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Finishing cedar indoor table

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Forum topic by emantx10 posted 306 days ago 2553 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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emantx10

2 posts in 306 days


306 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: cedar finishing poly stain

I am finishing a 80”x44” cedar dining room table. (cedar is from home depot) After reading a few threads here cedar might not have been a good choice but it has been built. We wanted to do a gray look like you would see at restoration hardware but I tested some gray stain on this wood and it did not see to take well. We would rather not go with a dark brown. A few other things
- What is the best stain for cedar knowing all this?
- My wife likes the natural look of wood not the shiny poly look and feel. Is there a way to protect the wood but still give it a natural look?

Thanks for any help I am very new to all this.

E


7 replies so far

View Henry6's profile

Henry6

36 posts in 528 days


#1 posted 306 days ago

Cedar used in the interior requires less protection than exterior,cedar needs nothing more than protection against abrasion and stains from water and other liquids so finishes also works provide an easily cleanable surface as well as modifying cedar’s color.

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RussellAP

2895 posts in 788 days


#2 posted 306 days ago

Depending on how you use the table, everyday or off in a corner hardly used, different finishes will be necessary. Cedar dents easy so you should probably consider something that would harden it a bit.
The more you use it the rougher it’s going to look, so you might want to go with that from the start and just leave it plain.

Some of the pour on finishes will give more protection and you can make them gloss or satin.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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HerbC

1084 posts in 1360 days


#3 posted 306 days ago

Red cedar, when exposed to UV radiation (sunlight) for extended periods of time, will naturally turn “grey”. Use a finish which will provide protection from spills but with no UV blockers. Keep the table in a room which gets plenty of direct sunlight and in a year or two it will be the silver/grey color your wife desires.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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emantx10

2 posts in 306 days


#4 posted 300 days ago

This will be used daily as our dining room table. I’ve tested a few oil based stains and it looks weird. I also used a conditioner before to help with blotchy spots but it looks like its separating around the lines and knots. We really want a walnut or light brown. Any advice?

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1320 posts in 862 days


#5 posted 300 days ago

Waterborne poly floor finish in a satin sheen.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2895 posts in 788 days


#6 posted 300 days ago

I’d use Charles Niel’s pre color conditioner. Give it a coat really wet and let it dry, then just wipe it with some 320G paper, then do it again. You can safely use stain after that without blotch, but don’t let it sit. Cedar is absorbent. Some oils will harden the wood a bit, but not that you’d notice on cedar. The natural grey that cedar gets is accompanied by drying and cracking/splintering, so I’d finish it for indoor use.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View redSLED's profile

redSLED

647 posts in 394 days


#7 posted 300 days ago

No, no, no. If it’s a grey weathered look you want (Restoration Hardware look you mentioned), you need to do some distressing first, then a steel wool & vinegar stain job AFTER FINAL ASSEMBLY * – then a satin or less sheen protective coat. A water based clear coat will give you a more flatter, non-deepening wood grain tone (“more natural look”) vs. an oil based coat on cedar. Using stains to achieve that greyed look will be hit and miss, IMHO.

If you have time, do some samples w.r.t. to the above – you will not be disappointed.

  • You will have to make your own cedar-sawdust-based wood filler if you use any filler, so that it will turn grey also from the vinegar & steel wool staining.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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