Are you noticing a change in the appearance on the surface of your wooden cedar furniture, deck, or outdoor patio? That's a sign of your wood wearing and losing its natural beauty due to external elements like moisture and UV rays from direct sunlight.
But do you know with the best sealer for cedar you can quickly reverse that and bring back the original appeal and glossy touch? Yes, you can, and this review is here to guide on the various choices of sealants in the market that suit your specific needs. Read on to find out more.
Ready Seal 512
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
SaverSystems Deck Stain
4.5 out of 5
Olympic Stain 56500-04
4 out of 5
Pure Tung Oil Finisher for Cedar
4.5 out of 5
Benefits of Using Cedar Sealer
Wood stains and sealers are used to improve and bring out the natural look of outdoor and indoor wood furniture and fittings. That is just one visible benefit of the cedar wood sealer. Here are additional reasons why you should consider using wood sealers on cedar.
Ease of Application
Which one between paint and sealer, would you find it easy to apply and maintain? Most stains and sealers are sold ready to use or easy to stir, some water-based and implemented without a prime. Therefore, it's evident that wood sealers are more comfortable to apply on a new surface or reapplying on an old surface. It will also take a while before the surface with sealants demands other maintenance.
Every wood, whether soft or hard, is prone to rot when exposed to a moist environment. This is because wood is a natural and organic matter that can quickly decay from the time it was cut from the living tree. Wood sealer enhances durability by blocking moisture from penetrating into the grains and keeping the wood dry and avoiding rot.
Protection from UV Rays
Sunlight is essential to a living tree but not wood. The light also consists of damaging UV rays on unsealed wood and resulting in ugly fading and loss of appeal. Sealers for wood preserve its structural integrity and natural appearance.
Preservation of Beauty
The natural appeal of wood and wood grains is what gives your decor its worth and beauty. Sealants ensure that the grains and the natural tone of your wood remain visible. Hence preserving this aesthetic value is not an option for anyone who values their furniture, decks, and other wood fittings.
There are many ways of wood surface finishing, including painting. However, surfaces that require regular maintenance due to wearing, such as decks, can be an expensive routine. While the painting is an option, it's also a poor choice; it won't last long without peeling. On the other hand, sealants are cheaper to apply and will persevere many conditions before the surface needs another application.
Our Top 10 Best Cedar Sealer in 2020
There are many brands in the market for wood sealant at your disposal. The difference in them all is the formulation, mode application, and protection properties. We understand that you don't have the time to sample every single wood sealer for cedar in the stores. Hence we have done the leg for and picked the top ten best products. Stay on.
1. Ready Seal 512 Pail Natural Cedar
- UV protection
- Linseed-oil free
- 45-minutes drying time
- Exterior use
This is one of the most admired brands in the market for woodwork finishing due to its protective abilities. The Ready Seal 512 is oil-based and the best cedar wood sealer you can use to give your exterior decor extended lifetime.
It is formulated with UV protection to preserve your wooden furniture. While your exterior decor is exposed to moist conditions, this sealer will ensure that the natural beauty is not tainted by mold or mildew.
There are many ways you can apply the stain sealer, and you don't need the services of a professional painter if you are the DIY type. One reason is that you can apply it using a sprayer, roller, or brush depending on what you have in store, comfortable with, or the extent of surface area.
Secondly, the stain is free of linseed oil, and therefore, need not worry about staining your hands in the process. It won't also take much of your time to finish the job. And thirdly a good finishing will require two coats. The good news is that drying time is only 45 minutes between applications, even when the weather is not so conducive for a quicker dry.
2. THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.041811-16 Stain
- Transparent quality
- For exterior woodwork
- Easy application
Does your decor require being stained a little before sealing and finding the two jobs application being tiresome? The Thompsons Waterseal is a two in one product featuring a sealer and a stain for one-touch use.
The transparency of this brand makes it applicable to different wooden surfaces without altering their natural color. While it offers protection, it also allows the wood to show its natural texture and grains.
The versatile sealer for exterior woodwork also contains advanced polymers to give your decor a long-lasting and fade-resistant color. Hence, it can be applied to any wood to provide it with precise and fine finishing.
If you have wooden projects outdoors made of cedar, this brand is the best clear sealer for cedar to use due to its waterproofing capabilities. It will also help keep off mildew damage and other problems associated with unprotected wooden surfaces.
Thompsons Waterseal comes with ease of application, and it won't be a problem applying on both damp surfaces or fresh dry timber. Depending on what you have, you can easily apply this sealer using a brush, roller, or even a sprayer for convenience. It doesn't dry as quickly as other brands but will be useful to touch dry after two hours.
3. SaverSystems Deck Stain Premium Wood Stain
- UV protection
In case you have allergies or don't like the smell of oil-based products, you may opt for a water-based product. The Deck stain from the famous SaverSystems manufacturer is one water-based product that is easy to apply and is loaded with reliable qualities.
While sunshine is good, some rays are damaging to woodworks, especially those placed outdoors. If not taken care of, your hard-earned patio will be of no use within a few years. Therefore, this sealer is formulated to offer wood protection not only from moisture but also from damaging UV rays from sunlight. Hence, you can enjoy the value of your assets for the longest time possible.
The wood sealer is semi-transparent, meaning that it doesn't distort your wood's natural beauty after application. Instead, it evens out those areas that appear to have inconsistencies to give you furniture an elegant finish. The quality stain sinks deep in the wood's pores to ensure a thicker protective layer is developed on the surface for the longevity of your decors.
This brand is perfect for sealing your decks, gazebos, and exterior furniture or siding. Though we consider this particular product as one of our best cedar deck stains and sealer, you can also apply it on your other weathered softwood surfaces such as pine or redwood.
4. Olympic Stain 56500-04 Maximum Cedar Sealant
- UV protection
- Weather-ready formulation
- All-weather application
- Indoor/outdoor use
This brand has been rated on many occasions as the best cedar deck sealer by consumers. Ask yourself why the Olympic product would get rated so highly.
The Olympic Stain 56500-04 Maximum sealant is the best Olympic sealant the company ever produced in many years, and the rating is therefore not by chance. Testimonials from verified consumers attest that this brand provides outstanding waterproofing capabilities. It's, therefore, suitable for both internal and external furniture.
UV light has adverse effects on your outdoor woodworks. In addressing this problem, the Olympic formulation includes UV defensive abilities to offer protection and strength against external elements. Applying this sealant on condition wood fibers ensures the wood retains its natural beauty for the foreseeable future.
The Olympic maximum features a weather-ready formulation. This technology allows you to work with the stain irrespective of the weather conditions while delivering the same perfect results. Hence, it offers you flexibility in terms of planning when you want to renovate your home. If the weather is too hot, and the wood surface is warm and dry to touch, you are allowed to lightly mist before applying the stain.
5. Pure Tung Oil Finisher for Cedar
- Single coating
- Pure-oil sealant
- All-weather application
While some brands require you to add a second and third coat to achieve the most exquisite finishing, this product is different. No wonder it comes in a smaller packing than the rest.
The Pure Tung Oil Finisher does the magic in a single coating to make your decor shine and completely block moisture from affecting the furniture. Whether it's raining or snowing, the droplets will just float like beads on the surface or drain away.
The pure oil sealant gives your wood a luxurious glossy touch and look. It's the best cedar sealer to apply on wooden piecework to enhance grip on wooden handle tools and cedar rail on the stairs of your home. The outcome will always make your wooden decor look like it was done the day before.
The 100% pure oil enriches your lifestyle without negatively affecting you or the environment. It has no solvents or additives or varnishes, and no odor. Actually, the only sweet smell it produces is like for Brazilian nuts. After applying it with bare hands, you won't have any health issues and will leave you safe as before.
You don't need to be skilled in paintwork to do some work at home by yourself if using this sealer. It runs smoothly on the wood surface, penetrating deep and dries hard without leaving brush marks and giving your furniture a natural radiance.
6. General Finishes Exterior 450
- Easy application
- UV protection
- Easy to clean
This brand is premium grade and designed for your outdoor projects and mostly the vertical cedar wood surfaces such as door frames. The General Finishes Exterior 450 is a water-based wood stain that is not recommended if you want to apply on large horizontal surfaces.
This product is one of the easiest to apply due to the smooth flowing texture. You have the choice of using it with a brush, roller, or machine sprayer. Either way, you can be sure to complete a given task within a short time without experiencing challenges such as brush markings.
Maintaining polished surfaces to keep them clean while retaining the sealing effect is not easy for most people. But with the General Finishes Exterior 450, it allows you to use soap and water to perform cleanup after application.
It features UV absorbing pigments and mildewcides to protect your finished wood from mold and mildew that develop on timber due to dampness.
The only lacking feature from this sealant is the prevention of wood from changing color due to intense sunlight. That's why it's considered the best cedar deck stain and sealer for vertical surfaces, only like the patio, furniture, and fences.
7. Star Brite Golden Teak Oil Sealer for Cedar
- Versatile use
- UV protection
- Natural-oil based
- Easy absorption
Do you own a wooden boat or have a decker extending in salty waters? If so, then the premium-quality Star Brite Golden Teak Oil cedar deck stain and sealer you can use on marine teak, cedar decks, and other beautiful woods.
This choice will preserve your wood that is continuously in contact with saltwater and harsh weather conditions. The oil coating will prevent rotting and ensuring that the woodwork serves you for the longest time possible. The additives in the oil will protect the wood fading and graying due to exposure to UV rays from the sun.
This natural-oil based sealer also provides an excellent natural finish with a warm golden tinge. It will always make your outdoor furniture and decks look as good as new.
It's not a complicated procedure to apply this sealer once the wood is properly clean. You can decide to enforce using a brush, piece of cloth or sponge, and as long as you apply it along the wood grains, there will be no brush marks left. The oil absorbs quickly into the wood to give it a thicker protective barrier from extreme weather conditions.
8. Thompson's WaterSeal Advanced Cedar Protector
- Easy application
- UV protection
The brand Thompson's Water Seal has a reputation of manufacturing trusted products for many years or decades. Therefore, you can rest assured that the least definition of the Thompsons Water Seal Advanced Protector is nothing less than a premium quality sealer and a must-have in your garage.
This sealer comes with a combination of maximum waterproof strength and natural wood protector as it was Manufactured using advanced technology. Besides that, the versatile product is the good cedar deck sealer for enhancing the lifespan of natural wood decks, furniture, and patio.
Apply one coating and say goodbye to mildew menace, rotting, fading, and damage from UV sunlight rays for many years.
WaterSeal Advanced is one natural sealer you can apply on multiple surfaces without much effort. You need not worry about the weather being humid or raining as you can comfortably use the water-based formula directly to a wet wood surface. Hence, you can work with a single day to finish painting a large surface area successfully.
The water-based sealer is ready for use directly from the shop, and you don't need to stir it before application. The flexible formula is also applicable by using a brush, paint pad, sprayer, or roller. The surface should be ready for use after two hours of drying. '
9. DEFY Crystal Clear Sealer for Cedar
- UV protection
- Nano-particle technology
- Single coating
Is it necessary to seal a new composite deck or only the aging composite wood? The answer is that you need to protect and preserve both the existing and new floors. The Defy Crystal Clear sealer is an extremely durable product for preventing the black stains that develop from contacting waters and tend to taint your deck.
This Waterproofing sealer is manufactured using Nano-particle technology to blend the formula with UV-resistant zinc particles. This unique feature makes your decks usually exposed to sunlight resistant to color fade and the ugly fungal growths. Ensuring the surface is clean of such molds before sealing is advisable.
Do you have a large deck to coat? Relaxing costs as this brand is economical is inexpensive, and a single layer is adequate to guarantee the life and quality of your composite deck to several years. One gallon is enough to cover a surface of over 200 feet. Also, the crystal-clear finish retains the natural look and the beautiful grains of your wood.
10. SEAL-ONCE MARINE Cedar Wood Sealer
- Variety of color tints
- Easy application
- Non-toxic properties
Specially formulated for protecting wood from marine life, the wood sealer from SEAL-ONCE comes with greater strength to be the best sealer for cedar while you are working with maritime jobs.
Although we say it's specially designed to withstand marine life's moist conditions, its versatility makes it one of the best clear sealers for cedar for other surface areas such as furniture.
Being last on our review has nothing to do with quality or effectiveness. This product is a handy sealer that has an exceptional penetrating power to protect your wood deeper.
It ends up creating a breathable barrier that is resistant to rot, molds, mildew, and algae for many years. Even if the wood remains underwater all through, it will never lose its quality and appealing look.
This formula comes in different color tints but still offers you flexible finishing options after application and drying. If you opt to paint or stain the wood after that, the choice is yours. Whatever the case, the SEAL-ONCE wood sealer will offer maximum UV under the final coat.
Finally, this sealer comes with an easy application procedure with available tools such as a brush, roller, or sprayer. Like other water-based sealers, it allows easy clean up with soap and water and is non-toxic to you or the marine environment. Hence, we couldn't have left it out from our list of the very ideal cedar deck sealers with all the impressive qualities.
Comparison Table Of Top 10 Cedar Wood Sealer
Oil-based / water-based
THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.041811-16 Stain
SaverSystems Deck Stain Premium Wood Stain
Olympic Stain 56500-04 Maximum Sealant
Pure Tung Oil Finisher
General Finishes Exterior 450
Star Brite Golden Teak Oil Sealer
Thompson's WaterSeal Advanced Protector
DEFY Crystal Clear Sealer
SEAL-ONCE MARINE Wood Sealer
Sealer for Cedar Buying Guide
Different manufactures formulate their cedar sealer differently from the others. Besides, every brand has some unique characteristics that are absent in others.
The variations in quality, among other factors, are some of the considerations when stepping into the hardware store.
Factors you must keep in mind while buying a cedar sealer:
Types of Base
There are two types of sealers in terms of the solvent that carries the main ingredients. First is the water-based sealer that is water-soluble before drying up quickly. After drying, it becomes harder and may produce a dark finish.
This may not, however, change the color of your wood or blind the natural grains. Some consumers prefer this sealing cedar deck because of quick drying time.
The other one is the oil-based sealer is not water-soluble, and when applied, it produces a glossy shine. If your concern is appearance, this type of sealer brings out the grains of your wood with a shiny finish that reflects light. Hence, if you intend to bring out the aesthetic beauty of your furniture, then this is the right type to choose from.
Level of UV Protection
The damaging UV rays come from the sun and will affect any wooden outdoor decor. Hence for outdoor use ensure that the sealer offers durable UV protection. These rays cause your sealer to crack and peel off, exposing the wood.
UV radiation also causes fading of the natural wood color, taking away the coveted beauty. As for indoor use, your choice of sealer for cedar furniture may lack this essential feature but necessary to some extent.
It would be best if you always sourced products that do not or are less damaging to you and the environment. Spillage during application is not be avoided and may lend on humans through water and food crops. An excellent stain will also allow you to apply without too much protective covering due to odors or skin irritation. Pure organic sealers are available but also come at a higher cost.
When selecting a sealant for cedars, the pigment quantity will affect the transparency of wood grains and the natural color after drying. You should consider the color of your deck to ensure that the sealer closely matches the wood or if you want it to remain unaffected, purchase a clear sealant. The sealer's opacity is categorized under Toner, Semi-transparent, Semi-opaque, or Opaque-solid in the order of wood grain visibility.
How Does Wood Sealer Work?
When applied on the wood surface, a wood sealer penetrates through the grains to the maximum depth while still liquid. Once the soaking is complete, the sealer begins to harden, filling in the pores and reinforcing the surface of the wood.
The level of penetration depends on the porosity of your wood and type of sealer used, but in many brands, the penetration should be adequate to be effective.
After drying up the layer that is soaked with sealer form a resisting barrier to any kind of moisture and the harmful UV rays, the wood will remain free from rotting, molds, and fading for many years. Sealers don't change the color of your wood unless it is blended with stain.
Tips for applying sealer on your cedar furniture:
Ensure the Surface is Clean
Loose dust, dirt, and any debris on your working surface will hinder the penetration of sealer, but the area will not adhere to it and be visible like patches. Thus, the spots become the weakest points of entry to all harmful elements the sealer was supposed to prevent.
Repair Broken Sections
You might need to do some filling in cracks and sanding to restore the wood surface before applying your wood sealer. Cracks and other holes on the deck wood will only trap open pores, and the sealer will not be sufficient. Such dents also consume a lot of your sealer, leading to wastage.
Sand Previous Coatings
If the surface you are working on was previously sealed, any new application would not penetrate as much as possible. Remember that once the sealer hardens, it is supposed to prevent any form of moisture in the wood, including a new sealer application.
Therefore, sand the previous coating to remove the remnants of your last application to allow easy penetration. Sanding makes the surface smooth even on fresh wood for the brush to evenly run along the grains without creating breaking lines.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is a Wood Sealer?
Ans: A wood sealer is a plastic-based formulation for wooden coating surfaces to block moisture from penetrating and damaging your decor. It also enhances the surface texture and appeal.
2. What is Used to Apply a Wood Sealer?
Ans: A wood sealer can be applied using a soft brush or roller to spread it evenly. For large surfaces, a sprayer is more efficient and economical. The surfaces should be cleaned before application.
3. What Differentiates Stains and Sealers?
Ans: Stains change the appearance of wood surfaces by changing or toning the color. Sealers are usually transparent, without color, and provide a bright shine.
5. How Often Should I Apply Seal on Cedar Deck?
Ans: While wood sealers last for many years without needing reapplication, it is recommended to re-seal your deck between one and three years. Depending on the environment that affects the floor, you may have to reapply sooner for aesthetic purposes.
6. Can I Use Polyurethane on Cedar?
Ans: Cedarwood, like other beautiful woods, can and ought to be covered with polyurethane for insurance. Polyurethane will keep soil, residue, and oil from getting onto the Cedar, which would dull and harm the shading.
7. Can You Use Thompson Water Seal on Cedar?
Ans: Another Waterproofing Stain from industry pioneer Thompson's WaterSeal can shield your deck from further harm, yet include rich, lovely shading.
Look over five brilliant hues: Acorn Brown, Harvest Gold, Maple Brown, Sequoia Red, or Woodland Cedar. Follow this article for applying Thompson sealer.
8. How Long Will Cedar Last Outside?
Ans: This generally lasts almost 16-22 years.
9. Should You Seal a Cedar Deck?
Ans: Decay, untimely maturing, and twisting can happen from the climate and components when the loads up aren't fixed.
Polishing off your recently introduced cedar deck with a sealant or wood stain will assist with dragging out the life, magnificence, and intrigue of the deck for quite a long time.
There are many benefits of using wood sealers on cedar compared to any other finishing like paint. The best sealer for cedar doesn't alter your deck or furniture appearance but enhances its physical natural beauty. It's also more economical and more comfortable to apply while prolonging the lifespan of the wood.
If you don't mind, you may also prefer to use a sealant cum stain to tone the coloration but still achieve the same benefits. With all these benefits in mind, you should consider sealants as the better choice for protecting and finishing your outdoor decor.