Growing up, a swing set is probably one of the most enticing outdoor playmates for kids. They introduce a thrilling dose of healthy fun in playgrounds and even right in your backyard!
But it is vital that the swing set you are getting is strong and durable so as to secure the safety of its users. Now, metal swing sets can be a good choice. But no question remains that the wooden ones are far better to look at, more durable, and easily customizable.
But if not protected properly, your wooden swing sets are prone to get damaged from adverse weather effects such as snow, rain, humidity, hail, heat, etc. This is why, they require to be properly sealed so that they remain flawless for ages, even against natural extremities.
Cedarwood is one of the topmost choices for making swing-sets as it possesses a unique color and grain structure. They can also naturally repel insects, making them extra-durable.
And to enhance their longevity and beauty even further, you need the best sealer for cedar swing set. So let's take a walk through all you need to know before making your buy.
Ready Seal 112 Swing Set Sealer
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent
4.5 out of 5
Minwax 70012444 Stain
4 out of 5
#1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain
4.5 out of 5
10 Recommended Best Sealer For Cedar Swing Set
1. Ready Seal 112 Swing Set Sealer
This one gallon of sealer comes in a natural cedar shade to complement and enhance the appearance of your cedar swing set. It eliminates the lengthy and numerous steps of finishing wood surfaces as it is a duo-of a sealer and stain to provide you the utmost convenience.
Since it is semi-transparent and oil-based, this product is perfect to be used on cedar woods and will enhance the color of the swing set. And that too while keeping the beauty of the wood grains clearly visible. As a result, this two-in-one sealer not only protects, but also enhances the beauty of the cedar wood.
But do keep in mind to clean the wooden surface spotlessly to remove any dirt, mildew, dust, oils, etc. Ensure the removal of any paints as well since sealers naturally won’t work if the surface of the cedar wood is already pre-sealed.
Don’t panic if the color seems too dark initially when applied as the true natural color will fade into a natural tone within 14 days.
It is super-simple to apply as you can use a roller, brush, or spray according to your convenience. Since it contains no linseed oil, your hands will remain stain-free as well!
This sealer needs no primers and can be easily worked with at any temperature. If you intend to spray it for application on your swing-set, its perfect consistency doesn't even require you to dilute or thin it out.
This sealer-stain combo is thus easily an amazing choice that will serve dual purposes while offering convenience, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, durability, and more!
- Semi-transparent oil-based sealer
- Stain and sealer combo
- Can be easily applied at any temperature via roller, brush, or spray
- Saves expenses due to the elimination of multiple steps
- Doesn’t need primers and is free from linseed oil
2. THOMPSONS TH.041851-16 Transparent Waterproofing Stain
This clear sealer comes with the ability to prevent any sorts of damages to your cedar swing set via moisture or water. Hence, no matter how humid or rainy the weather, your swings will look as good as new all year round!
It is of the shade of woodland cedar and comprises of advanced polymers which prevent the color of your wooden swing-set from fading. The product is hassle-free to apply as it can be coated onto either a fresh damp or dry surface of the cedar wood.
When it comes to ensuring extensive protection against water, it surpasses the ASTM D-4446 Industry Standard to guarantee so.
It is easily the perfect go-to for ensuring that your precious cedar swing-set remains safe from the adversities of water or moisture at all times.
Since this sealer doubles as a stain too, you’ll get the convenience of striking two birds with one stone. This not only enables you to cut down the costs of separate stains and sealers, but also makes the whole process faster and more hassle-free.
It is effortless to apply, and once dried, the wood grains will pop up perfectly, elevating the overall aesthetic of your swing set. The sealer dries up super-fast too, making your swing set usable as soon as possible.
Even after years of rain, snow, wind, etc. your swing set will look like new without barely needing resealing. No matter how faded the color of the wood is, this sealer stain combo makes it look good as new in no time!
- Usable equally effectively on dry or newly cleaned damp wood surface
- Enhanced water-resistance and thus durable against snow, rain, humidity
- Transparent sealer with woodland cedar stain
- ASTM D-4446 Industry Standard protection against water
- Restores and enhance the color of faded wood
3. DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain
With a cedar tone color, this semi-transparent stain is water-based. It provides an elevated look to your swing set by improving the color without masking the beauty of the wood grains.
Composed of top-notch resin, it delivers a stellar degree of durability due to its high resistance to discoloration.
In fact, in comparison to other typical stains, it lasts a few seasons longer, thus reducing the hassles and costs of needing a retouch.
Maintenance is effortless too as no stripping or sanding is required. Just brighten the surface with a brightener and put on a single coating of the stain for rejuvenating the aesthetics.
This stain comprises of tiny zinc Nano-particles which protect your cedar swing set against UV radiation. This further extends the durability of the cedar wood color, thus making it the best sealer for cedar swing set to opt for.
Its end result is a matte finish which provides a sleek and natural look, making it ideal not only for your cedar swing set but also your fences, decks, patio furniture, etc. The product can easily be washed and cleaned with water & soap without being damaged.
Whether you intend to use a brush, roller, or spray gun for application; any method you desire provides you the perfect finish.
And that too, along with perfect protection from water, heat, and UV rays. So if you're looking for a sealer that has it all, this model sure is a prize.
- Water-based semi-transparent stain
- Top-notch resin composition for enhanced durability
- Zinc nanoparticles are included for protection against UV radiation
- Re-application for maintenance requires no sanding
- Lasts longer compared to other stains and provides a matte end-result
4. KILZ L832211 Exterior Waterproofing Stain for Swing Set
If you’re looking for the best stain for swing set along with enhanced water-resistance, this waterproofing stain sure hits the mark to become your one and only. This semi-transparent stain comes in a redwood shade and is an acrylic-based product.
Besides resisting water, it provides incredible resistance to mildew while delivering superb durability for years on end.
Since it is an acrylic-based stain, the product offers a phenomenal degree of protection against weather adversities such as rain, snow, or excessive heat from the sun and UV rays.
This stain is straightforward to apply, whether by brush, paint pad, or spray as you desire. Just ensure to apply it on a correctly prepped wood surface that is dry and has been sanded if necessary.
It is a great product to be used on new or partially weathered wood surfaces. But do make sure that your cedar swing set is not sealed before application.
Recognized as the Paint Brand of the Year in 2015, this particular stain is surely a product to rely on with your eyes closed.
The stain is economic too as it easily covers 250 square feet when applying the initial coating. To make things even better, the next coating covers an incredible 500 square feet!
If you intend to use this particular stain for your swing set, be sure if the redwood tone is something you’re comfortable with to apply on your cedar wood. Otherwise, it surpasses most stains out there, and is an investment worth betting on.
- Waterproofing stain in redwood shade
- Semi-permanent stain that resists mildew and protects against UV rays
- Applicable via brush, paint pad, or spray
- Covers 250 square during initial coating, 500 square feet for the next
- Recognized as the Paint Brand of the Year in 2015
5. #1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain
Perfect for your cedar swing set, this water-based wood stain comes in the shade of cedar to perfectly match the wood color. It is ideal for not only cedar, but also other softwoods too which include Fir, Pinewood treated by pressure, redwood, etc.
This semi-transparent product is a killer of a combo, working as a colorant while simultaneously sealing the wood surface.
It is water-based and due to it being semi-transparent, the beautiful pattern of the wood grains remains visible better than before due to the color enhancement.
Regardless of whether the swing set is damp or dry, this sealer stain sets in perfectly, delivering a beautiful matte finish for a more natural look. As a result, your swing-set looks as good as new for years without turning gray, fading, or peeling off.
Cleaning is effortless & safe as all you need is some good old soap-water; and a single coat of stain if necessary.
The application process can’t get any easier since all you have to do is clean/strip the wood, use a brightener, and then slather on the stain. The waiting time is short as well as it works perfectly even on damp surfaces.
So for restless users like myself, this product is certainly a dream come true. This is because once your swing set is visibly dry after cleaning, you can get staining/sealing immediately.
And this fast application even on damp surfaces doesn’t compromise with the final look, durability, or appearance in any way whatsoever!
- Semi-permanent cedar colored stain-sealer combo
- Works on damp surfaces equally well
- Easy maintenance as soap & water is usable to clean finished surface
- Ideal for other softwoods besides cedar too
- Easy and super-fast 3-step application process
6. Thompsons WaterSeal TH.A21711-16 Advanced Natural Wood Protector
The Thompsons WaterSeal is a water-based waterproofing material that can be used on your cedar swing set for enhanced safety against moisture and water. It is very easy to apply and provides maximum protection just via a single layer of coating.
This item is great for using on your cedar swing set as outdoor items are more exposed to humidity and water. To prevent your swing set from getting drenched and eventually rotting, this product offers it all to protect your wooden objects.
This is because not only does this waterproofer protect against water, it safeguards wooden surfaces against other adversities too such as color fading, mildew, UV rays, etc.
A single coating of it works wonders on wood surfaces. The waiting time is reduced to almost nothing as this sealer can work just as effectively on both dry and damp wood. As a result, it gets the whole wood sealing process done in a day without batting an eye.
Since it is a transparent sealer of a natural wood color, it is conveniently usable on your cedar swing set, fences, decks, or any other outdoor furniture/wooden objects. In fact, it is usable on any wooden object to give it that extra oomph! Both in terms of aesthetics and durability.
This penetrative sealer, when dry, results in a beautiful matte finish, which doesn’t get in the way of the natural beauty of the wood. Instead, it elevates it to a whole new level while providing the utmost durability.
- Water-based clear waterproofer
- Provides maximum protection with a single layer
- Usable on damp or dry wood and any wooden objects
- Penetrative sealer & provides enhanced water-resistance with matte finish
7. Minwax 70012444 Stain for Cedar Swing Set
If you prefer a darker color on your set, this is the best stain for cedar swing set. This is because, though semi-transparent, it comes in a dark walnut color to make your cedar swing set stand out like no other.
Being oil-based for improved penetrative properties, it is a perfect buy for sealing stripped/bare wood surfaces. And since it is superbly penetrative along with being semi-transparent, it makes the decorative wood grain patterns stand out bold enough to make a statement of its own.
A single coating of this stain does more than enough to provide the maximum service and protection. Also, it possesses an impressive drying time of 2 hours!
The stain is simple to apply, involving only three steps. These include prepping the wood surface, then applying this stain, and lastly, finishing off with a protective Polyurethane that dries uber-fast. This last layer adds an extra protective layer to make the color last even longer.
Further detailed instructions along with tips and tricks are provided to enable you to stain your swing set perfectly. This 2-pound container easily covers around 150 square feet of wood area. Safe to say, overall, this stain has all its reason to become the number one selling stain in America.
- Dark walnut colored semitransparent stain
- Oil-based for enhanced penetration which defines the wood grain pattern
- Drying time of 2 hours
- America's favorite and top-selling stain
- Easy application involving just 3 steps
8. Roxil Wood Protection Cream Instant Waterproofing Clear Treatment
For the most durable protective option for your cedar swing set, this waterproofing cream is one of the top picks to go for. This silicon emulsion protective cream works instantly on wood surfaces to provide protection against water and extreme weather for over 10 years!
It is easily usable on any softwood and hardwoods that have weathered. A single coat of application gets the job done and all you need is a brush or roller to apply. The cream formula doesn’t drip at all and thus enables a flawless application.
This transparent cream comes in a pine shade and covers around an area of 200 square feet. Besides providing water-resistance to the wood, it also inhibits the growth of algae and mold. The protective layer is invisible but lets the wood breathe without compromising its safety.
Since this product adopts a cream formula, it is applicable more evenly and perfectly compared to other sealers.
All you have to do clean the surface of your swing set using a biocidal wood cleaner. It doesn't affect the natural beauty of the wood surface.
The cream dries up almost instantly upon application, thus making your life incredibly hassle-free without the long waiting time. Perfect for use on any wooden surfaces, for restless hustlers who haven't got all day, it sure is a great product!
- Silicon-emulsion based transparent cream
- Easy and mess-free to apply
- Instant waterproofing for enhanced water-resistance
- Lasts up to 10 years
- Invisible yet breathable strong protection
9. SEAL-ONCE MARINE -Penetrating Wood Sealer
If you’re a lazy-pants who wants it all in a single item, say hello to this waterproofer and stain combo to bid farewell to your hassles. Though water-based, it comprises all the perks of an oil-based sealer, making it superbly penetrative for deep sealing.
This product produces a breathable protective layer for improving and protecting the quality of the wood. Since it adopts a Superior Nanotechnology, it reaches the deepest parts of the wood, unlike other stains, up to a cellular degree.
The stain isn’t toxic and is free from harmful chemicals, and is thus safe to be used around people, plants, animals, pets, and even marine life. Besides being ideal for your cedar swing set, this item is also an impeccable choice for sealing and staining wooden piers, docs, etc.
This is mainly because along with its other advanced properties, it has been designed to be fit for application over and around both salt and freshwater. Its uber-low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) enables it to become a perfect choice for areas that are high in moisture as well.
Since the sealer creates quite a flexible & breathable layer of protection, the wood can expand & contract as necessary while also letting water vapor to escape.
As a result, this marine formula is the top choice to make for your swing set if you’re in a marine area or in an overly-humid, or rainy environment.
It effectively protects the wood from rotting due to the extensive exposure to moisture/water, preventing decay like no other.
This, along with improved UV protection, allows this product to preserve and enhance the beauty and durability of your cedar swing set effortlessly.
- Water-based transparent sealer with properties of oil-based ones
- Ultra resistance to high-moisture environments due to super-low VOC
- Creates a breathable layer of protection with flexibility for contraction & expansion
- Non-toxic, thus safe for animals, plants, people, marine life, etc
- Highly resistant to saltwater splashes and has UV protection
10. DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent 250 VOC Natural Finish
A protective cream that comes in a pair of cans each weighing a gallon, the DeckWise Ipe oil is a semi-transparent wood finish that has a little brown shade. Besides being a great choice for your cedar swing set, it is a great option for thermal and hardwoods too!
Since it is an oil-based product, it is impressively penetrative, ensuring all-round protection that reaches deep.
The minimal tint on the clear wood finish allows it to enhance the wood aesthetic without distorting its natural color; while making the sophistication of the wood grains more prominent.
Hence, if you’re looking for the perfect finish on your wood, this Ipe oil finish is a great contender among most.
Effortless to apply, this product dries up quickly without needing surface films. The end result comes out perfect too as it causes no bubbles, peeling, or cracks.
With a low VOC of 250C, it emits a minimal amount of odor, thus making it safe, comfortable to work with, and convenient. It lasts for years if applied properly, keeping your swing set safe for years while adding more to aesthetics.
- Oil-based semi-transparent wood finish
- Stained with a light brown color for elevating wood aesthetics
- Great option for thermal and hardwoods as well
- Easy to apply and lasts for years
- Low VOC of 250 reduces odor emissions to a minimum
Comparison Chart of Best Stain for Cedar Swing Set
Ready Seal 112
DEFY Exterior Wood Stain
#1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain
Stain & Sealer
Thompsons WaterSeal TH.A21711-16
Roxil Wood Protection
SEAL-ONCE MARINE -Penetrating Wood Sealer
Waterproofer & Stain
DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent 250 VOC
Wood Finish & Little Stain
Sealer For Cedar Swing Set Buyer's Guide
The type of sealers you are most likely to encounter are oil-based and water-based sealers. So it is important to know which of them is the perfect type to suit your swing set.
The type is dependent on the nature of the wood you intend to work on. Cedar, being a softwood, is dense and has a special ability to repel mold or insects. Due to its density, it is advised to opt for oil-based sealers.
This is because you want your sealer to penetrate deep enough into the wood for ensuring a flawless protective layer.
There are water-based sealers too which offer the similar properties of oil-based ones, thus being equally ideal for cedar wood. Hence, even if your desired sealer is water-based, ensure that it owns the similar penetrative properties like the oil-based ones.
Sealers for cedar wood come in clear, semi-transparent, opaque, or semi-opaque transparency levels. You can choose any level of transparency based on how much you want to flaunt the beauty of the wood grains.
Clear sealers will keep the beauty fully visible, while the opaque one will fully coat the wood grains. The semi-transparent and semi-opaque once will allow some visibility; with the latter being less visible than the former.
Depending on your preferences and requirements, choose one that best matches the desired aesthetics.
A stain is what will elevate the color and the appearance of the wood grains of your swing set and make it last a whole lot longer. Hence, if you do intend to apply a stained coating on your cedar surface, it is a wiser choice to match the stain with the natural color of the wood.
But of course, there are no restrictions either if you intend to go for an entirely different color. The choice is all yours and you can choose whether you want to go for a stain and a sealer separately, or a combo of both. Some stains and sealer-stain duos also protect against UV rays.
Protection Against UV Radiation
Since swing sets are an outdoor accessory, they are exposed to the unforgiving rays of the sun that also include UV rays. This is where another problem arises as UV rays not only cause the color of natural wood to fade, but they also cause sealers to crack and eventually peel.
This leads to the cedar wood surface becoming directly exposed to the sun, resulting in permanent damage to the cedar wood.
To solve this, don’t compromise on your sealer quality. Search and only opt for the best sealer for cedar swing set that offers long-lasting protection against UV rays for enhanced durability.
Some sealers dry up within a span of a few hours, while others take days. Depending on how soon you intend to use your swing set and how many steps are involved in the whole sealing process, pick accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is A Wood Sealer And A Wood Stain The Same Thing?
Ans: Sealing and staining are entirely different tasks when it comes to wood treatment. You’ll find sealers that work both as a stain and a sealer; and also each of them separately.
Some prefer the duet for enhanced convenience while others like to have them separately done. Whatever option you go for, it is vital to know the difference between the two.
Wood stains are generally used only to color the wood surface for aesthetic purposes, or to enhance the existing wood color. Its main task is dyeing.
Sealers on the other hand are usually transparent unless they are a combo of a stain and sealer. On their own, they have no contribution to aesthetics and only serve as protection for the wood. But they do provide a beautiful shine to the surface.
2. How Does A Wood Sealer Function?
Ans: What happens is, as soon you apply the sealer on the wood surface, it starts seeping into the wood as deep as possible. This penetration carries on as long as the sealer is liquid.
Once the soaking phase is complete, the sealer starts to harden up. This results in the pores of your wooden object getting sealed up while simultaneously strengthening the wood exterior.
Once fully dried up, your wooden object is now fully resistant to any adversities of UV rays, water, humidity, mold, mildew, etc. They will also not fade in color for ages, thus looking good as new for years to come.
3. How Should Wood Sealer Be Applied?
Ans: Even application requires the use of a roller or a soft brush to apply the sealer on your wooden surfaces. But if you’re working with a relatively large surface area, it is recommended to use a sprayer for enhanced convenience, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
4. How Often Should I Re-seal?
Ans: Wood sealers have been designed to last for years without requiring any touch-ups. But it does rely significantly on the environmental factors. Usually, re-touches are advised after 2-3 years just to be safe.
But for more unbalanced weather conditions, to keep the aesthetic appeal intact, you’d have to re-apply sealers more frequently.
5. Can Cedar Be Left Without Treatment?
We always keep our readers in mind first and foremost at all times. On that note, it is understandable that you are most likely looking for a budget-friendly option without compromising the perks.
So if you’re wondering if your cedar swing set can last without being treated, know that cedar wood lasts spectacularly well regardless of any extra finishing.
One thing you must consider though, is the fact that eventually, it will age into a more rustic & silver-grayish look. If you’re a fan of that color tone, then great! But if not, here are some steps you can take for maintenance:
- If you notice any mildew growth, use a bleach solution and mildew wash alternatively to treat the wood surface
- Finish application is substitutable with a yearly wash using a brush & soft detergent
When it comes to protecting and retaining the strength and durability of your swing set composed of cedar, a little effort goes a long way.
With a wide array of options to choose from, identifying the best sealer for cedar swing set that matches your requirements and expertise is a true challenge.
In order to aid you, we discussed some of the top options and buying factors, and answered the common questions people usually ask. Hopefully, after going through our detailed roadmap of all the basics, making the perfect and correct purchase will be a piece of cake.