Cedar is the go-to wood for fences and decks for many homeowners because of its natural insect resistance and the wood’s natural beauty.

Cedar also looks excellent with a stain or paint job, but over time it will deteriorate due to exposure to the elements. The best way to protect a cedar surface is to penetrate deep into the surface pores with a sealant.

A wood sealer protects against the moisture damage that could lead to mold and mildew growth on your deck or fence boards.  But with so many options out there, how can you pick the best sealer for cedar? Read on to find out.

Our Top Picks

Best Sealer for Cedar Wood

  1. 100% Pure Tung Oil Finish Stain & SealerBest Overall Cedar Sealer
  2. #1 Deck Premium Semi-TransparentBest Semitransparent Wood Sealer
  3. THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.042851-16Best wood preservative for cedar
  4. Ready Seal 512 5-Gall43on Pail NaturalBest stain and sealer in one
  5. NANO GUARDBest Eco-friendly Cedar Sealant
  6. Star Brite Premium Golden Teak Oil – PreserverBest sealant for cedar pergola
  7. DEFY Crystal Clear Composite DeckBest clear sealer for cedar
  8. SEAL-ONCE MARINEBest Waterproofing Cedar Sealer
  9. Olympic Stain Maximum Deck StainBest deck sealer for cedar

Best Cedar Sealer Reviews

1. Best Overall Cedar Sealer – 100% Pure Tung Oil Finish Wood Stain & Sealer

100% Pure Tung Oil Finish Wood Stain & Natural Sealer for All Types of Wood (32 oz)
1,663 Reviews
100% Pure Tung Oil Finish Wood Stain & Natural Sealer for All Types of Wood (32 oz)
  • GET A WARM, RICH FINISH. 100% Pure Tung Oil Finisher adds depth for an antique-style finish. Creates a hand-rubbed look on wood surfaces.
  • NO ADDITIVES, SOLVENTS OR VARNISHES. Pure tung oil adds depth without using solvents or additives. Gives the surface a rich, almost wet look.
  • DRIES FASTER THAN OTHER OILS. Compared to linseed, soy, and walnut oils, tung oil finish dries fast for remarkable turn-around time.
  • FORMS A MOISTURE-RESISTANT BARRIER. Tung oil keeps alcohol, grease, food oil, acid, and water from ruining the surface.
  • FINISH NEARLY ANY SURFACE. Use tung oil for wood, concrete, brick, and stone. Works on pine, oak, cedar, cherry wood, cedar, and other wood surfaces.

If you’re looking for the best cedar protection that will create a beautiful, natural finish on delicate wood surfaces, then Pure Tung Oil Finish is all you need.

This waterproofing stain is different from other brands because it makes your cedar surfaces shine and feel natural without applying an additional coat of sealant. So it’s no surprise that it comes in smaller packaging than the others.

The Pure Tung Oil Finish performs the magic in a single application and makes your decor sparkle while preventing moisture from ruining it. Instead, the droplets will float on the surface or drain away when it’s raining or snowing.

The sealant offers your cedar decks a rich, glossy look and feel. It is the ideal sealer for applying wooden items or cedar railing to improve grip and water resistance.

You can apply Pure Tung Oil Finish with a brush to make the application process easier and faster. There are no skills required for this cedar wood sealer since it’s straightforward to use.

The oil will penetrate wood fibers without leaving any white residue behind, which you’ll find on other products that use additives to speed up the drying time.

Even better, it does not contain any harmful ingredients such as silicone, paraffin, or petroleum distillates. This cedar sealant is 100% natural and organic and produces sweet-smelling odors when applied. You can even use your hands to apply the Pure Tung Oil Finish for Cedar.

Keep the Pure Tung Oil Finish away from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure will damage its quality. Although it’s flammable or combustible, we still recommend you store it away from heat sources.

What We Liked Most About this Cedar Sealant

  • It’s durable
  • You can use it on different surfaces
  • It significantly resists water, sun, and stain
  • It’s non-toxic

What Could Be Improved

  • It takes longer to dry
  • The remaining product expires fast

2. Best Semitransparent Wood Sealer – #1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent

#1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain for Decks, Fences, & Siding - 1 Gallon (Cedar)
892 Reviews
#1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain for Decks, Fences, & Siding - 1 Gallon (Cedar)
  • Protects wood from damaging UV rays
  • Acts as both a stain and sealer for your wood
  • Available in 4 beautiful semi-transparent finishes that dry to a flat, natural looking finish
  • Low VOCs (<50 g/L) - Water-based, easy cleanup
  • For use on all softwood types including pressure treated pine, cedar, fir or redwood

If you suffer from allergies or dislike the smell of oil-based products, you can use a water-based cedar wood sealer instead.

The waterproofing stain from the well-known SaverSystems producer is a water-based product that is simple to apply and has a long shelf life. It does not contain linseed oil so cleaning up after use is effortless.

While sunlight is beneficial, some rays can be harmful to a wood surface, particularly those placed outside. Your well-deserved patio will be useless in a few years if it is not maintained correctly.

As a result, this stain and sealer is designed to protect cedar surfaces from water content and from water content and the sun’s harmful UV rays.

As a result, you will take delight in the value of your assets for as long as humanly possible. It performs better than most oil-based stains in the market.

This product could be the best stain for semitransparent as it makes the surface to be mildew resistant. And because the sealer is semi-transparent, it does not alter the natural beauty of your wooden structure after application.

Alternatively, it smoothes out any areas that seem to have discrepancies, giving your cedar surfaces a pleasing appearance.

The high-quality stain penetrates deep into the pores of the cedar fence, forming a thicker protect semi-transparent cedar surface that will ensure the durability of your furnishings.

This semi-transparent stain is ideal for sealing decks, gazebos, outdoor furniture, and cedar siding. It’s one of the best cedar deck stains and sealers,  and you can also use it on other weathered softwood surfaces.

What We Liked Most About This Sealant for cedarwood

  • After drying, it gives off a more natural appearance
  • It comes in four different color options
  • It produces a slight odor when applying
  • Its high waterproofing capability makes it ideal for use in the outdoors

What Could Be Improved

  • It works well on softwoods
  • When applied with a small spray tip, it dries evenly with no runs
  • Even if you have no prior experience, it is simple to use

3. Best wood preservative for cedar – THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.042851-16

THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.042851-16 Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Stain, Woodland Cedar
  • Color: Woodland Cedar
  • Semi-Transparent
  • Wood sealer and stain, all in 1
  • Prevents water damage, applies to freshly cleaned damp or dry wood
  • Use on decks and fences, outdoor furniture, exterior wood

This product is excellent at protecting your cedar surfaces from water damage. It also enhances the beauty of the wood while preventing fading. The sealer works flawlessly on both dry and damp wood.

If you have used this sealer to seal your outdoor surfaces, you will not have to worry about their longevity when it rains or snows. It’s better than many other solid stains you’ll find in the market.

It also does excellent at resisting mildew. You can semitransparent freshly painted surfaces and still produce outstanding results. Since it is a semi-transparent stain, so you’ll still be able to see the wood grains.

Thompson’s waterproofing capabilities exceed industry standards. It is made from advanced polymers that are uniquely formulated to resist the elements exponentially.  

You could try this solid stain every spring to keep your deck in great shape. Thompson water seal is effective and easy to apply with a sprayer.

What We Liked Most

  • It is simple to apply and leaves no runs or drips
  • Two coats are sufficient to achieve excellent results
  • It provides excellent coverage and repels all types of water
  • It applies smoothly and produces vibrant colors

What Could Be Improved

  • You can’t spray the Product. If you do, you have to brush or back roll
  • Every year, you must reapply

4. Best sealer for cedar posts – Ready Seal 512 5-Gall43on Pail Natural

Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood
7,115 Reviews
Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood
  • Requires no primer. Ready Seal is darkest when first applied. It reaches its true color in approximately 14 days. Do not apply Ready Seal over painted or newly stained surfaces. Sealed surfaces inhibit penetration.
  • May be applied using sprayer, roller or brush onto the woods surface.
  • Requires no back brushing and will nerver leave runs, laps, or streaks.
  • Requires no wet-line application, the product will blend itself and can be applied in any temperature range for proper application.
  • Requires no diluting or thinning prior to spray applications.

Because of its protective qualities,  Ready seal 512  is one of the most lauded brands in the market for exterior woodwork.

The ready seal has UV protection capabilities to help keep your wooden furniture in good condition. While your cedar fence is exposed to moisture, this sealer will protect the natural beauty from fading and mildew.

The stain and sealer is also mildew resistant. It contains high-quality resins to deeply penetrate and safeguard a cedar surface from the elements.

There are numerous ways to apply the Ready seal stain and sealer, and if you are a do-it-yourselfer, you do not need to hire a professional painter. 

You can apply the wood stain with a paint sprayer, roller, or brush depending on what you have on hand and the size of your exterior wooden surface. 

Because Ready seal does not contain linseed oil, you won’t have to worry about streaking your hands in the process. It will take less time to complete the task.

A professional finishing will require a single coat or two coats, depending on your preference. The ready seal is one of the best oil-based stain products that has been in the market for some time.

Drying time between applications is just forty-five minutes, even when the weather isn’t cooperating.

What We Liked Most About this Sealant for Cedar wood

  • Simple to use with multiple tools including a paint sprayer
  • Appropriate for exterior cedar projects
  • A primer is not required for the stain
  • The absence of linseed means that there will be no stains on the hands
  • It works on freshly cleaned damp wood surface
  • No wet line application is required when applying
  • No back brushing required 

What Could Be Improved

  • You have to apply it under a shade  

5. Best sealer for cedar furniture – NANO GUARD

Seal-Once Nano Penetrating Wood Sealer - Premium Waterproof Sealant - 1 Gallon Clear Wood Sealant
300 Reviews
Seal-Once Nano Penetrating Wood Sealer - Premium Waterproof Sealant - 1 Gallon Clear Wood Sealant
  • CLEAR SEALANT: Our water-based sealer provides top-notch protection against wear and tear in high traffic areas. It’s odorless and ideal for use on wood siding, log homes, swing sets, outdoor furniture, wooden decks and fences, and more.
  • WOOD SEALANT: Unlike many sealers that only form a topcoat, our protector penetrates below the surface to create a long-lasting, water-resistant shield around the wood.
  • FLOOR SEALER APPLICATOR: Our premium gloss is ultra-low VOC and great for enhancing the extended life of your exterior flooring.
  • WATERPROOF SEALER: Ditch the oil-based sealers and choose a UV-stable coating option. Our fast-drying liquid creates a flexible, breathable barrier and provides a no-fuss, easy clean-up with soap and water, as it allows the wood to grey naturally.
  • SEAL-ONCE: Our user-friendly wood sealers and stains are an effective way to protect your lumber or concrete against water damage.

Nano Guard is an eco-friendly wood furniture sealer that’s odorless, non-flammable, and more durable than ever! It has nanoparticles to make water bead right off your deck.

Not only does it keep your home protected from mold and mildew, but it also makes cleaning up afterward a breeze. 

If you’re looking for a sealer with low odor, low flammability, and lasts as long as four coats of paint without peroxide or any other harsh chemicals, your search could end with Nano Guard.

It is an innovative exterior wood stain that’s easy to clean and paintable. Its natural protection lasts for a while. And because it’s water-based, it won’t create hazardous or toxic fumes when you apply or remove it from the wood’s surface.

It enables your wooden surfaces to resist mildew. It is in low VOC ( volatile organic compounds), has low odor, is a non-poisonous, non-flammable formula, and does not deplete the ozone layer.

It is better for our environment because it does not contain nitrates, phosphorous products, or other heavy metals. Some oil-based sealers and stains are readily available in the market nowadays. 

You can use this exterior wood stain in the moldiest areas of your kitchen and other high-moisture sites. You could try it even on already stained teak wood. The product will absorb into the wood, and you won’t struggle with mold for years. 

What We Liked Most

  • It completely repels mold
  • It’s safe for the environment and won’t harm people or pets
  • It is easy to apply with no mess and lap marks using a paint roller and other tools
  • It’s durable
  • It does not change the natural texture of a cedar wood surface

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s a bit slippery when wet

6. Best sealer for cedar pergola – Star Brite Premium Golden Teak Oil – Preserver

Do you possess a wooden boat or have a beautiful deck that’s in water? If so, Star Brite Golden Teak Oil Cedar Deck Stain and Sealer is a good choice.

The sealer will protect your cedar from the saltwater and adverse weather that it is constantly exposed to. Because the oil coating prevents rotting, your cedar wood surface will last as long as possible.

The oil contains additives that keep it from turning gray or fading as a result of sun exposure. It is an easy process to apply this wood stain. You can use a cloth, or sponge to put it on a cedar surface.

Apply it along the wood grains, and you will not have any brush marks left. The oil absorbs pretty fast into your wood, giving it a solid protective barrier from adverse weather conditions.

If your teak oil intends to replenish the natural cedar oil that has leached out over time, using this wood stain will be a wise decision. The stain will surely soak into the wood, preventing it from splitting due to wet-dry cycles.

One quart will give you two coats on one chair and a headstart on the second one. You’ll need to do a thorough cleaning to remove the previous coating to get professional results.

What We Liked Most

  • It increases resistance to salty water
  • It protects against fading caused by UV sun rays
  • It’s simple to use and dries very quickly

What Could Be Improved

  • Before applying, you must prepare the surface thoroughly, which is time-consuming
  • It’s a high-quality product, so it’s pricey

7. Best clear sealer for cedar – DEFY Crystal Clear Composite Deck

DEFY Crystal Clear Composite Deck Waterproofing Sealer, 1 Gallon
509 Reviews
DEFY Crystal Clear Composite Deck Waterproofing Sealer, 1 Gallon
  • WATER-BASED, CLEAR COMPOSITE DECK SEALER – This water based, clear wood and deck sealer protects composite wood from the harmful effects of the sun, while adding little to no change to the natural look of your composite deck.
  • FORTIFIED WITH ZINC NANO-PARTICLE TECHNOLOGY– It’s like sunscreen for your wood. Tiny zinc particles dispersed throughout the stain reflect damaging UV rays, preventing premature graying and color loss.
  • EXTREMELY DURABLE, HIGH QUALITY RESINS – DEFY Composite Deck Sealer is made with the highest quality resins available that have better resistance to fading and darkening. The result is a quality sealer that typically lasts a season or two longer than competitive products.
  • QUALITY THAT LASTS – DEFY Extreme Composite Deck Sealer is a premium-grade, clear deck sealer that is built to last. Keep your weathered composite deck, or fence looking great for longer by using DEFY.
  • EASY TO MAINTAIN – When it’s time to do a maintenance coat, there’s no need to strip the surface. Make sure the surface is clean, then apply a single maintenance coat of DEFY Composite Waterproofing Sealer.

Defy crystal clear is a water-based clear wood and deck sealer that safeguards composite wood from the damaging effects of the sun while causing little or no change to the natural appearance of your composite deck.

The Defy Crystal Clear sealer is an exceptionally long-lasting sealer for deterring the black stains that form when natural cedar comes into contact with water that tends to blot it. 

This waterproofing sealer is made with Zinc Nano-particle technology, which combines the sealer with UV-resistant zinc particles.

This one-of-a-kind feature makes your cedar siding, which is frequently exposed to UV rays, repellent to color fade and unsightly fungal growths.

Composite Deck Sealer is made from the highest quality resins available, resistant to fading and blackening. As a result, the stain and sealer is of higher quality and usually lasts a season or two longer than other stains. This makes it the best clear cedar sealer.

It’s made from advanced polymers that offer cedar surfaces fade-resistant color. Apply this solid color stain with a regular paint roller and apply along the wood grain as it’ll be much easier this way.

Ensure there’s enough sealer on the cedar fence soak down into the crevices and grooves. 

What We Liked Most

  • It’s easy to apply
  • Provide a high level of resistance to adverse elements
  • It’s fortified with Nano-particle technology for maximum protection
  • It’s easy to clean up after use

What Could Be Improved

  • You can only use it on composite decks

8. Best Waterproofing Sealer – SEAL-ONCE MARINE

Seal-Once Marine Premium Wood Sealer - Waterproof Sealant - Wood Stain and Sealer in One - 1 Gallon & Clear
1,014 Reviews
Seal-Once Marine Premium Wood Sealer - Waterproof Sealant - Wood Stain and Sealer in One - 1 Gallon & Clear
  • MARINE SEALANT: Our liquid formula creates a UV-stable coating for protection against the elements, saltwater spray, and water damage. Marine is a great protector for outdoor furniture, thermally modified wood, and boat docks. Marine is safe for use over open water and is non-hazardous to aquatic life.
  • DECK STAIN: It's water-based, ultra-low VOC, great for enhancing the extended life of your flooring, siding, and porch. The paint forms a water-resistant shield around wood fibers at the cellular level to help preserve the natural color.
  • WATERPROOF WOOD SEALER: The wood used on boat docks, decks, and retaining walls near rivers, lakes, oceans, and ponds is subjected to constant moisture. We crafted a sealer, remove stain, and finish all in one, specifically for these installations.
  • WOOD SEALANT: Our fast-drying protector penetrates wood below the surface, coating the wood fibers at the cellular level, which creates a long-lasting, flexible, breathable barrier. It provides a no-fuss, easy clean-up with soap and water.
  • SEAL-ONCE: Our user-friendly wood sealers and stains are an effective way to protect your lumber or concrete against water damage. When you use Seal-Once, you have the satisfaction of knowing our products will not harm pets, plants, or people.

Seal-once is one of the best sealers for cedar for a good reason. The sealer comes along with a high-quality waterproofing wood finish that penetrates deeply into the wood.

Its high penetration standards protect the timber from water and sun rays. It is a water-based sealer with improved penetrating nanotechnology that performs similarly to an oil-based sealer.

If you want to improve and prolong the natural life of your cedar surfaces,  this formula is an incredible deal. The formula provides water damage protection for close to ten years on vertical surfaces and six long years on horizontal surfaces.

It employs proprietary nanotechnology to coat the wood fiber cellular level, resulting in a pliable and porous material.

This product is available in eleven different semi-transparent color tints to help you pick the one appropriate to you. 

These colors are Light Brown, Clear, Mahogany, Natural, Black, Bronze Cedar, Battleship Gray, Cape Cod Gray, Shale Gray, Redwood, Cedar, Brown. 

Related Post: Best sealer for redwood

The sealer inhibits warping, cupping, rot, mold, and other problems. It has a UV rays barrier to prevent wood surfaces from fading.

It contains Ultra Low-VOC, making it safe for humans, pets, plants lives. The product is simple to use, and you can clean it up with regular soap and water.

What We Liked Most

  • It comes in various colors for versatility
  • It Dries to the touch in two hours
  • Low VOC content
  • It’s a simple formula to clean

What Could Be Improved

  • Not suitable for use on surfaces with temperatures below 45°F/7.22°C or above 95°F/35°C

9. Bes deck sealer for cedar – Olympic Stain Maximum Deck Stain

Olympic Maximum Wood Stain And Sealer For Decks, Fences, Siding, and Other Outdoor Wood Structures, Semi-Transparent, Cedar, 1 Gallon
506 Reviews
Olympic Maximum Wood Stain And Sealer For Decks, Fences, Siding, and Other Outdoor Wood Structures, Semi-Transparent, Cedar, 1 Gallon
  • Weather-ready application allows you to clean and stain on the same day in temperatures down to 35 degrees fahrenheight, deck is ready for rain in 8 hours
  • Durable formula features advanced SunBlock UV defense and enhanced water proofing protection
  • Exclusive Scuff Guard technology and cleans easily with soap and water, eliminating the need for harsh chemicals
  • Durable wood stain and sealant protects and beautifies in one step
  • Recommended for use on exterior wood decks, fences, siding, railings, outdoor furniture and other wood surfaces.

Consumers have repeatedly rated this brand as the best cedar deck sealer. Consider why the Olympic product received such high marks.

Olympic Stain No. 56500-04 Maximum sealant is the best Olympic sealant the company has ever produced in several years, so the rating is not coincidental.

Testimonials from verified customers attest to this brand’s exceptional waterproofing abilities. As a result, Olympic stain is appropriate for both interior and exterior furniture.

UV rays are harmful to your outdoor wooden surfaces. The Olympic formulation incorporates UV protection abilities to provide maximum defense against the unforgiving external elements to address this issue.

When this sealant is applied to condition wood, it guarantees that the wood will maintain its natural beauty for the coming years.

The Olympic maximum has a weather-resistant formulation. This technology enables you to work with the stain regardless of the weather conditions while achieving flawless results.

As a result, it provides you with planning leeway when you need to remodel your home. If the weather is sweltering and the wooden surface is dry and warm to the touch, you may lightly mist it before putting on the stain.

What We Liked Most about this Sealant for Cedar Decks

  • During severe weather, it protects cedar from UV rays
  • Appropriate for both indoor and outdoor use
  • It’s a high-quality stain that’s also highly waterproof
  • It can be used in any weather condition

What Could Be Improved

  • Its high quality comes at a higher cost

Best sealant for cedar Comparison Table

How to protect cedar wood for outdoors

An excellent wood sealer for cedar should, at the very least, safeguard the wood from water penetration and moisture without tainting its appearance.

However, you should also consider the sealer’s base ingredient, how safe or environmentally friendly it is to use, and whether it has any extra safety abilities.

You will need to know what to look for in a cedar wood sealer before you buy one. Also, you need to understand why you should pick it over oil-based stains and natural stains. Keep an eye out for the following things.

Type of Sealers

Cedar wood sealers can either be water-based and oil-based sealers. Both types have pros and cons.



  • It dries faster, allowing for various recoats each day. 
  • It dries faster, allowing for various recoats each day. 
  • It keeps the wood’s appearance clear.


  • More costly
  • This can give the wood a dull look.



  • Cost-effective
  • Thicker composition results in fewer recoats.
  • Can give the wood more vivid colors


  • It has a strong odor.
  • It can end up causing the wood to be yellow  with time
  • It takes more time to dry.


Cedar Wood sealer’s purpose is to waterproof the surface. However, numerous types of wood sealers are available nowadays, each with its unique protective properties and intended use.

Nonetheless, there are a few things to look for in a wood sealer, mainly if the wood you are applying will be staying outside. The cedar wood sealer should have superb protection abilities below:

  • Waterproofing– Waterproofing prevents the moisture from seeping in and rotting, which helps keep a home livable throughout even harsh winters.
  • Prevention for Dark Stains- Fungi and mildew, for example, can cause unsightly dark spots to appear on wood over a period. Dark stain prevention products will keep the wood secure from these materials, ensuring a terrific appearance in the long term.
  • Uv Protection–  UV protection is essential for many reasons, but one of the most significant things to keep in mind is that it will help protect your wood from fading and splitting. The sun’s UV radiation can cause these issues when left unchecked. Most stains and sealers contain linseed oil to help them be more effective in protecting surfaces.

Color $ Aesthetics 

You can buy sealers that work as a stain. Find a cedar color ideal for your project. Oil-based sealers make wood darker, while water-based ones have less effect on the color of the cedar wood.



Spray-on finishes are the preferred method for a quality finish. They require less time and money than other types of applications, giving you more options regarding how much spray coverage your project needs to achieve an even result that lasts longer.

Most systems have several similarities, making them easy for anyone to use with minimal instruction on location setups.


Brushing has been a reliable way to apply sealers to various surfaces. Brushing is used for minor repairs and in areas where spray painting is not feasible. You should thin the material you need to spray to the appropriate consistency for brushing.

You can also use a lint-free cloth or a sponge to apply a wood sealer on smaller surfaces. 

Longevity/ Durability

Wood sealer is an excellent investment for your home. When buying a cedar sealer, consider the durability. Most wood-sealer formulas can last anywhere from one to three years before you re-apply another coat.


The different wood sealer has different maintenance needs. Buy a cedar wood sealer that’s easy to maintain.


When choosing a sealant for cedar, know that sealant pigment quality will impact the transparency of wood fibers and the natural cedar color after drying up.

Think about the color of your cedar wood to certify that the sealant you want to buy suits the cedar surface, or if you need it to stay unaffected, buy a clear wood sealant. 

The sealer’s opacity is classified as Toner, Semi-transparent, Semi-opaque, or Opaque-solid.

What Is a Wood Sealer, and How Does it Work?

A sealer is a product you apply to a wood surface to protect it from harm. Stain, shellac, paint, and oil are examples of sealers. Sealers effectively prevent moisture or chemical reactions from altering the pores of the wood.

Wood sealers function by penetrating the pores in your wood and preventing rot caused by water and other substances. 

Nonetheless, outdoor furniture and wood decks exposed to the sun or stay dumped for an extended period can cause the sealer to deteriorate.

That’s why you need to do maintenance coats after some time. Note: A simple cleaning with a mild detergent solution will usually regularly will bring back the surface finish.

If the wood is muddy or has algae and mold growth, the sealer will not penetrate. It is pointless to apply a cedar sealer to a scummy surface. That’s why you need to clean the wood and allow it to dry before application. 

Sealed Cedar: How to Seal Cedar Wood

Though cedar can withstand the elements of semitransparency, applying a sealant or a coat of paint will improve the color and safeguard the surface from UV light and the elements.

If left untreated, cedar’s red color can fade to gray one year. That’s why you should invest in a fade-resistant color to keep cedar surfaces naturally beautiful as long as you can.

You’ll preserve the integrity of the wood unless it is exposed to high moisture, which may cause curling, cracking, and wood decay.

Seal before applying the siding to the wall for professional results. This lets you seal your cedar wood from front to back, top to bottom, and all crevices and edges.

A complete seal is essential because any gaps in the seal are more vulnerable to moisture damage and chemical bleeding. Always invest in the best stain to avoid frustrations.

When applying the sealant to pre-installed siding, it is critical to clean the cedar wood surface rigorously. Pressure washing can cause cedar to degrade, so wash by hand.

A semitransparent stain comprising cedar-colored pigments is a suitable option. To keep the natural colors, renew it as needed.

Use a water-sealing finish if weather resistance is your primary concern and you don’t care about color. Most of these items contain paraffin, which forms a light coating inside the grain and hides water.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to seal cedar surfaces

Sealing Cedar Step by Step

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

Begin by preparing the surface. If the wood has previously been stained, use a wood stripper to remove it. Apply appropriate wood cleaner if the cedar does not have a coating or stain.

Step 2: Scrub

Use the lowest pressure achievable to clean the wood. When you use strippers or cleaners, you won’t have to scrub as hard because the cleaners will do most of the work. Avoid using masking tape to seal off areas you don’t have to seal. Use a painter’s tape instead.

Step 3: Brighten the Surface

Use a neutralizer that also serves as a wood brightener. To ensure that the stains conform to the wood, defuse it to a base of seven.

Allow it to dry. Based on the weather, the process could take twenty-four to forty-eight hours. 

Step 4: Check to see if the Cedar is completely dry

Using an advanced moisture meter, check to see if the wood is dry. If not, let the wood dry completely before sealing.

Step 5: Using an airless sprayer or a brush, seal the Cedar

Apply the sealer consistently and liberally to ensure a thick, even coat of paint on cedar. You can try an oil-based stain to protect the wood from rain and snow without flaking or peeling.

The only effective way to protect the wood from the damaging effects of the sun and rain is to seal it. Also, the only way to extend the life of cedar for many years is to keep it sealed and clean.  

To seal interior projects.

Try penetrating oils to seal interior cedar.  Penetrating oils are particularly efficient at sealing the wood grain while leaving the wood appearing organic and raw.

Interior sealing projects should begin with clean cedar, just like exterior sealing projects. To help oxygenate the room, open a window or door.

Brush or roll the sealant of choice onto your interior cedar piece. Allow the coating to dry before applying another coat fully.

It’s advisable to coat your cedar wood products with stains, sealers, and paint as most of them contain linseed oil for superb protection from the elements.


What is the best preservative for cedar?

Most finishes, including penetrating oils such as tung oil and linseed oil, work well to protect cedar. Penetrating oils are ideal for sealing the wood grain while still leaving the wood appearing raw and natural.

Can Cedar be Stained and Sealed?

Yes, you can stain and seal cedar. However, if you need to enjoy the scents of incense cedar and Western Red Cedar, let the surface stay unsealed. 

 If you’re going to use cedar for an outdoor project, apply a light seal coat to protect it from moisture and sunlight.

What Can I Put on My Cedar to Keep the Color and Wood grain?

Apply a primer before a stain to provide an additional barrier against discoloration. You can try alkyd oil-based primers as they are exceptional at protecting your cedar wood.  

How Do You Weatherproof Cedar Wood surface?

Cedar tends to lose some of its natural oils as it ages, making it susceptible to water damage and insect infestation. So, you need to seal it regularly to fortify its defense against elements. 

Does cedar need to be sealed?

Cedar is a long-lasting choice for indoor and outdoor building projects due to its natural resistance against rot and decay, so a protective finish is not required.

Is Thompson’s water Seal Good for Cedar?

Yes. Apart from protecting your cedar from damage, it also adds a gorgeous color. It comes in five incredible colors, including Sequoia Red, Woodland Cedar, Acorn Brown, Harvest Gold,  and Maple Brown, 

How Long Will Cedar Last Outside?

A cedar deck might last for fifteen-twenty years, based on maintenance routine and the environment.

Cedar is a tough wood and naturally resists insect attacks and rot. It also repels moisture exceptionally, so it requires little maintenance, and it doe not split easily. 

Related Post: How Long Does Treated Wood Last

Can You use Polyurethane on Cedar?

Cedarwood, just like other smooth woods, can and must be protected with polyurethane. Polyurethane prevents dirt, dust, and oil from adhering to the cedar, which dampens and harms it.

How Often Should I Apply Seal on Cedar Deck?

You should reseal and stain your cedar deck after two or three years. Some deck sealants double up as a stain, allowing you to complete both tasks with a single product. 

See Also: Will Outdoor Carpet Rot my Deck?

What is Used to Apply a Sealer?

Apply the sealer with a clean, synthetic Bristle brush. You can also use a paint sprayer for massive surfaces as it’s economical and effective. A paint roller can also help when working on vertical surfaces where a paint sprayer can’t reach.

What Are the Advantages of Exterior Wood Stain Over Other Stains?

In contrast to film-forming finishes such as paint and sealants, stains penetrate a wood surface and infuse color without establishing a layer that might crack and peel over time.   

Although stains might not be as durable as some exterior wood finishes, they are notable for their ease of application and low maintenance needs.

What is the Best Cedar Deck Sealer?

When compared to other finishing options such as paint, using wood sealers on cedar has numerous advantages. The best sealer for cedar does not change the appearance of your deck or furniture but rather enhances its natural beauty.

It’s also more cost-effective and easier to use while also extending the life of the wood.

Our top pick for the best wood sealer for the cedar is 100% Pure Tung Oil Finish Wood Stain & Natural Sealer.

It’s durable, non-toxic, you can use it on different surfaces, and it repels sun, water, and stains exceptionally.

2 thoughts on “Best Sealer for Cedar Wood (Deck and Siding)”

  1. Thank you for this detailed, helpful information! We are part way through having our Western Red Cedar cleaned and stained, and have noticed some problems resulting from power washing: color inconsistency (some areas were sprayed with a heavy hand), uneven surface, gouges, splintering, etc. I sick to my stomach. We are discussing with our contractor, and have stopped the job at least temporarily. ~ They did not wash the surfaces to kill mold and mildew, which after reading several articles, should absolutely be done before spray washing. I mentioned to the contractor that I wasn’t confident the workers had any experience doing ceder, and he said they have been working for him for 1-1/2 years. My guess – they have never worked on cedar and were proceeding as though they were power washing and scraping paint. In fact, when we pointed out that they didn’t finish around doors and windows, they used a metal scraper and went with and AGAINST the grain. It’s very noticeable. Again, I feel sick. The contractor was out of town until today, when he said he would come look at it. If you could be so kind as to offer any suggestions, we would very much appreciate it. We are not assertive and detest confrontation; we are very stressed! Thank you for reading my long message. Sincerely, Terri

    • Welcome to the fun experience of trying to hire a contractor.

      You need to contact their insurance company asap and have them start a claim for restorations/repairs with an experienced wood restoration company.

      Wood cleaning and restoration is its own niche service within power washing and requires knowing what you’re doing. Specialty cleaners (nonchlorine for cedar especially) and low pressure (1000 psi or less) are needed to avoid bleaching out the color and/or gouging/splintering wood. From what I’m reading, these guys need to be out of the picture and let insurance and a knowledgeable company handle it.

      Some general contractors can have a habit of making power washing sound like something you have your teenage kid do on the side after the real work is done, and tend to damage the crap out of things. It is best to hire an actual cleaning company for cleaning needs. It’s more than just pointing and blasting most of the time. You will most likely have sanding and or boards being replaced to make it right at this point.

      Also, to avoid confrontation, just get his insurance info, and everything else goes through them. I saw where an entire cedar shake roof got replaced once because a guy left clean spots from doing the siding below. The contractor was never even notified until his policy went up, and he asked why.

      Sorry, this happened to you. Stuff like this is incredibly annoying for those of us that take pride in our work.


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