How To Stain Your Cedar Furniture
Your furniture is suited to an indoor or outdoor life, year round.
It is shipped natural and untreated. It can then be stained or left
in its natural condition. Staining and other treatments tend to add
longevity to your furniture, particularly for the outdoor pieces.
It is perfectly acceptable to stain your furniture after several
years of weathering or immediately following your purchase. This
means you can wait to decide if you keep the natural, graceful
We recognize that there are many people who wish to preserve the
look of unfinished cedar. In this case, we suggest using a wood
Preparation: The correct preparation is the key for
stains to adhere. The preparations we suggest ensure the
wood’s porousness, which is desirable because the
wood’s grain is revealed. These preparations also ensure that
the wood is clean and dry when it is stained.
The Protection of Property: We recommend that you use a
drop cloth to protect any surfaces you many be working on. If
you’re inside, ensure adequate ventilation.
Weather: In general, try to work on the furniture when
temperatures range from 50° to 85° F. Humidity should be
below 80%. If the furniture is outdoors during the staining
process, it should be protected from the elements. Finally, abide
by any particulars on the stain or paint label.
Sand or Pre-Wet your Furniture.
To Pre-Wet: Unless you have a power washer, get the
garden hose or a pump sprayer out. Thoroughly soak the piece. Wait
4 to 5 drying days before you stain.
If you prefer, the market offers detergents specialized for
cleaning your furniture.
To Sand: You may sand your furniture by hand. This light
sanding should be done across all surfaces of the piece. Any loose
wood fibers or dust should be removed by brushing.
Choosing A Finish
Stain or Paint? Painting or staining is both possible with cedar
furniture. They may enhance your furniture and ensure its
longevity. With either, carefully consider your color choice and
how you will be using the piece. Paints and stains are usually
interior or exterior specific.
Stains come in many colors and are recommended over paints as it
allows you to see the grain of the wood because it penetrates the
wood. Staining will also last longer than paint as paint will chip
Painting is another option for your furniture. Be mindful of
your existing color schemes, but we’ve seen nearly every
color work. We recommend using semi-gloss latex paint instead of
oil, as the wood maintains its internal moisture balance with the
Color Check: It's always best to do a color test of the
color that you want to use on the underside of your furniture
Applying a Finish: Separate parts of the furniture from
the whole. For instance: remove any drawers from their dresser.
Stir your paint/stain and apply the first coat. Begin by
staining the lower portions of the piece, working your way through
the sides to the top. Let it dry. The product coverage depends on
the wood’s porosity, grade and texture. A second coat will
guarantee a richer color depth and enhance the longevity of the
A Final Touch: A coat of primer and a light sanding will
complete the process.
Specifics: The tapered ends of the furniture are left as
a rougher finish and are usually slightly darker in color. To alter
this effect, try either of the following.
1. Sand the tapered ends down to an equally smooth finish. Then
stain entire piece.
2. Stain the piece with a first coat, except for the tapered
ends. For the second coat, stain the entire piece.