Best Sealer for Cedar – Sealers That Will Enhance the Beauty & Protect The Wood

Cedarwoods are the favorite of most people due to their impressive look. But with time due to the moisture and UV-ray, they start to wear off. It loses its beauty and your outdoor furniture or other wooden items no longer looks beautiful.

Are you already experiencing something like that? And thinking about changing them?

You won’t have to change anything, all you have to do is find the best sealer for cedar and apply appropriately.

We are here to help you find the best sealer for cedar wood. Below we have listed down 6 best cedar wood sealers, each of them is thoroughly reviewed so that you know everything about them. After that, we have compiled a buying guide as well so that you can pick the right sealer on your own.

That said, let’s dive right into the reviews!

6 Best Sealer for Cedar Wood 

1. Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Seal

If you are looking for a sealer that will protect the wood from UV rays and water damage, this Ready seal 512 is your thing. It is not only a sealer, it is a stain as well. And before apply it doesn’t require the primer. After applying on the initial stage this sealer or stain will become dark. Don’t freak out, it will take a few days to reach its true color.

This stain can be applied by roller, brush, or sprayer. Can be used on any kind of woods but it serves best on cedarwood. If you are using the brush to apply the stain, you don’t have to do any back brushing, there won’t be any streaks or laps.

There isn’t any temperature range for using this sealer, it can be used under any temperature. Plus, it doesn’t require a wet line application. The most satisfying part about this sealer is, you don’t need to prepare the wood before applying it. Most of stain or sealer requires sanding or stripping, but that isn’t in case of this exterior seal.

If applied well, this sealer will make the wood UV-resistant, the sunlight wouldn’t be able to damage the wood anymore. Plus, it prevents moisture as well, protects the wood from mildew. And if we talk about the color, it enhances the natural wood color. Plus, it also comes in 7 different color tones.

And lastly, unlike some sealer, this Ready Seal 512 sealer dries way too fast. Doesn’t take more than 45-minutes. However, there is something that is a little unpleasant and that is the color life span of this stain. The color starts to fade after 6-month but still, investing in this would be a wise decision.

The Pros

  • It dries within 45-minutes.
  • Very easy to apply and maintain.
  • Ultraviolet light-resistant sealer.
  • Comes in 7 classy color tones.
  • Protects the wood from mildew.

The Con

  • The color starts fading after 6-months.

2. Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain

The Deck Premium Semi-transparent wood stain is one of the top-notch wood sealers on the market right now. As you have noticed on the name, there is a #1. It is a semi-transparent wood stain that enhances the natural color of the wood and also adds little color as well. This sealer penetrates deep inside the wood and seals so well that water cannot penetrate inside and make the wood rot.

Not only water, with this sealer that wood is protected from the harmful UV ray as well. It is not only a sealer, it is a stain as well. And can be applied to any outdoor wooden items whether it is the fence, railing, door, or furniture. It suits all kinds of softwoods such as redwood, cedar, fir, etc.

This sealer is a water-based formula so cleaning wouldn’t be an issue. Applying this sealer is also pretty simple, you can use a sprayer, roller, or brush. Since it is a semi-transparent sealer, the wood grain will be shown. And it comes in 5 different tones, you can choose one that will blend nicely with the wood grains natural color. Moreover, since it comes with a very low amount of chemical solvents, it is very environment-friendly.

Overall, this Deck premium sealer is a top-notch one, no doubt about that. But in heavy rains, the sealer might not be able to protect the wood from the water.

The Pros

  • It is a sealer and a stain as well.
  • Protects the wood from water penetration.
  • Prevents UV-ray from damaging the wood.
  • Comes in 5 beautiful color tones.
  • Suitable for all kinds of softwoods.
  • Comes with low VOCs.

The Con

  • Cannot protect the wood from water fully.

3. Star Brite Premium Golden Teakwood Oil

The star brite premium teak oil is designed to protect the wood from harsh weather. It is used on the boats so that saltwater cannot damage the wood, which should give insight into how powerful this oil is. It is suitable for cedar and teak woods, there are some other woods as well where this oil could be used but they perform at their best on cedar and teak.

As the name suggests it is sealant oil and penetrates inside the wood so that it can seal better. If applied accurately and dried properly, doesn’t matter how badly it rains outside, water wouldn’t be able to do any damage to the wood. Apart from that, there is some additive in this oil that blocks the UV-ray and due to that the gets saved from early fading and color loss.

If we talk about the appearance, this sealer does make the wood look good. It has a kind of warm golden tone and it really makes the furniture look like new. And like some other sealer of the market, the color wouldn’t fade away within 6 months, the color is very long-lasting and so is the sealing.

Using this sealer oil is so effortless. It can be sprayed and brushed. We would suggest going with the brushing if there is a small area to cover. Otherwise, go with the spray. And if the wood surface is very smooth, this sealer gives good coverage as well.

The Pros

  • Enhances the natural wood grain color.
  • Seals the wood extremely well.
  • Protects the wood from water and UV ray.
  • Super easy to apply and maintain.
  • It dries pretty quick.
  • The color lasts very long.

The Cons

  • The wood needs to be prepared before applying.
  • It is a little expensive.

4. THOMPSONS WATERSEAL TH.041851-16 Transparent Waterproofing Sealer

Here we have another two in one product, the Thompson Waterseal TH 041851-16 sealer. As the name suggests, it is a waterproof sealer and it does live up to the user’s expectation in terms of protection from water. It is a water-based sealer and it does penetrate inside the wood and seals properly. And due to that no water can penetrate and cause the wood to rot.

It is a clear seal, so don’t worry about the wood’s natural beauty is hidden. The texture and grain color will be clearly shown. Talking about the color, this sealer comes with advanced polymers that make the color very long-lasting and fade-resistant. There are a bunch of sealers in the market whose color wouldn’t last even for 6 months but this one is really different.

You can use this sealer and stain on different wood types but it works amazingly on cedarwood. Apart from the water protection, this sealer does provide decent protection from the UV ray as well. And not to forget, it prevents mildew as well.

Like other sealers on this list, this one is also pretty easy to apply, can be rolled, brushed, and sprayed. However, it does not dry quickly but neither it takes very long. After applying it, leave it for 2-hour, that would be enough. And when applying make sure to not apply under direct sunlight.

The Pros

  • It is a sealer and a wood stain as well.
  • Comes with Polymer that makes the color last very long.
  • Seals so well that no water can penetrate inside the wood.
  • It preserves and enhances the natural wood color.
  • Very easy to apply and clean.
  • Dries within 2-hour.

The Con

  • This sealer needs preparation before using such as mixing.

5. General Finishes Exterior wood stain

General is one of the well-reputed brands when it comes down to high-quality stains and sealers. And this General finishes exterior wood stain isn’t any different. It is a water-based sealer and lives up to the user’s expectation. However, this was specially designed to be applied on a vertical surface, it isn’t suitable for applying on horizontal surfaces.

This sealer gives good coverage and if the wood surface is extremely smooth, then you are going to great coverage. Applying this sealer or stain is very easy, thanks to its smooth flowing texture that makes the job smooth and very satisfying. Can be applied through the brush, roller, or sprayer. And it would leave any brush mark behind so you won’t have to back brush it.

Maintaining this stain or sealer is effortless. Just use soap & water and then wipe clean the surface, it will get cleaned. And don’t worry about water penetration. This sealer seals very well that water cannot penetrate. Not only from water, but this sealer also protects the wood from the UV ray and Mildew as well.

It contains UV absorbing pigments and Mildewcides, these are what does the wonder. However, it would have been best if the color of this sealer would have been fade-resistant. Unfortunately, the color fades and this is due to the UV-ray. Though it comes with UV-absorbing pigments but still UV penetrates inside and causes the color to fade.

And lastly, according to the manufacturer, this sealer or stain is best for fences, furniture, and patio.

The Pros

  • Very smooth flow textured stain.
  • Easy to apply on smooth surfaces.
  • Protects wood from moisture.
  • Easy to clean the surface.
  • Protects the wood from mildew.

The Con

  • Color fades.

6. Olympic Stain 56500-04 Maximum Waterproofing Sealant

And this is the last sealant on the list. Though it is a little expensive but delivers great value for the money. It is one of the best cedar deck sealers, for deck this one is extremely popular. In fact, this Olympic Stain 56500 is the best production of the brand so far. As the name suggests, it is a waterproofing sealant and it does live up to that.

It delivers incredible waterproofing ability, doesn’t matter how bad or hard it is raining water wouldn’t be able to penetrate inside the wood. This sealant can be used in both outdoor and indoor, it is suitable for both. Apart from the waterproofing, it does a good job of blocking the ultraviolet light as well. UV ray is what causes the wood to lose its color but that will not be the scenario when the wood has worn this Olympic sealant coating.

This sealer enhances the natural wood grain color as well. The manufacturer has used weather-ready formula in this sealer and that enables you to apply this under any weather condition. That being said, do not apply it under direct sunlight.

The Pros

  • This stain is incredibly well in waterproofing wood.
  • It blocks the UV-ray and saves the wood from discoloring.
  • Very effortless to apply on a smooth surface.
  • Can be used on both exterior and interior wooden items.
  • Improves the natural wood color.

The Con

  • Little expensive.

Read more on Best Clean Cedar Finish for Outdoors

What are the Benefits of Using Sealer on Cedar Wood?

best sealer for cedar

There are a bunch of benefits of using a sealer on cedarwood. Not only cedarwood, sealers beneficial for all kinds of woods. There are benefits that are visible, some are invisible. However, in this very section, we are going to discuss all the benefits that wood gains from an ideal sealer.

Easy to use

Compared to paint, sealers are way too easy to apply. There are different kinds of sealers but water-based sealers don’t even require priming before the application. Plus, sealers come pre-ready, they are ready to be used right out of the can. Moreover, if we compare sealers with paint, sealers are extremely comfortable to apply both on the old and new wood surfaces.

Protects from Rotting

There are chances that every wood will rot, doesn’t matter how hard or soft the wood is. Since woods are natural, the UV-ray and the moisture causes them to rot. But wood sealers can prevent that, as long as you pick the ideal one. Sealers can penetrate deep into the wood and seals which prevent moisture to penetrate the grains and cause rotting.

On the other hand, UV ray also does huge damage to the wood. The most common reason behind the early fading of the wood is the UV ray, it makes the wood look very ugly. An ideal sealer will prevent the UV-ray from penetrating, so the wood will be safe from the UV ray as well.

Preserves the Beauty

This is one of the most major reasons why people go for sealers. Because it preserves the beauty, in fact, in some cases wood sealers even enhance the beauty of the wood. And when the wood is faded, the sealer does an excellent job there. It tries to restore the natural color tone, sometimes the tone doesn’t reach to exact previous tone but they still make an ugly wood look very beautiful.

Easy on the Wallet

One popular way of finishing the wood is painting, you can tell it is a traditional method. But paint peels off soon. And if the weather is too harsh, then they peel off too soon. On the other hand, you can rely on sealers. As long as you stick to the ideal sealer, it will last very long. And compared to the paint, sealers are way too affordable.

How to Choose the Best Sealer for Cedar Wood?

Just keep a few things in mind while purchasing a wood sealer, and you will end up landing on the right sealer for the wood. Below we are going to discuss about some major considerations that one needs to make when purchasing, go through the entire guide, it is going to turn extremely beneficial for everyone who needs an ideal wood sealer.


Water causes major damage to the wood, it causes wood to rot, so protection from water is a must. There are some sealers that seal the wood so well that doesn’t matter how bad it is raining, no water would be able to penetrate inside. And there are also some which offer decent protection from water.

We would recommend you to go with the sealer that doesn’t let water penetrate at all. Those sealers might be a little expensive but they are worth the investment. And in the long run, you will be on the winning side.

Ultraviolet light protection

After water, the most damaging thing to wood is the UV-ray. It causes wood to fade very soon and makes the wooden items look extremely ugly. Some sealers come with UV blocking additives like Zinc. If you want your wood to be highly protected and beautiful, do not hesitate to invest in a sealer that is both water and UV ray-resistant.


Mildew also damages the wood, but not as much as water and UV-ray. Still, since it damages doesn’t matter if it is little damage, you should do something to protect the wood. You will find sealers which are Mildew and dust-resistant as well, they could be a great option. There are sealers that come with everything, they are UV-ray, water, and mildew-resistant. Plus, offers a good color tone as well.

Types of Sealers

There are different types of sealers but the two most common types are Water-based and polyurethane sealers. Water-based sealers are highly preferred by homeowners. These sealers don’t change the appearance but they are highly environment friendly.

They come with very low chemical solvents which makes it safe for use around pets and kids. However, some water-based sealers penetrate into the wood grain and cause the wood to expand a bit.

On the other hand, polyurethane sealers are not environment friendly, they contain high chemical solvents so they are not safe using around kids and pets. But the best part of these sealers is they are incredibly durable and they can clean easily with soapy water. Polyurethane sealers are made of resins and sealants.


When it comes down to the appearance of the sealer, there are three types, Clear sealers, semi-transparent, and tinted sealers. Clear sealer doesn’t change the appearance, which means it doesn’t add any color from its own. Clear sealers are used in woods which already looks good. For example, if we talk about cedarwood. Cedarwood grains look very good, when you add a clear sealer, the grains will be shown.

Semi-transparent sealers add little tone and at the same time, the wood grains will also be shown. These sealers enhance the wood grain color a bit. And lastly, tinted sealers add colors, there will be different tones and you can choose one that goes with the wood color.

Sealer Coverage

When you purchasing sealers, you will have to determine how big the wood area is that you will be sealing. And you will have to pick according to that. Normally, sealers are measured square feet per gallon. Measure the wooden area and then purchase the needed amount. However, not every type of sealer will give you the same coverage. Water-based sealers will give the highest coverage where polyurethane sealers give a little less. Whatever it is, the coverage will be written on the gallon so check wisely.

Apart from that, coverage depends on the porosity of the wood as well. On an extremely smooth wood surface, you will get good coverage.

FAQ On Sealer for Cedar

Can you waterproof cedar?

No only cedar, you can waterproof any wood. You will need a good quality waterproof treatment that will suit the wood kind. And if you have prior knowledge of staining or sealing the woods, it will become effortless for you. Clean the wood and then apply the waterproof solution. You can use anything to apply the solution, roller, brush, or spray.

If you want optimum protection from water, then make sure to apply multiple coatings of the waterproof treatment.

How do you seal rough cut cedar?

This is the same as sealing any kind of wood. All you have to ensure is, you are picking up the right sealer for the job. Not all sealers will suit rough-cut cedarwood. You will have to choose a suitable one that lasts long. And if we talk about applying that is simple as well.

Prepare the wood by sanding it, clean off all the dust, and then apply the sealer. Make a couple of coatings and let them dry properly.

Can I use polyurethane on Cedar?

Yes, you can and you should! Polyurethane will protect the wood from all kinds of dust debris that will cause the wood to rot and the color to fade.


We hope your search for the best sealer for cedar wood will end here. The 6 stain and sealers we have reviewed above are definitely going to meet your expectations. They improve the color and protect the wood from different damages as well. However, make sure you apply them right, otherwise, you wouldn’t get the performance you have expected.

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