Aromatic Cedar Turned Finish Recommendation needed

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Forum topic by Woodcarver posted 06-16-2010 05:22 PM 7833 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2848 days

06-16-2010 05:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finish cedar wood turning

Yesterday I finished turning a 12” x 8” vase-like hollow form in a chunk of very dry aromatic cedar (a donation from Katrina). I sanded it now from 60 to 800 grit and I now ready to apply some finish. What finish is recommended for cedar? We don’t plan on using it for food. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

-- Jim, South Louisiana,

6 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


115167 posts in 2994 days

#1 posted 06-16-2010 05:25 PM

lacquer should work.

-- Custom furniture

View hairy's profile


2375 posts in 2949 days

#2 posted 06-16-2010 07:02 PM

I used straight tung oil on this. It was very dry wood, and sucked up a lot of oil.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View Stonekettle's profile


135 posts in 2322 days

#3 posted 06-18-2010 09:12 PM

I use a combination of orange oil and beeswax on cedar. Brings out the color of the wood, provides a mild shine, and plenty of protection. It’s non-toxic and also smells good.

I use it extensively on red cedar turned birdhouses. If you want to seal it, you can even apply Mylan’s friction polish over the top of it with no problems.

You can make your own mix, but you can buy it cheaply in quart squeeze bottles at Home Deport or Lowes.

Nice urn BTW

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3545 days

#4 posted 06-18-2010 09:37 PM

Note: Sometimes aromatic cedar will contain natural oils that interfere with the proper curing (polymerization) of drying oils such as linseed oil and pure tung oil.

For aromatic cedar art objects, I like to seal the wood with dewaxed shellac then use top coats of wiping varnish.

Eastern Red Cedar is plentiful here in Kentucky. Most of the local cedar furniture craftsmen I know are using spray lacquer for finishing.

-- 温故知新

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2401 days

#5 posted 06-19-2010 05:40 PM

I use poly on mine but it detracts the red of the aromatic cedar turning it to a tan color.
So if I may ask a question? What do you use to keep the bright red color. I like the look with poly but would like to do some with the red. I have about a 1000 bf of aromatic cedar. So I would like to be versified in my finishes.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3545 days

#6 posted 06-19-2010 08:56 PM

Regardless of the finish, aromatic cedar will turn brown with time; especially in sunlight.

Many of the waterborne polyurethane finishes will dry almost clear.
I know several cedar artisans that are using this kind of finishing product.

-- 温故知新

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