Because of the inherent nature of cedar wood to withstand insect attack and the outdoor elements, cedar does not require a finish to keep its structure over the years. Many folks prefer to allow their cedar furniture to "naturally age" outdoors without a stain or finish. Over time the colorful tones of the wood slowly weather to a handsome silver-grey and the grain of the wood will become slightly raised. All hardware used at GMSF is stainless steel and guaranteed for life. Additionally, stainless steel will not react with the cedar resin to form dark streaks like zinc plated hardware will over time.
If you prefer to keep your furniture looking new, check out the finishing options listed below...
or inquire about having us finish it for you.
A good wood sealer such as Thompson's Wood Sealer is useful by blocking the pores of the wood. This inhibits the grain from becoming raised yet allows the natural fading of the wood to a gentle silvery-gray color. Thompson also makes a UV-blocking sealer that will prevent the cedar from turning gray and keep it looking new. Product must be applied every year or two.
If you would like to preserve the colorful tones of the freshly sanded cedar any number of finishes can be used on cedar furniture. The types we have tried and recommend are good quality penetrating sealers and transparent or solid exterior stains. There is a wide variety of colors to choose from which makes it easy to match your existing decor. We recommend 1 or 2 coats of a semi transparent stain with a UV inhibitor such as a penetrating oil finish from Penofin (cedar color), or 'Sikkens Cetol 1' (natural) to preserve the handsome look of your furniture. Every 2nd or 3rd year you might re-apply a coat of stain to freshen the finish. Little or no sanding, preparation, or primer is needed when you use a stain. Several wood sealers now contain Ultra Violet inhibitors that can be used to further preserve the fresh tones of the wood.
Paint will work fine but as on any exterior surface, over time will begin to flake and will eventually need scraping and refinishing. Stain, however, is "breathable" and will not trap moisture, therefore - no blistering, no peeling.
We do not recommend using oil finishes on your outdoor furniture as dust particles in the air will stick to the finish.