Most homeowners prefer cedar for outdoor furniture due to its natural beauty, mold, and insect resistance. You can also have indoor cedar furniture.

No matter how weather-resistant cedar wood is, you still need to apply finish to enhance its beauty and longevity. So, if you are looking for the best finish for indoor cedar, you are at the right place.

We have compiled a list of the best finish for indoor cedar furniture to help you pick the perfect finish for interior cedar. Take a look.

Our Top Picks

Best Finish for Indoor Cedar Furniture

  1. FurnitureClinic Boiled Linseed Oil for WoodBest Oil for Cedar Wood
  2. Rust-Oleum 02761 Perma-White MoldBest Bathroom Paint
  3. Varathane 200061H Water-Based PolyurethaneBest Clear Coat Polyurethane
  4. Hope’s Pure Tung OilBest Premium Interior Cedar Oil
  5. Watco 242219 Danish Oil FinishBest Beginner Friendly Oil for Interior Cedar
  6. Krylon K03603000 Exterior Wood StainBest Cedar Finish for Small Projects
  7. Minwax 67000000 Antique Oil Finish NaturalBest Paint for Cedar Wood

7 Best Finish for Indoor Cedar Furniture Reviews

1. Best Oil for Cedar Wood – FurnitureClinic Boiled Linseed Oil for Wood

Furniture Clinic Boiled Linseed Oil for Wood Furniture & More Restore a Finish for Furniture, Table Tops, Stone & Metal Wood Care for Interior Oak, Pine, Teak & More Glossy 8.5oz Refined Oil
6,565 Reviews
Furniture Clinic Boiled Linseed Oil for Wood Furniture & More Restore a Finish for Furniture, Table Tops, Stone & Metal Wood Care for Interior Oak, Pine, Teak & More Glossy 8.5oz Refined Oil
  • EFFECTIVE ON ALL SURFACES and QUICK DRYING: Furniture Clinic Wood Stain is a fast drying and highly concentrated wood stain making it effective on all indoor and outdoor wood surfaces. Our wood stain provides excellent coverage and ensures even color penetration. It's water based, environmentally friendly, and dries to a natural matte finish in only 10 minutes.
  • COMES IN 12 COLORS - VISIBLE WITH ONE COAT: Our wood stain comes in 12 colors ranging from dark to light and can be purchased in multiple sizes. It evenly covers and stains wood in one coat, restoring old and tired wood with a new finish.
  • SAFE TO USE: Our Wood Stain is water based making it safe for your wood and the environment. It's low odor, non-toxic, easy to use, and easy to clean up! Ideal for use on all interior wood projects: furniture, cabinets, doors, trim, floors and more.
  • USE WITH IN COMBINATION WITH: After staining wood, you should finish the job by sealing the stain in with one of our Furniture Clinic Wood Waxes, Wood Varnishes or Wood Oils. These will bring out the color of the stain further, provide additional protection and can be used to alter the finish to either satin or gloss.
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: We understand that protecting your surfaces can be a very precise task, and not to worry. Our experts are here if you have questions before purchasing and if after purchasing you're not satisfied with the results (we expect you will be), we offer a money back guarantee.

If you are looking for a wood sealer for interior cedar, this could be the product for you. It’s one of the best interior finishes for indoor cedar for a good reason. 

The raw oil is extracted from flaxseed or linseed, and the oil is then treated with hot air to produce excellent final products. Sometimes, one coat is all you need to get pro results.

Boiled linseed oil dries quickly and can penetrate the cedar wood within ten or fifteen minutes of application. Because of its quick-drying properties, you can recoat your indoor furniture after twenty-four hours.

The beauty about this outstanding varnish is that you can use it on most types of wood apart from exterior oak. Use it on concrete, stone, terracotta tiles, etc., to give them a semi-gloss appearance. It gives cedar extra protection against insects.

Use a clean, lint-free cloth to ensure the surface is clean before applying the product. Apply the linseed oil directly on a microfiber cloth and wipe the entire wood surface.

Wipe off excess oil after twenty minutes. It’s available in a reasonable size and is affordable. It works excellently and produces a light tolerable odor.

It restores the wood’s natural beauty even if you have had it for decades, making it appear almost brand new. It makes the wood grain pop and gives the wood a lovely luster.

What We Liked Most

  • It’s easy to use
  • It’s an excellent product for a simple DIY home improvement
  • It completely seals the wood

What Could Be Improved

  • You’ve to clean & dispose of used rags correctly to avoid spontaneous combustion

2. Best Bathroom Paint – Rust-Oleum 02761 Perma-White Mold Proof Interior Paint

This product fits the bill if you need a water-based low odor wood sealer for indoor sealer. It does a superb job resisting mold, mildew, and moisture in humid areas. So, you can use it in your shower.

Just be sure not to use the shower for one day and avoid scrubbing the surface after application for a week. Use the primer of your choice and two coats of this incredible house paint to get a professional finish that will last for years.

It is tintable to off-white, pastel, and other medium colors. This finish resists fading and staining and sticks to most surfaces without sanding. It is a beautiful bright white paint neutral to your eye.

Note the type of light in your bathroom will determine how you see this paint. It works well and is simple to clean with water and soap. You have to do a lot of stirring to mix it thoroughly.

It has excellent coverage and gives the surfaces a gorgeous semi-gloss appearance. If you want to stop endless struggles with mold and mildew in your bathroom for good, buying this product is an excellent step in the right direction.  

What We Liked Most

  • It works as advertised
  • It completely resists mold and mildew for long
  • It’s effortless to use
  • It’s tintable and has easy soap and water cleanup

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s pricey, but it makes up for it in quality and functionality

3. Best Clear Coat Polyurethane – Varathane 200061H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane

Varathane 200061H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane, Half Pint, Gloss Finish
  • Protects indoor wood surfaces such as furniture, windows, cabinets, trim and more
  • Water based formula dries fast and cleans up with soap and water
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes with coverage up to 31.25 sq. ft., recoat after 2 hours
  • Durable formula provides outstanding stain and scratch resistance with excellent clarity
  • Gloss finish creates a polished and clean look

Suppose you searched for clear coat polyurethane for your indoor cedar furniture or outdoor cedar furniture. In that case, this could be the product you’ve been looking for far and wide.

It is a water-based polyurethane that dries quickly and cleans up easily with soap and water. You can use it trim, cabinets, and windows. The formula dries in thirty short minutes, allowing two recoats in two hours.

One can cover up to 32. 2 square feet. The long-lasting formula resists stains and scratches while maintaining clarity. The gloss finish gives the cedar surfaces a refined and clean appearance.

It goes on a bit thin, so you need several coats. Wait for at least two hours between coats. You may notice some bubbles, but wait for a few minutes, and they will disappear without a fuss.

Use your plastic kitchen wrap to moisten the brush for the next application. Keep the windows open to avoid problems with fumes.

The polyurethane cleans beautifully. Because it’s water-based, it’s simple to clean your synthetic bristle brush and use it for your next project.

Since it’s a low odor, you do not have to endure the struggle of taking your furniture outside to coat them.  It starts cloudy but quickly clears up.

What We Liked Most

  • It’s simple to clean up
  • It resists scratches and stains
  • It’s odorless
  • It’s easy to use even if you are an amateur

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s pricey but worth every penny

4. Best Premium Interior Cedar Oil – Hope’s Pure Tung Oil

HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil, Waterproof Natural Wood Finish and Sealer, 16 Fl Oz
2,442 Reviews
HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil, Waterproof Natural Wood Finish and Sealer, 16 Fl Oz
  • Easy to Use - Tung oil is a natural oil recognized by craftsmen to offer the ultimate hand-rubbed finish for all fine woods; just wipe on and allow the oil to cure at room temperature
  • Permeates - Unlike other finishes that form a film on the wood’s surface, tung oil penetrates deep into the wood fibers, cures to a flexible non-oily solid, and becomes part of the wood itself
  • Protects - Resistant to moisture, alcohol, oil, and everyday wear for lasting beauty and protection; lasts many times longer than mineral oil and wax based products
  • Multi Use - Amazing results on almost any surface that will allow the oil to penetrate - new unfinished wood, weathered wood, stripped wood, concrete floors and countertops, even brick, stone, and cast iron
  • Great for Food Contact Surfaces - Since tung oil is considered non-toxic when dry, it is great for cutting boards, butcher blocks, countertops, wooden bowls, wooden utensils, and more

Pure Tung Oil Finish is all you need if you want a finish to protect your cedar wood or create an elegant, natural finish on softwood surfaces.

This water-resistant stain differs from others in that it makes your cedar decking shine and feel right without the need for a second coat of sealant. As a result, it’s unsurprising that it’s available in smaller packaging than other finishes.

Hope Tung oil is a pure natural oil that woodworkers recognize as the best hand-rubbed in finish for all types of woods. Wipe on and let the oil cure at room temperature.

This Tung oil penetrates deeply into wood fibers and cures a flexible non-oily solid. It becomes a solid part of the wood instead of other finishes that create a film on your wood’s surface.

The finish is highly resistant to alcohol, moisture, and everyday wear and tear for long-lasting beauty and protection. You can use it for interior and exterior projects such as decking and siding.

Use it on surfaces that let the oil penetrate. It’s ideal for new wood, stripped wood, stone, cast iron, and brick. Tung oil is non-poisonous when dry.

So, it’s suitable for use on the kitchen table, cutting boards, wooden utensils, countertops, butcher blocks, wooden bowls, and other food-contact surfaces.

What We Liked Most

  • It’s a low odor formula
  • It’s non-toxic
  • You can use it on multiple surfaces
  • It’s easy to use

What Could Be Improved

  • It takes longer to dry

5. Best Beginner Friendly Oil for Interior Cedar – Watco 242219 Danish Oil Wood Finish

Watco 242219 Danish Oil Wood Finish, Low VOC, Pint, Natural
539 Reviews
Watco 242219 Danish Oil Wood Finish, Low VOC, Pint, Natural
  • Ideal for use on a variety of indoor wood surfaces including bare, stripped or sanded; not recommended for floors
  • Low VOC, oil-based formula of blended oil & varnish penetrates deeply into wood pores for ultimate protection
  • Dries to the touch in as little as 6 hours and covers up to 85 sq ft
  • Easy application and protects against spills, abrasion, chipping and peeling; many projects can be completed in less than an hour
  • Creates rich, warm glow that enhances the natural look and feel of the wood

Watco 242219 Danish Oil Wood Finish is all you need if you need a low VOC, oil-based product for your indoor cedar furniture. It permeates the wood fibers for optimal protection.

It dries in just six hours, enabling you to complete simple DIY projects in a day or less. One can cover up to eighty-five square feet. It’s not recommended for floors. Use it for all your indoors cedar furniture.

The product is easy to apply even if you have no experience. The finish won’t peel, crack, or chip. It gives your surfaces an elegant, warm glow that enhances the natural beauty and feel of the cedarwood.

Danish oil is simple to use and improves the appearance of wood even if the wood looks old and used. It also has a natural ability to enhance wood’s durability by a considerable margin.

That’s why it’s one of the best interior finishes available. Use an old clean T-shirt to apply the finish. The formula produces strong fumes, so work in a well-ventilated environment.

Wear a p-95 respirator if working indoors to protect yourself from inhaling the fumes as prolonged exposure can affect your lungs.

What We Liked Most

  • It’s easy to use
  • It works as advertised
  • Amplifies the wood’s natural beauty

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s not appropriate to exterior use

6. Best Cedar Finish for Small Projects – Krylon K03603000 Exterior Wood Stain

Krylon K03603000 Exterior Semi-Transparent Wood Stain, Rustic Brown, 12 Ounce
  • Premium, durable stain
  • Water repellent and UV fade protection
  • Fast, even coverage
  • Model number: K03603000

Kyron wood stain is an excellent wood sealer that offers long-lasting protection to interior cedar and other surfaces. Use it on outdoor cedar and outdoor furniture, and you’ll enjoy its superb uniform coverage.

It dries out in record time, letting you finish your finishing job quickly and flawlessly and move to something else. It resists moisture excellently and protects surfaces from fading due to UV rays. 

The most incredible fact about this wood sealer is that it’s the first and the only spray-on exterior sealant. It gives you vibrant colors and applies smoothly to leave a perfect finish that withstands the harshest conditions.

Unlike traditional paint spray cans, these do not clog or cause other typical ‘paint can’ problems. The stain will look great even after four seasons exposed to the elements.

To change the spray pattern from horizontal to vertical, turn the little tip on the spray nozzle. Shake the stain frequently to stop it from spitting out your stain.

It may take longer to dry, depending on the temperature and humidity in your locality. You can speed up the process by using a hairdryer. Overall, it’s simple to use and has a great color palette for Small projects. 

What We Liked Most

  • It comes in different color palettes
  • It’s the only spray-on wood stain for ease of use
  • It’s durable

What Could Be Improved

  • The bottle size is tiny, but it makes up for superb quality and is unmatched

7. Best Paint for Cedar Wood – Minwax 67000000 Antique Oil Finish Natural

Minwax 67000000 Antique Oil Finish Natural, quart
  • Minwax Antique Oil Finish may be used over finished and unfinished wood
  • Antique Oil Finish is recommended for interior wood surfaces such as cabinets, tables, paneling, doors and trim
  • Works by penetrating the wood
  • May be used over wood stained with Minwax Wood Finish, or other Minwax wood stains, or applied directly to bare wood to enhance its beauty
  • Highly recommended for interior wood surfaces

Suppose you are looking for an oil finish. In that case, you can use this product to maintain indoor quality furniture for decades. It’s one of the best finishes you can use on interior wood surfaces such as doors, paneling, trim, tables, and cabinets.

You can also use it on interior new cedar, and it’ll keep the wood gorgeous for many years. It’s easy to maintain and resists stains excellently.

It’s not high gloss but leaves a stunning satin, smooth finish. After applying several coats over the years, it becomes a little glossier. Apply a generous coat of Antique Oil finish.

While still wet, sand the wood with 220 fine-grit sandpaper. On large surfaces, use a random orbital sander. Sanding allows the oil finish to penetrate the wood and fills the wood pores.

Wipe excess oil with a soft cloth across the grain. Be careful not to pull your finish out of the wood pores. Let the finish dry for a day or two before applying the second coat.

Use a soft cloth to apply the second and subsequent coat. When the finish becomes tacky, wipe off excess stain with a clean rag. The drying time between coats differs, but you can do two coats daily.

It outperforms most of the videos you may have watched on Youtube. It only needs to be dry to the touch before applying the next coat. After applying all the coats you want, let the finish dry for two weeks.

Rub out every nook and cranny with 0000 steel wool. Apply light to moderate pressure in the direction of the grain. Rubbing it out will change the sheen level.

It stops being glossy and becomes satin. It’ll have a buttery feel, far superior to the best expertly sprayed lacquer finish.

What We Liked Most

  • Easy to use
  • Works as marketed
  • Affordable and durable 

What Could Be Improved

  • You can only use it indoor

Best Finish for Indoor Cedar Furniture Comparison Table

Education – Factors to Consider When Buying A Finish for Indoor Cedar

The best finish for indoor cedar furniture should, at the very least, protect the wood from water penetration, staining, and moisture without affecting its appearance.

However, it would help if you also thought about the finish’s base ingredient, how safe it is to use, and whether it has any additional safety features.

Overall, all types of wood finishings are suitable for cedar. However, clear penetrating finishes such as linseed oil, Tung oil, and Danish oil are best suited for indoor cedar furniture.

This finish safeguards the cedar wood from the inside while preserving the beautiful natural color of the cedar. Even so, before buying any finish for indoor cedar, keep an eye out for the factors below. 

The Finish Type

A finish can be either a film foaming finish or a penetrating finish. Both are ideal for indoor cedar furniture. However, penetrating finishes such as tung oil or linseed oil top the list of the finishes for indoor cedar.

The Stain of the Finish

Some finishes have stains on them. It is entirely up to you and your project. If you don’t want to change the color, go with the clear finish. Clear stains do not interfere with the natural beauty of wood.

The Gloss of the Finish

Several finish options are available, including gloss, semi-gloss, satin, and matte. Which one should you choose? You can choose any sheen for your indoor cedar wood based on your preferences.

Consider the Finishes’ Drying Time

Drying time is one of the most crucial features to consider when buying a finish for indoor cedar. It determines how fast you can complete the project and how quickly you can use your masterpiece.

See if the finish has fast-drying properties, how many coats you need to apply, and how long you should wait between recoats.

The Application Procedure

To apply the finish, you’ll need the synthetic brush. On the other hand, you can use a cloth or foam to apply the finish. Some finishes have multiple application methods.

That means you can apply the stain with a brush, roller, foam, or clean, dry cloth. Buy a finish you can use readily available tools to cut down the cost.

How to Finish Cedar Wood Indoors 

Cedar gives homeowners durable options for interior and exterior construction projects due to its unmatched natural resistance to rot and decay properties.

So, if you are using cedar indoors, you may not need to apply a protective finish. If you need to take delight in the aroma of varieties such as Incense Cedar and Western red cedar, Let the wood stay unsealed.

If you’re going to use cedarwood for outdoor projects, apply a thin coat of finish to protect it from moisture and extreme sunlight.

Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to finish cedar wood indoors.

Step 1: Acclimatize New Cedar

Indoor cedar requires less protection. Even so, place new cedar in the room where you’ll use it for a few days to help it adapt to the new environment before treating it.

Step 2: Sand the wood lightly

Sand the wood lightly with fine-grit sandpaper to eliminate any imperfections. If you’re refinishing treated cedar, sand away the old finish before applying new. If cedar dust bothers you, wear a respirator and cover your skin. 

Step 3: Select a Finishing Product

Take your desired finish. Be sure to test it first by applying it on a scrap piece or a concealed area to see if you like the results.

It is possible to bleach, stain, paint, or wax cedar. For extra moisture protection in a laundry room, kitchen, or bathroom, use finishing products rated for exterior use only.

Step 4: Use a finishing product

Keenly follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply the preferred finish as different strains have varying application methods. But generally, use the first coat and let it dry before applying the second coat.

Be keen to wipe off excess finish and sand lightly between coats. Transparent lacquers work best when used with a paint sprayer instead of a brush.

Step 5: Maintain A Cleaning Routine

Dust the wood with a clean, lint-free soft cloth regularly to keep it elegant for years. You can make a custom wood cleaner consisting of one cup of water, a quarter of vinegar, a half cup of mineral oil, and twenty drops of lemon juice.


What Finish Looks Best on Cedar?

Cedar is beautiful wood naturally and takes in most stains well just like pine. But, it depends on your preferences. Nonetheless, Tung oil, Danish oil, and lacquer look elegant on cedar. Tung oil provides a durable, beautiful finish, while Danish oil dries faster and is beginner-friendly. Lacquer or sanding sealer is the most cost-effective and is readily available.

Do I need to seal cedar indoors? 

Yes. If you opted for western red cedar for your indoor projects, keep its natural beauty by using shellacs or waxes to safeguard it from abrasion and stains. Sealing cedar makes cleaning easier. 

How do you protect cedar wood indoors?

In high-moisture sections of your home, use finishes formulated explicitly for exterior use. Use clear finishes to protect cedar from minor abrasions and retain the natural color. Use bleaches, semi-transparent and solid stains, and opaque finishes to alter the wood’s to compliment your decorative theme.

Is cedar safe indoors?

Yes, cedar is safe indoors, and you can opt not to seal it. However, it would be best to seal cedar used in high moisture areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. Use exterior-grade finishes recommended for interior use to protect the wood from moisture.


You finish indoor cedar to make it easier to clean and to minimize aging signs. Unfinished interior cedar surfaces can be challenging to clean.

That’s so because these surfaces are and can collect dust and allergens. A finish improves the cedar’s natural resistance to mold and mildew, ensuring that it remains beautiful for decades.

We consider FurnitureClinic Boiled Linseed Oil for Wood the best finish for indoor cedar furniture because it’s simple to use, works as marketed, and resists mold and mildew for years.

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