outdoor cedar project. what kind of finish should I use?

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Forum topic by Kenny Blackburn posted 03-21-2011 04:46 AM 2153 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kenny Blackburn

35 posts in 2651 days

03-21-2011 04:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cedar finishing question

I am building an outdoor planter box out of cedar & I want to put a finish on it. What can I use that will help keep the natural look of the cedar & be durable enough for the outdoors?

3 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2872 days

#1 posted 03-21-2011 04:56 AM

Whatever you put on it will require periodic maintenance. Leaving it to gray naturally will not.

Watco makes an exterior product, I think Cetol does. These are oils, not film finishes. For further options I’d search “oil finish boats” and you’ll get lots more and likely better info.

Cedar, being very porous, likes to take in moisture, so sealing up as much end grain as possible with the oil will be a good practice.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Kent's profile


42 posts in 3857 days

#2 posted 03-21-2011 05:02 AM

Make sure you line the inside of the planter to avoid soil contact on the cedar.

linseed oil works well; there are many oils that work well; some people thin out the linseed oil and give it a few coats; it will only last a season.

cedar needs nothing and sealing the end grain like Lea is a great idea. solid color stain works well.

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Kenny Blackburn

35 posts in 2651 days

#3 posted 03-22-2011 10:24 AM

Thanks for the input guys. I think I will just leave it natural after looking further into it. Sounds like a lot less maintenance, plus after getting more into the project it looks good that way.

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