How to Seal Cedar and Keep Its Natural Color?

To seal cedar without changing color, use a clear penetrating epoxy sealer. This will protect the wood while preserving its natural color.

Cedar is a popular type of wood because of its natural beauty, rich color, and durability. It’s commonly used for outdoor furniture, decking, and siding. However, cedar is also known to have a tendency to turn gray and lose its natural color over time if left untreated.

This is where a clear penetrating epoxy sealer comes in handy. Not only does it protect the wood from moisture and uv damage, but it also allows the natural color of the cedar to shine through. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using a clear penetrating epoxy sealer and the steps to properly apply it.

How to Seal Cedar and Keep Its Natural Color?


Understanding Cedar Wood And Its Characteristics

Cedarwood is a popular choice for outdoor furniture and decking because it is durable and naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insects. However, if left untreated, cedar wood can lose its natural color and become gray over time. To prevent this, it is important to understand cedar wood and its characteristics.

In this post, we will explore the properties of cedar wood that make it a popular choice, the reasons why cedar wood can lose its natural color, and the benefits of sealing cedar wood to maintain its color and longevity.

The Properties Of Cedar Wood That Make It A Popular Choice

Cedar wood has several properties that make it a popular choice for outdoor applications. These properties include:

  • Durability: Cedar wood is naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insects due to its natural oils and preservatives.
  • Stability: Cedar wood is a stable wood, meaning it is less likely than other woods to shrink, warp, or twist due to changes in temperature and humidity.
  • Density: Cedar wood is relatively lightweight but still has a high density, which makes it ideal for outdoor furniture and decking.
  • Appearance: Cedar wood has a beautiful, natural appearance with a straight, tight grain pattern and warm, reddish-brown color.

The Reasons Why Cedar Wood Can Lose Its Natural Color

While cedar wood is naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insects, it is not immune to the damaging effects of the sun and rain. Over time, exposure to sunlight and moisture can cause cedar wood to lose its natural color and turn gray.

Other factors that can cause cedar wood to lose its color include:

  • Dirt and debris: Dirt and debris can accumulate on cedar wood, which can trap moisture and cause the wood to discolor and stain.
  • Mold and mildew: If cedar wood is not properly cleaned and dried, it can develop mold and mildew, which can cause the wood to become discolored and weaken its structure.
  • Oxidation: Exposure to air can cause the natural oils and preservatives in cedar wood to oxidize, which can cause the wood to lose its color.
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The Benefits Of Sealing Cedar Wood

To maintain the natural color and longevity of cedar wood, it is important to seal it with a protective coating. Sealing cedar wood provides several benefits, including:

  • Protection: Sealing cedar wood with a protective coating helps to prevent moisture, dirt, and debris from penetrating the wood, which can cause discoloration and decay.
  • Longevity: Sealing cedar wood helps to extend its lifespan by protecting it from the damaging effects of the sun and rain.
  • Appearance: Sealed cedar wood maintains its natural color and appearance, which adds to the beauty and value of outdoor furniture and decking.

Understanding cedar wood and its characteristics is essential to maintaining its natural color and ensuring its longevity. Cedar wood is a popular choice for outdoor furniture and decking because of its durability, stability, density, and appearance. However, exposure to sunlight, moisture, dirt, and mold can cause cedar wood to lose its color and weaken its structure.

To prevent this, it is important to seal cedar wood with a protective coating, which provides protection, longevity, and maintains its natural appearance.

Preparing Cedar Wood For Sealing

Cedar wood is one of the most popular wood types used in construction due to its durability, strength, and beautiful natural appearance. To prevent your cedar wood from losing its natural color, it’s important to seal the wood properly. However, before sealing, you need to prepare the cedar wood for the sealing process.

Here are some of the essential things you should know about preparing cedar wood for sealing.

The Tools And Materials Required For Sealing Cedar Wood

Before you start preparing your cedar wood for sealing, make sure you have the necessary tools and materials. Here are the essential tools and materials you will need:

  • Sandpaper (120 grit, 220 grit, and 320 grit)
  • Power sander (optional)
  • Vacuum cleaner or broom
  • Tack cloth
  • Stain or sealer
  • Paintbrush or sprayer

The Importance Of Proper Cleaning And Sanding Of Cedar Wood Before Sealing

Cleaning and sanding are two crucial steps in preparing your cedar wood for sealing. Properly cleaning and sanding the wood will eliminate any dirt, debris, or contaminants that could prevent the sealer from adhering properly. Sanding also smooths the wood and opens its pores to receive the sealer efficiently.

Here are the steps you need to follow to clean and sand your cedar wood:

  • Clean the cedar wood: Using a vacuum cleaner or broom, remove any dirt and debris on the surface of the wood. For stubborn dirt, use a mild cleaner solution.
  • Sand the cedar wood: Sand the cedar wood in the direction of the grain using 120-grit sandpaper, then 220-grit sandpaper, and finally 320-grit sandpaper. If you have a power sander, use it to sand your cedar wood.

How To Identify Any Defects Or Damage On Cedar Wood Before Sealing

Before sealing your cedar wood, it’s important to first inspect it for any defects or damage. Sealing a wood with defects or damage could cause further damage to the wood, reducing its longevity and affect the final appearance. Here’s how to inspect your cedar wood for defects or damage:

  • Examine the cedar wood: Look for signs of defects such as cracks, dents, and knots. Check for damage including water damage or insect infestation.
  • Repair the cedar wood: If you find any defects or damage, use wood filler to fill the cracks and gaps, then sand the filler after it dries.

By following the above steps, you will prepare your cedar wood for sealing and get a stunning natural finish that will last for years to come.

Types Of Sealers For Cedar Wood

The Different Types Of Sealers Available For Cedar Wood

Cedar wood is a natural and beautiful material that is commonly used for outdoor projects such as decks, fences, and patio furniture. However, exposure to the elements can cause cedar to turn gray or silver over time. Fortunately, sealing cedar wood can help protect it from the elements and keep its natural color intact.

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There are several types of sealers available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

The Pros And Cons Of Each Type Of Sealer

  • Clear sealer: Clear sealers are typically water-based or oil-based and provide a transparent finish that allows the natural beauty of the cedar to shine through. They are easy to apply and fast-drying, but they may not provide as much protection from the elements as other types of sealers.
  • Semi-transparent stain: Semi-transparent stains provide a hint of color while still allowing the natural grain of the cedar to show through. They offer more protection from the elements than clear sealers but may require more maintenance over time.
  • Solid stain: Solid stains provide a more opaque finish that covers the natural grain of the cedar. They provide excellent protection from the elements and require less maintenance than semi-transparent stains, but they may hide the natural beauty of the wood.

How To Choose The Right Sealer For Cedar Wood Based On The Application

When selecting a sealer for cedar wood, consider the following factors:

  • The level of protection required: Depending on the application, you may need a sealer that provides more or less protection from the elements. Clear sealers may be suitable for indoor projects, while solid stains are better for outdoor furniture and decks.
  • The desired look: Consider whether you want the natural beauty of the cedar to show through or if you prefer a more opaque finish.
  • The amount of maintenance required: Some sealers require more upkeep than others. Clear sealers may need to be reapplied every year, while solid stains can last up to five years.

By considering these factors, you can choose the right sealer for your cedar wood project and ensure that it stays looking beautiful for years to come.

Applying Sealers To Cedar Wood

Cedar wood is a classic choice for outdoor furniture, decks and fences. It has a beautiful natural color, but it requires careful attention to preserve its beauty and protect it from sun, rain, and mildew. Applying sealers to cedar wood is an effective method of prolonging its lifespan.

In this section, we’ll learn the step-by-step of applying sealers to cedar wood, techniques to ensure an even application, and the importance of proper drying time and additional coats.

The Step-By-Step Process Of Applying Sealers To Cedar Wood

Here’s how to apply sealers to cedar wood:

  • Prepare the surface of the cedar wood by removing any old finish, dirt, or debris using a pressure washer, a scraper, and sandpaper.
  • Apply a wood conditioner to the cedar wood to prevent blotching and to allow the sealer to penetrate evenly.
  • Stir the sealer well and pour it into a paint tray.
  • Dip your paintbrush into the sealer, and apply it to the cedar wood using long, even strokes, working in the direction of the grain.
  • Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the sealer to larger areas.
  • Wait for the sealer to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then apply a second coat.
  • Repeat the process of applying a second coat and drying time for a third coat, depending on the level of protection required.

Techniques For Applying Sealers Evenly And Effectively

Applying sealers evenly and effectively is a crucial step to keep your cedar wood protected and improve its natural color. Follow these tips to get the best results:

  • Stir the sealer well before applying it to ensure an even finish.
  • Test the color of the sealer on a small, inconspicuous area to make sure it matches the desired color.
  • Use long, even strokes and work in the direction of the grain.
  • Avoid over-brushing the sealer, which can lead to patchy or blotchy areas.
  • If using a roller, work in small sections and roll out the excess before moving on to the next section.
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The Importance Of Proper Drying Time And Application Of Additional Coats

The drying time and application of additional coats are critical to ensure the best results when applying sealers to cedar wood. Follow these tips to get the best out of your sealer:

  • Allow the first coat to dry for the recommended drying time before applying a second coat, usually 24 to 48 hours.
  • Provide adequate time for drying between coats.
  • If you’re planning to apply more than two coats, allow the previous coat to dry completely before proceeding.
  • To ensure maximum protection and longevity of your cedar wood, apply additional coats based on your sealer manufacturer’s recommendation.

Applying sealers to cedar wood can help maintain its natural beauty and prolong its lifespan, but it requires careful attention to detail and proper techniques. To achieve the best results, follow the step-by-step process of applying sealers to cedar wood, apply it evenly and effectively, and allow it sufficient drying time between coats.

Adequate application and drying time will result in the cedar wood’s long-lasting beauty, which will last for years.

Maintaining Cedar Wood After Sealing

The best practices for maintaining the natural color of sealed cedar wood

Cedar wood is naturally resistant to rot, but sealing it is crucial in protecting it from discoloration and weathering. Here are the best practices for maintaining the natural color of sealed cedar wood:

  • Keep cedar wood out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Ultraviolet rays can bleach the wood’s color over time.
  • Regularly inspect your cedar wood for dirt, dust, or other debris that may accumulate on it. Clean it by wiping it down with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Avoid placing any hot or cold items on the cedar wood surface, such as dishes or cups. Drastic temperature changes can cause the wood to expand or contract, which may damage the sealant.

Tips for cleaning and protecting sealed cedar wood from environmental factors

Cedar wood is prone to damage from environmental factors such as wind, rain, or temperature changes. Protect it from these factors with these helpful tips:

  • After sealing the cedar wood, use top-quality sealant to ensure a long-lasting finish.
  • Apply a new coat of sealant to the cedar wood every two to three years. This will help maintain its color, stop weather damage, and keep it looking fresh and new for longer.
  • Avoid using pesticides or other chemicals near cedar wood. These chemicals can damage the sealant and the wood underneath, causing discoloration and decay.

How often cedar wood should be resealed to maintain its natural color

Re-sealing cedar wood is necessary for maintaining its natural color. In addition to cleaning and protecting the wood, regular re-sealing can prolong the life of the wood’s natural beauty. Here are a few tips for knowing when to reseal:

  • Check for signs of wear on the sealant, such as peeling or chipping. This may indicate that it’s time to reseal the wood.
  • If you notice that the cedar wood’s color is starting to fade or discolor, it might be time to reseal it.
  • Generally, cedar wood should be resealed every two to three years, depending on the level of exposure to the elements.

Following these best practices will help maintain the natural color of sealed cedar wood for years to come. With regular cleaning, protection, and re-sealing, your cedar wood will stay looking beautiful and fresh.


As we wrap up our discussion on how to seal cedar without changing the color, we hope that you have gained valuable insights that will help you preserve the natural beauty of your cedarwood. With the right products and techniques, you can protect your cedar from moisture, uv rays, and other environmental factors without masking its unique hue.

Remember to clean and prepare your cedar before sealing it, choose a sealer that is compatible with cedar, and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, be patient and allow the sealer to dry and cure before exposing your cedar to the elements.

With these tips, you can enjoy the charm and appeal of your cedar for years to come. Feel free to share your experience with us in the comments section below.