Best Clear Cedar Finish for Outdoors 2023

October 4, 2023

Outdoor cedar furnitures and deck stained with clear finish.

Linseed oil is the finest clear Cedar finish stain for the outdoors. Any oil finish that dries clearly uses linseed oil as its main component. There are other types of clear water-based stains available in the market, but Linseed oil-based stain lasts longer than they do.

Most Recommended Clear Cedar Finishes That Suitable for Outdoor Furniture

Last update on 2024-05-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1) Cabot 140.0003400.005 Australian Timber Oil

Use this outdoor-specific wood oil to keep your deck or patio looking beautiful all year long. The product has a special linseed mix that preserves thick wood and makes the furniture last longer.

This product’s long oil alkyds provide a durable finish, while the pure tung oil provides water resistance and color saturation. The iron oxide pigments in this exceptional wood oil also guarantee that the oil’s UV-absorbing surface remains constant. This preserves the original color and texture of the fabric.

The product’s application is simple, requiring just one coat to provide a pleasing result. While drying may take some time (between 1- 2 days), it may provide a high-quality finish that can endure for years if done correctly.

Oils, in general, are moisture-prone and dust-absorbent, but using this product correctly may protect you or any other user from these problems.

2) LinSheen Boiled Linseed Oil

Flaxseed oil is obtained by pressing the fully mature seeds. The unprocessed oil was heated to almost a hundred degrees centigrade over a period of many days.

That’s how we obtain the penetrating clear finish that dries quickly. Without altering the hue of your cedar, this finish penetrates fast and completely protects against insects, mold, and mildew.

While it does provide some protection from UV rays and water, the degree of protection provided by this film foaming finish is less than that of other similar finishes. You should use Linseed oil to refinish your outdoor cedar every six months.

There is a quick-drying ingredient in the oil that makes drying and absorption go faster. Outdoor cedarwood can easily absorb the oil in 10-15 minutes, which is great news.

Outdoor cedar requires a minimum of two-three coats applied over a period of 12 to 24 hours, with a cure time of 1-2 days for the final wood.

Linseed oil’s best characteristic is how simple it is to use. Use a cloth, brush, or roller to apply the cedar wood treatment oil. Concrete, cork, terracotta, metal, and other types of indoor-outdoor wood, such as cabinets, cedar chest, and other home furniture, may all be finished with this finish in addition to outdoor cedar.

3) Defy Extreme Exterior Clear Wood Stain

Premium grade water-based Defy Extreme wood stain is ideal for use on a variety of wood surfaces, such as patio furniture, outdoor play sets, decks, and doors. Additionally, it’s a wood stain that’s safe for the environment, thanks to a natural ingredient that helps prevent graying from sun exposure.

Defy Extreme Wood Stains use zinc and nanoparticle technology to protect your cedar furniture from the sun. Tiny zinc particles are dispersed throughout the stained surface, preventing color loss, fading, and premature graying.

Use this on your wood to get a long-lasting finish that won’t fade or darken over the course of a season.

In addition to being simple to use, upkeep is also simplified for users. If you’re applying a maintenance coat, you do not have to worry about sanding or stripping since it is not required. A single coat of this wood stain plus a brightener will take care of the problem.


You may have both natural aesthetics and full protection for your cedar structures from the outdoors if you use Seal-Once Marine Penetrating Wood Sealer.

The most appealing aspect of this finish is the use of nanotechnology. Are you interested in learning how it may benefit your cedar outdoor fixtures? Allow me to clarify-

Thanks to nanotechnology, the finish penetrates the wood’s cellular level. It then forms a permeable water vapor barrier to keep the wood from warping, cupping or decaying due to fungal growth or rot.

Isn’t it awesome? There’s also a UV coating to keep the wood safe from damaging ultraviolet radiation.

With 11 natural colors to choose from, it’s a penetrating transparent water-based finish. Depending on your requirements, you may choose a clear or colored finish.

What about the safety of the food being served?

This is a point on which the company stands firm. In addition, it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, is flammable, or has a strong odor. It’s also easy to clean with water and soap because of the oil-free coating.

Another aspect you may like is how simple it is to use and how quickly it dries. Applying it is simple thanks to synthetic brushes, pump-up garden sprayers, and sprayers with and without air assist. Two coats, separated by an hour, are usually needed to get the desired look and level of outdoor protection.

5) Minwax 630510444

The Minwax brand’s polyurethane is another top pick. Brands in the United States use Miniwax to polish and stain wood.

It’s possible you’re already familiar with spar urethane and why it’s so common for outdoor wood. Just so if you do not know, cold, hot, water, and UV rays aren’t going to harm Spar Urethane’s properties. Mold and rot won’t either.

And I’m sure you’re on the lookout for a finish that will guard your outside cedar against pests. Indoor wooden projects such as bar tops, cabinets, and kitchen counters may be finished in addition to outside fixtures.

The additional oil in it also aids the wood’s ability to expand and compress in response to variations in weather.

It’s safe for dogs and pets, just like any other poly. You can easily clean the clear topcoat with water and soap.

The clear coat has a semi-glossy sheen to it. You may also have it in satin or glossy finish if you like that look.

For outdoor cedar, a maximum of three coats is sufficient, but you may increase or decrease the number of coats as necessary. It is recommended to recoat after 4 hours using a bristle brush for best results and protection.

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Clear Cedar Finish for the Outdoors:

Since cedar furniture has such long-lasting qualities as sturdiness, rusty and bright hues, and high resistance to insects, it has become more popular. This kind of wood is often used for constructing outdoor structures such as decks, fences, and garden furniture.


The cedar’s durability is undeniable even in inclement weather. Decks, garden sets, and other outdoor furniture are all affected by the weather and temperature in your region. Choose a transparent or natural finish for your Cedar over an oil-based one if the weather is often dry. 


If properly finished and cared for, red cedars may endure for decades. Choose a finish that improves the endurance of the wood while preserving its natural color and requiring little to no care.


How bright should a cedar wood have? The most common sheens for wood finishes are glossy, semi-glossy, high gloss, satin, and matte. The brightness level is something you have to decide on.

If you’re unsure about the shine level, start with a tiny piece of wood and try it out. Gently sanding and brushing the surface will allow you to fine-tune the shine.

Drying Time, Required Coat and Sanding

The majority of the transparent coatings are fast to dry. After that, see how long it will be until you can apply the second coat, and it will be completely cured.

The amount of coat and sanding that is necessary is mostly determined by personal preference. Multiple applications give the wood a plastic-like sheen and finish. As a result, if one coat is sufficient to achieve your goals, there’s no need to add another.

If you don’t like the shine, try lightly sanding it with a gritted wheel.

Application Process

The last consideration is the method used to apply the finish. Rollers, cloths, sprayers, and brushes are all options for applying finishes.

The applicator information may be found on the finish’s label. Make your selection based on how easy it will be to use.

The distinctive beauty of cedar cannot be denied. Changing the hue of cedar is unappealing to many woodworkers and house owners. Commercial wood finishes, on the other hand, may include stains or have a propensity to fade.

If you want to preserve your cedar looking natural, you’ll need to choose a stain or finish that won’t fade or alter the color. For cedar, I’d suggest using a water-based clear finish, which is the best option.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Advantages of Using Cedar for Outdoor?

In terms of outdoor furniture and fixtures, there are many choices to select from. However, Cedar is often regarded as the finest option due to various factors. For starters, the inherent oil content of cedar gives it natural water and rot resistance.

Second, this wood has been put to the test for drooping and warping resistance. It is very long-lasting, with a 30-year lifespan possible.

Finally, the gracefulness with which Cedar ages is a well-known quality of the wood. You may either leave it unpainted or apply a clear lacquer to prevent the wood from becoming a grey or silvery tint as time passes.

What is the Best Way to Maintain My Cedar Furnishings?

Because of its natural solidity and beauty, Cedarwood is unquestionably a worthwhile investment. However, you may extend its useful life by taking the essential precautions to keep a product in good condition.

Selecting the right sealant for your cedarwood is critical for long-term preservation. Dust, molds, water, and potential discoloration may all be prevented using sealants. When it comes to the latter, the best option is to use a UV-blocking solution to cover your furnishings.

Additionally, placing your outdoor wooden furniture in a shaded location can help it endure for years.

Is it Safe to Use Polyurethane on Cedar?

Polyurethane protection coats work well with cedar and other quality woods. Use them to protect your cedar furniture against damage or dullness caused by oil, dust, grime, and other pollutants.

We suggest cleaning the cedar furniture with a mix of fine cloth and hot water before applying polyurethane. Allow it to dry fully before applying a polyurethane coat.

Before applying the first layer, make sure the wood is completely free of oil and debris by doing this first cleaning.

Related Posts:

Leave a Comment