Best Stain For Cedar Outdoor Furniture

By | July 3, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Stain for Cedar Outdoor Furniture

Cedar outdoor furniture is a popular choice for its durability, natural beauty, and resistance to rot and decay. However, to maintain its appearance and extend its lifespan, it is essential to apply a high-quality stain. Choosing the right stain can be a daunting task, but understanding the key factors and available options will help you make an informed decision.

1. Type of Stain

There are three main types of stains for cedar outdoor furniture:

  • Oil-based stains penetrate deeply into the wood, providing excellent protection against moisture, UV rays, and wear. They have a rich, natural finish that enhances the wood's grain.
  • Water-based stains are more environmentally friendly than oil-based stains. They penetrate less deeply, but still offer protection against moisture and UV rays. They tend to have a more transparent finish.
  • Solid stains are more like paint than stain. They cover the wood's surface completely, providing maximum protection and color options. However, they can hide the natural grain of the wood.

2. Color and Finish

The color and finish of the stain will significantly impact the appearance of your furniture. Consider the existing color of the cedar and the desired effect you want to achieve.

  • Clear stains allow the natural color of the cedar to shine through while providing protection.
  • Pigmented stains add color to the wood, allowing you to customize the look of your furniture.
  • Transparent stains preserve the natural grain of the wood, while adding a protective layer.
  • Semi-transparent stains provide some color while still allowing the grain to show through.

3. Coverage

The coverage of the stain refers to the area it can cover with a single coat. Coverage is typically measured in square feet per gallon. Choose a stain with appropriate coverage for the size of your furniture.

4. Drying Time

The drying time of the stain indicates how long it takes for the surface to become dry to the touch. It is important to allow the stain to dry completely before using your furniture or applying additional coats.

5. Application

The application process of the stain will vary depending on its type. Brush, roller, or sprayer are common methods of application. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully for proper application techniques.

6. Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to maintain the beauty and protection of your cedar outdoor furniture. Periodically clean the furniture with a mild soap solution and reapply the stain as needed to ensure long-lasting protection.


Choosing the best stain for cedar outdoor furniture requires careful consideration of the type of stain, color, finish, coverage, drying time, application, and maintenance. By understanding these key factors, you can select a stain that will enhance the beauty of your furniture, protect it from the elements, and extend its lifespan.

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