Can You Put Polyurethane On Outdoor Cedar Wood?

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Cedar wood is a popular choice for outdoor applications due to its natural beauty, durability, and resistance to rot and decay. However, to ensure its longevity and protect it from the elements, it is important to consider sealing the wood. Sealing cedar wood offers several benefits, including enhanced durability, protection against moisture, UV rays, and preservation of its natural appearance.

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Debunking the Myth: Do You Really Need to Seal Cedar Wood?

Cedar wood possesses inherent qualities that make it suitable for outdoor use without the need for sealing. Firstly, cedar wood is known for its stability, meaning it is less prone to warping or cracking compared to other types of wood. Additionally, cedar wood contains natural oils and compounds that make it naturally resistant to rot and decay. However, it is important to note that while cedar is naturally rot-resistant, it is not entirely weatherproof.

Can You Put Polyurethane On Outdoor Cedar Wood?

Exploring the Ideal Sealers for Cedar Wood

When it comes to selecting the best sealer for cedar wood, it is crucial to choose a product that enhances its natural properties while providing adequate protection. While polyurethane is a common choice for sealing wood, it may not be the ideal option for outdoor cedar applications. Polyurethane is a film-forming finish that can create a non-flexible protective layer on the surface of the wood. However, prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause the transparent film to degrade, leading to cracking and eventual failure.

Exploring the Ideal Sealers for Cedar Wood

Selecting the Right Type of Polyurethane for Outdoor Cedar

If you decide to use polyurethane as a sealer for your outdoor cedar wood, it is important to choose the right type of polyurethane specifically designed for exterior use. Look for a polyurethane that offers UV protection and is formulated to withstand outdoor conditions. Water-based polyurethane is generally recommended as it tends to be more resistant to UV damage compared to oil-based varieties. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and apply multiple thin coats for better durability.

Should I put polyurethane on cedar

Transparent, non-flexible, film-forming finishes like lacquer, shellac, urethane, and varnish should be avoided for exterior use on cedar. These types of finishes create a protective film that may initially seem effective, but over time, they are susceptible to degradation due to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The UV rays can penetrate the transparent film, leading to the deterioration of the underlying wood. No matter how many coats of these finishes are applied, they will eventually become brittle, develop severe cracks, and ultimately fail in their protective function. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for alternative finishes specifically designed for exterior use on cedar, which offer better UV resistance and durability, ensuring the long-lasting beauty and protection of the wood.

Should I put polyurethane on cedar


  natural properties that make it suitable for outdoor use without sealing, applying a protective sealer can enhance its longevity and appearance. While polyurethane is a common choice, it is essential to select the right type of polyurethane designed for outdoor applications. Consider other suitable sealers as well, such as penetrating oils or specialized cedar sealants. Whichever sealer you choose, make sure to follow the application instructions and maintain regular maintenance to preserve the beauty and durability of your outdoor cedar wood.

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Tom Hiddleston is a renowned expert in wood appraisal and a skilled craftsman with a wealth of experience in the woodworking industry. With over 20 years of experience, Tom has established himself as a leading authority in the field of wood identification, grading, and evaluation.

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