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 must apply a 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.

I 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 &...
6,854 Reviews
Furniture Clinic Boiled Linseed Oil for Wood Furniture &...
  • 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.

This could be your product If you are looking for a wood sealer for interior cedar. 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.

I love this outstanding varnish for its versatility. It can be used on most types of wood, excluding exterior oak, and even on surfaces like concrete, stone, terracotta tiles, and more, giving them a beautiful semi-gloss appearance.

Additionally, it provides extra protection against insects for cedar wood.

Before applying the product, I always ensure the surface is clean using a clean, lint-free cloth. Then, I apply the linseed oil directly on a microfiber cloth and wipe the entire wood surface. It’s easy and convenient to use.

After letting the oil sit for twenty minutes, I wipe off any excess to ensure a smooth finish. The varnish is reasonably sized and affordable, making it a practical choice for my woodworking projects. I also appreciate its light, tolerable odor, making it pleasant to work with.

One of the best things about this varnish is how it restores the natural beauty of the wood, even if it has been used for decades. It can make old wood appear almost brand new, with the wood grain popping and a lovely luster that enhances its overall appearance.

What I 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

If you need a water-based, low-odor wood sealer for indoor use, look no further! I’ve found a product that does an amazing job at resisting mold, mildew, and moisture, making it perfect for humid areas like showers.

After applying this incredible house paint, I avoided using the shower for one day. I refrained from scrubbing the surface for a week to ensure a professional finish lasting for years. I used the primer of my choice and applied two coats for optimal results.

What’s great is that this paint is tintable to various colors, including off-white, pastel, and medium tones. It resists fading and staining and adheres well to most surfaces without sanding.

The bright white finish is neutral to the eye, although the type of light in my bathroom may affect how I perceive the color.

Cleaning up is a breeze with just water and soap, and the coverage is excellent. The semi-gloss appearance it gives to surfaces is simply gorgeous.

Plus, if you’re tired of dealing with endless struggles with mold and mildew in your bathroom, this product is a fantastic solution. Investing in it is a step in the right direction for long-lasting protection against these issues.

What I 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...
1,968 Reviews
Varathane 200061H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane, Half...
  • 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

I’ve been searching for a clear coat polyurethane for my indoor and outdoor cedar furniture, and I think I’ve finally found the perfect product.

This water-based polyurethane dries quickly and cleans up easily with soap and water, making it convenient for use on trim, cabinets, and windows.

The formula dries in just thirty minutes, allowing for two recoats in at least two hours. With coverage of up to 32.2 square feet, it goes a long way.

The long-lasting formula is resistant to stains and scratches while maintaining clarity, and the gloss finish gives my cedar surfaces a refined and clean appearance.

I noticed it goes on a bit thin, so I needed to apply several coats, waiting at least two hours between each coat. At first, I noticed some bubbles, but they disappeared after a few minutes without any issues.

I moistened the brush with plastic kitchen wrap to make the next application smoother.

I made sure to keep the windows open for proper ventilation to avoid any fumes. The polyurethane cleaned up beautifully, and because it’s water-based, cleaning my synthetic bristle brush for future projects was a breeze.

One of the best parts is that its a low odor, so I didn’t have to deal with the hassle of taking my furniture outside to apply the coating.

Although it starts off cloudy, it quickly clears up, leaving a beautiful finish on my cedar furniture. I’m thrilled to finally find a clear coat polyurethane that meets all my indoor and outdoor furniture needs.

What I 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...
2,577 Reviews
HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil, Waterproof Natural Wood Finish...
  • 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

If you’re looking for a versatile finish to protect your cedar wood or create a natural, elegant look on softwood surfaces, look no further than Pure Tung Oil Finish.

I’ve found that this water-resistant stain stands out from others because it gives my cedar decking a beautiful shine and feels with just one coat, without the need for a second sealant. It’s no wonder it comes in smaller packaging compared to other finishes.

Hope Tung oil is a pure natural oil that woodworkers swear by as the best hand-rubbed finish for all types of wood. I wipe it on and let it cure at room temperature.

The Tung oil penetrates deeply into the wood fibres and cures to a flexible, non-oily solid, becoming an integral part of the wood rather than just creating a film on the surface like other finishes.

The finish is highly resistant to alcohol, moisture, and everyday wear and tear, ensuring long-lasting beauty and protection. It’s suitable for both interior and exterior projects, such as decking and siding.

It works best on surfaces that allow the oil to penetrate, making it ideal for use on new wood, stripped wood, stone, cast iron, and brick.

Plus, it’s non-toxic when dry, making it safe on kitchen tables, cutting boards, wooden utensils, countertops, butcher blocks, wooden bowls, and other food-contact surfaces.

I appreciate the versatility and durability of Pure Tung Oil Finish, and it’s become my go-to choice for protecting and enhancing the natural beauty of my cedar and softwood surfaces.

What I 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
581 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

If you need a low VOC, oil-based product for your indoor cedar furniture, look no further than Watco 242219 Danish Oil Wood Finish. I’ve found that this product is perfect for penetrating wood fibers and providing optimal protection.

One of the things I love about this finish is how quickly it dries. In just six hours, I can complete simple DIY projects in a day or less.

It covers up to eighty-five square feet per can, which is ideal for all my indoor cedar furniture projects. However, it’s not recommended for use on floors.

Even if you’re new to applying finishes, Watco Danish Oil is easy to use. It goes smoothly and won’t peel, crack, or chip over time. The finish it leaves on my surfaces is elegant, with a warm glow that enhances the natural beauty and feel of the cedar wood.

One thing that sets Danish oil apart is its ability to improve the appearance of even old and weathered wood. It also enhances the durability of the wood, making it one of the best interior finishes available. I typically apply it with an old clean T-shirt for easy application.

I want to note that the formula of Watco Danish Oil produces strong fumes, so it’s important to work in a well-ventilated environment.

If I’m applying it indoors, I wear a P-95 respirator to protect myself from inhaling the fumes, as prolonged exposure can harm the lungs.

But with proper precautions, I’ve found Watco 242219 Danish Oil Wood Finish to be an excellent choice for my indoor cedar furniture projects.

What I 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,...
1,144 Reviews
Krylon K03603000 Exterior Semi-Transparent Wood Stain,...
  • Premium, durable stain
  • Water repellent and UV fade protection
  • Fast, even coverage

Krylon wood stain has been my go-to wood sealer for interior cedar and other surfaces. Thanks to its long-lasting protection and superb uniform coverage, I’ve also found it to be excellent for outdoor cedar and outdoor furniture.

One of the things I love about Krylon wood stain is how quickly it dries. It allows me to finish my projects in record time, leaving a flawless finish that withstands the test of time.

It’s also highly resistant to moisture and UV rays, protecting surfaces from fading even in harsh outdoor conditions.

What sets Krylon wood stain apart is that it’s the first and only spray-on exterior sealant I’ve encountered. The spray application gives me vibrant colors and applies smoothly for a perfect finish.

Unlike traditional paint spray cans, I’ve never had clogging or other typical “paint can” problems. The stain looks great even after four seasons of exposure to the elements.

I’ve found the spray pattern easy to adjust from horizontal to vertical by turning the little tip on the spray nozzle. To prevent the stain from spitting out, I shake it frequently during application.

Depending on the temperature and humidity in my locality, it may take longer to dry, but I’ve found that using a hairdryer can speed up the process.

Overall, Krylon wood stain is simple and offers a great color palette for small projects. It’s been my trusted wood sealer for interior and exterior applications, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a reliable and efficient wood finishing solution.

What I 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
599 Reviews
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

If you’re looking for an oil finish, this product has been my go-to for maintaining the quality of indoor furniture for decades. It’s one of the best finishes I’ve used on interior wood surfaces, such as doors, panelling, trim, tables, and cabinets.

I’ve also used it on new cedar for interior applications, and it keeps the wood looking gorgeous for many years while resisting stains excellently.

The finish is not high gloss, but it leaves a stunning satin, smooth finish that enhances the natural beauty of the wood. Over the years, with several coats applied, it develops a slightly glossier sheen.

To apply this finish, I apply a generous coat of Antique Oil finish while the wood is still wet. Then, I sand the wood with 220 fine-grit sandpaper, either by hand or using a random orbital sander for large surfaces. This step allows the oil finish to penetrate the wood and fill in the wood pores.

After sanding, I wipe off excess oil with a soft cloth, careful not to pull the finish out of the wood pores. I let the finish dry for a day or two before applying the second coat.

I use a soft cloth to apply the second and subsequent coats, wiping off excess stain with a clean rag when the finish becomes tacky.

The drying time between coats may vary, but I’ve found that I can apply two coats daily as long as the finish is dry before applying the next coat. Once I’ve applied all the coats I want, I let the finish dry for two weeks.

After the finish has dried, I rub out every nook and cranny with 0000 steel wool, applying light to moderate pressure in the direction of the grain.

This step changes the sheen level and gives the finish a polished look. It’s important to take your time and be thorough in this process to achieve the desired result.

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

What I 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, Tung, and Danish oil best suit 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, watch 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 or linseed oil top 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.

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 use 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 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 the 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 with a paint sprayer instead of a brush.

Step 5: Maintain A Cleaning Routine

Dust the wood regularly with a clean, lint-free soft cloth 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 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 its natural color. Use bleaches, semi-transparent and solid stains, and opaque finishes to alter the wood to compliment your decorative theme.

Is cedar safe indoors?

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


You finish indoor cedar to make cleaning and minimising ageing signs easier. 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 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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