoid inhaling fumes.

It’s also important to remember that cedar wood is naturally more prone to shrinking and swelling due to changes in humidity, so you should be extra careful when preserving it. To avoid further shrinkage or cracking, make sure the wood is adequately sealed with a quality sealer or stain.

Additionally, it’s best to use stainless steel screws and hardware when building with cedar wood, as these won’t corrode over time and affect the look or performance of your finished product.

10 Steps How to Preserve Cedar Wood

1. Clean the Cedar Wood

Before you can begin to preserve cedar wood, it must be thoroughly cleaned. This is done by scrubbing the wood with a brush and warm, soapy water. Make sure to use a brush with soft bristles so that you do not damage the wood. Once the cedar has been cleaned and allowed to dry, it is ready for preservation.

2. Sand the Cedar Wood

The next step in preserving cedar wood is to sand it down using sandpaper or a sander. This will help to remove any dirt or grime that may have accumulated on the surface of the wood over time. It will also help to smooth out any rough spots on the wood and make it easier to apply a finish later on.

3. Apply an Oil-Based Primer

Use a Brush With Soft Bristles

Once the cedar has been sanded down, an oil-based primer should be applied before any other finishes are applied. The primer will help to seal in moisture and protect the wood from further damage caused by weathering or insects. Make sure that you allow plenty of time for the primer to dry before proceeding with any other steps in preserving cedar wood.

4. Apply an Oil-Based Stain

Once the primer has had time to dry, you can then apply an oil-based stain to your cedar wood project. This will give it color and depth while also helping to protect it from further damage caused by weathering or insects. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully when applying this stain, as improper application could lead to uneven results and potential damage down the line.

5. Apply an Oil-Based Sealant

After staining your cedar project, you should then apply an oil-based sealant over the top of it in order to give it additional protection from moisture and insect damage, as well as enhance its color and depth even further than before.

Make sure that you follow all instructions carefully when applying this sealant, as an improper application could lead to uneven results and potential damage down the line, as well as discoloration over time due to UV exposure if not properly sealed against moisture loss from humidity changes in climate conditions where used outdoors or indoors near windows/skylights, etc.

6. Allow Time for Drying

Once all of these steps have been completed, make sure that you allow plenty of time for everything to dry completely before moving forward with anything else related to your project’s preservation process. This is very important because if there is still some wetness left behind after everything dries, then there is a possibility that mold could form, which would need extra special care in order for removed without damaging your project’s surface area overall.

Using Protective Covers When Not in Use

7. Inspect Regularly

It’s also important that you inspect your project regularly once everything has dried completely, especially if used outdoors so that you can spot any signs of wear & tear that might need attention sooner rather than later. This way, minor problems can be addressed quickly & easily instead of waiting until they become bigger issues requiring more effort & resources for repair.

8. Reapply Oil Based Primer/Stain/Sealant As Needed

In addition, if necessary, reapplication of oil-based primers/stains/sealants may be needed every 2 – 3 years, depending on how much sun & rain exposure your project receives throughout its lifespan. Doing this will help ensure maximum protection against moisture loss & insect infestation while maintaining its original appearance & coloration.

9. Use Protective Covers When Not In Use

Another way of preserving your cedarwood projects is by using protective covers when not in use. This helps keep dust & debris away while also protecting them from extreme temperatures, which could cause warping or cracking over time. If possible, try storing them inside during colder months when not actively being used outside otherwise, they might suffer unnecessary damage due to their delicate nature.

10. Keep Away From Moisture Sources

Lastly, another way of preserving your cedarwood projects is by keeping them away from direct sources of moisture such as sprinklers/hoses/pools, etc. since they are naturally absorbent materials that can easily swell up or rot if exposed frequently enough. So make sure they are kept at least 5 feet away from these sources whenever possible for best results!

Things to Consider When Preserving Cedar Wall

When preserving cedar wood, there are many things to consider. For starters, applying a protective oil or sealant is essential for keeping the wood in good condition. This will help prevent moisture and mildew from taking hold of the lumber and effectively protect it.

A Power Washer Can Be Used

Furthermore, it’s important to choose the right type of oil or sealer for your particular type of cedar. Some are formulated for exterior uses while others are meant mainly for interior applications. Be sure to read the product label and follow the instructions carefully for best results.

In addition, it’s important to clean your cedar wood regularly to keep it looking its best. A mild soap and water solution is usually sufficient, but a power washer can be used on stubborn dirt and grime.

It’s also important to keep the wood free of debris like leaves, sticks, and other organic matter as this can cause damage over time. Lastly, it’s a good idea to inspect your cedar wall regularly for signs of wear and tear such as cracks or splintering.


Taking proper care of cedar wood is an important part in making sure it is preserved for years to come. With the right techniques and products to maintain your cedar wood, you can make sure your furniture lasts long and looks great.

It’s important to remember, however, that cedar wood can be impacted by environmental conditions such as heat or wetness that come with different weather changes. Fortunately, you can easily protect against these impacts and keep your cedar wood looking brand new.

As a final reminder, if you’re unsure how to properly take care of your treasures, don’t hesitate to contact professionals in the industry who are knowledgeable in taking care of all types of wooden furniture. Now that you have learned about how to preserve cedar wood, begin experimenting with various methods to find which best suits your needs!

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Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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