Top 10 Best Wood Sealers for Cedar in 2021: Expert’s Choices

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We can agree that wooden floors are some of the most beautiful floors anyone can have in their home. They have a certain glossy look that makes them so appealing. So what happens when they start having cracks or start wearing out?

You look for the best wood sealer for cedar. A sealer will help restore the look of your cedar deck or floor to the aesthetic natural color that made you fall in love with it.

But how do you know the best wood sealer for cedar? You start here. We have several options you can consider. Like with any other product, there are many options from the market, but choosing one is complicated.

That’s why we have compiled a list of the best sealers to help you get the best of them for your wood. So, without wasting much time, let’s get started on them.

Best Wood Sealers for Cedar
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Our 10 picks of the Best Cedar Wood Sealer in 2021:

01. Cabot 140.0019202.007 Wood Toned Deck & Siding Low VOC Exterior Stain

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The Cabot wood sealer kicks of our list of the best wood sealers. This is an oily and translucent finish that will help protect and beautify your wooden floors, decks, or patios.

The Cabot wood sealer deeply penetrates the cedar to help restore its beauty. But, apart from fixing the wood’s beauty, it also protects from any extra water damage since it is water repellent. As a result, it boosts the capability of the wood to fight off damage from water.

This wood sealer is also quite versatile. That’s to say you can use it in different wooden places. Do you have a deck that needs some sealer to regain its shine? Try the Cabot sealer? What about a fence or trim? The Cabot got you covered as well!

Another thing that endears this sealer to you is the five different colors it comes with. As a result, you get various colors to use on your cedar, meaning you don’t have to stick to only one color when rebranding.

You, however, only have to use it on exterior wood. Still, that doesn’t take much from it, although we wish it could have been possible to use even indoors.


  • It is waterproof and helps maintain the wood once you apply it
  • The five different colors give you a range of options to choose from
  • You can use it on a variety of wooden surfaces
  • It deeply penetrates wood when you use it


  • You can’t use it for indoor wood surfaces

02. Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood

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The Ready Seal wood sealer is quite dark and won’t need a primer when applying it. All you have to do is ensure the wood surface is clean. Although it will take about 14 days to attain its color, it helps seal cracks in the wood.

This seal is incredibly easy to apply. Apart from not needing a primer, all you need is a sprayer or roller to apply it. A brush can also work just fine if you don’t have any of those.

What stands out with this seal is the fact you won’t have a hard time maintaining it. That’s because you don’t have to sand or strip the wood after applying it. After application, sit back, relax and let it take care of the wood.

Additionally, it doesn’t leave streaks whenever you apply it. Also, it comes in a sizeable 5-gallon container that is large enough to give you all the sealer you need to cover a wide area.

This one will be ideal for all cedar surfaces in a break from the previous sealer, whether interior or exterior.


  • Easy to apply
  • It doesn’t leave streaks on the application
  • You won’t need a primer to apply
  • Low maintenance


  • It isn’t as vicious as paint

03. Ready Seal 525 Exterior Wood Sealer

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This is yet another wood sealer you can use to eliminate blemishes on your wooden deck or patio. It is an easy-to-apply sealer that will enable you to restore the original shine of your patio.

You can apply this sealer using a roller, spray, or brush. One thing that makes it so ideal is the minimal preparation required to have it ready for use. For instance, you don’t need to thin or dilute it before use.

We also loved that the sealer doesn’t leave any streaks, runs, or laps. That means you won’t need to do any back brushing when using it. Pretty much simple application strokes will be fine to achieve the perfect finish.

This wood sealer is also relatively safe to use. You don’t have to worry about it violating safety standards since it is VOC-free. Therefore, even periods of use won’t open up risks.

The Ready Seal 525 will only work only for exterior surfaces. It still, however, is a good option for you. If that doesn’t convince you, maybe the fact that it doesn’t stain your hands will.


  • VOC-free making it a safe option
  • It requires minimal preparation when using
  • You won’t have stains on your hands when using it
  • It is easy to apply


  • It only works on exterior surfaces

04. #1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain

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What is better than a 2.5gallon container of ideal semi-transparent deck sealers? More of the same! The #1 deck premium wood sealer seals cracks and adds a layer of protection on cedar surfaces you use it on.

It is highly versatile and will work for different types of wooed apart from cedar. If you have a pine, fir, or redwood deck, this sealer will work just fine. Its specialty is softwoods. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t get the same level of effectiveness with hardwood.

The two-in-one functioning of the #1 deck premium sealer is what makes it so appealing. Using it will add color to your deck or patio while protecting it from water damage by making it less penetrative by water.

The main point of you getting a wood stain or sealer is to boost the appearance of t6he wood in the first place. That’s why you will appreciate the fact that this sealer comes in five different colors that will enable you to raise the beauty of your wood.

One other thing we loved about this sealer is the ease of cleaning. Since it is water-resistant, you can use soap and water to clean the surface you applied it on.


  • Protects and seals cracks on wood
  • Versatile and can work for various wood types
  • It comes in five different colors
  • It is easy to apply


  • It might peel off after a couple of years

05. THOMPSONS Semi-Transparent WATERSEAL TH.042851

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The Thompson water seal is the type of seal you get when you know your wooden deck, floor, or patio was ruined by water. Why? Because it is the type of seal that prevents water damage.

In addition to enabling the wood to resist damage from water, this sealer also ensures the wood doesn’t lose color. That’s because it contains advanced polymers that confer onto the wood an ability to resist fading.

This water-based product also protects the wood surface from damage by UV rays. Additionally, it also has components that ensure it confers mildew resistance to the wooden patio. If you have an outdoor wooden fence, then this sealer would be best for it.

When anyone buys a sealer, they often want something that won’t need too much of their time applying. Fortunately, this sealer doesn’t require you to wait for the wood to dry before application. Instead, you can apply it to either dry or freshly cleaned wood.

Its waterproofing capabilities are the most striking feature of this sealer. However, that doesn’t mean it is not suitable for other uses. Try it and see for yourself.


  • It protects wood from damage by water, UV rays, and mildew
  • The sealer is relatively easy to use
  • You can apply it on freshly cleaned damp wood
  • It confers on to the wood fade resistance


  • It can’t stand up to the transparent versions on account of color.

06. Thompsons Transparent Water seal

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This water sealer is much like its predecessor on the list, only that it is transparent. The transparency translates to more color than when you use a semi-transparent sealer.

The decision over which one to go with depends on your color inclination. However, this sealer is also quite adept at preventing water damage on your wooden deck or patio.

Like its sister sealer on this list, it has advanced polymers among its many components. The advanced polymers provide it with the ability to protect exterior wooden surfaces from fading.

The protection doesn’t stop there.

The sealer also protects against mildews and damage from UV rays. Fences and patios are particularly susceptible to this since they often face vast amounts of sunlight.

This sealer is also relatively easy to apply. A spray gun, a brush, or a roller could be all you need to use on cedar. Furthermore, the transparent coloring will help transform your wooden surface into a shiny hue you will love.


  • It will protect the wood from water damage
  • It confers resistance to color fading
  • You will only need a short time to apply
  • The transparent sealer offers a more pronounced color


  • It is difficult to remove

07. Tough Timber Water Sealer and Repellant

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If you have a large area of cedarwood, you need to add a sealer; you will need a lot of the sealer. Therefore this 1 gallon continue of the best industrial-grade water sealer could be what you are looking for.

Tough Timber water sealer prides itself on the ability to penetrate deep into cedar and protect it from water damage. The penetration enables it to reduce water seepage by up to 95% provide your cedar with months of protection.

Application is easy with this sealer. It comes in a one-gallon container which means you can cover a large area before you need any other. For example, this sealer will cover well over 1000 square feet of cedar with only a gallon!

Furthermore, it won’t take long to apply since it doesn’t drip or leave streaks behind. Although it might first appear cloudy when you use it, it will leave a glossy finish when it finally dries.

If you are looking for a tough and water-resistant sealer, this is your best bet.


  • It is easy to apply and doesn’t need over a day to dry
  • You will attain a glossy finish when you finally let it dry
  • It is rugged and waterproof, providing protection
  • It also reduces water seepage by over 90%


  • The water repellence could have been better

08. SEAL-ONCE NANO Penetrating Wood Sealer & Stain

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The Seal-once Nano sealer won’t need you to go back to applying a sealer on your cedar deck or patio from its name. That’s because it provides the utmost protection for your cedar deck or patio with its waterproof capabilities.

Seal-once sealer is a water-based Formula sealer that comes with advanced levels of penetration. The high penetration enables it to give the best protection against damage from water. Water is any wood surface’s worst enemy, leave alone cedar.

With this sealer, you can be sure of ten years of protection if you apply it on a vertical surface and over five years of protection for horizontal surfaces. This is because flat surfaces bear the most brunt from the elements.

This could be arguably the safest sealer on our list. That’s because it contains ultralow levels of VOC, making it safe for both people and pets. It also doesn’t affect plants or marine plants if it accidentally seeps into oceans.

Its protective powers are such that it prevents warping, mold, mildew stains, wood rot, staining, among other cedar hazards.


  • Durable and waterproof
  • Advanced technology penetration offers more protection.
  • Easy to apply and use
  • Safe everyone, including pets and marine life


  • It doesn’t work that well in areas with vast amounts of sunlight.

09. Flood FLD520-05 5G CWF-UV Cedar 275 VOC

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Like with objects which might be transparent and semi-transparent, sealers can also be translucent. This sealer is one of the many translucent sealers out there.

It contains a formula that goes by the name of the Acrylic Oil-based sealer. This formula is responsible for the high penetration rate this sealer has. That means it penetrates deep inside clear wood to protect it from all kinds of damage, water included.

Outdoor cedar surfaces are most likely to bear the brunt of the elements, be it the sun or rain. That’s why getting this sealer for your fence, patio, or deck would be a good option. It protects them from UV rays that the sun emits with just a single coat.

Additionally, it also protects cedar surfaces from the ravages of mildew and molds. These are common afflictions that might afflict most wooden surfaces because it is waterproof.

Because it is waterproof, it means you can use soap and water to clean the surfaces even after applying this sealer. Unfortunately, not all deck sealers are resistant to damage from water.


  • Durable and waterproof
  • Offers excellent protection for exterior surfaces
  • Acrylic emulsion formula penetrates the cedar to offer better protection
  • It is easy to clean up


  • It works best for exterior surfaces

10. Wash Safe Cedar SEAL Premium

To close off our list, we have this waterproof seal perfect for cedar and other kinds of wood. It is a transparent water-based sealer that will help restore the shine on your cedar and protect it.

Its most important attribute is that it is a protectant that will keep giving even years after applying it. The gift that keeps giving. It will provide your cedar decks or patios with breathable and waterproof proe3cttion for years.

Another thing we found that would make it quite endearing to users is that it is easy to use. You don’t need too many tools to use it. A hand brush, roller, or spray gun should be enough to dispense it upon any surface.

This sealer is also relatively safe to use. That’s because it is non-toxic and has a relatively low VOC. Furthermore, it has been certified by the safety standard bearers to ensure it doesn’t put anyone or anything in harm’s way.

If you are looking for a clear water-based finish, then you won’t regret getting this sealer.


  • This sealer is effective and easy to use
  • It is durable and might protect your cedar for years
  • It offers breathable protection for cedar roofs
  • Safe to use since it is non-toxic


  • It turns white after application which might not sit well with all people
Buyers Guide for the Best Wood Sealers for Cedar
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Buyers Guide for the Best Wood Sealers for Cedar:

How do you choose a wood sealer for cedar? There are some factors you need to consider whenever this comes up. Below are some of the factors you will need to consider before buying a wood sealer for cedar.

The Level of Protection the Cedar Offers

While most people will buy a wood sealer to give a fine gloss on the cedar, that’s not its only function. You must have seen the running theme in all the products we have reviewed.

Not only d sealers seal cracks on cedar, but they also help protect them from damage. The most common types of damage to cedar are UV rays and water. Molds and mildews are also common troublemakers for cedar and other types of wood.

That’s why you need to consider the level of protection the sealer will give your cedar. The ideal wood sealer should offer excellent protection against these hazards.

UV rays damage is especially common if you talk of fences or patios that usually bear the full wrath of the sun’s heat. Likewise, the sealer should have components that will help protect against molds and mildews.

It is a relief most sealers are waterproof to offer protection from water damage. Still, you will need to be careful when choosing them to ensure you don’t miss out.

Environmental Friendliness

Remember the battle against lead-based paints due to their harmful effects? Well, you should apply the same rule when you are buying a sealer for your cedar. Sealers are primarily chemicals. And we all know the nature of chemicals. Some might be safe, and some hazardous.

That’s precisely why you need to consider a sealer that doesn’t have any environmentally unfriendly ingredients. Key among these ingredients are VOCs. VOC is an acronym for Volatile Organic Compounds.

Such compounds are usually responsible for the adverse effects sealers might have on the environment. That’s why you must consider the level of VOCs in each sealer before buying.

You will therefore need to consider the ingredients on each sealer before making a choice.

The opacity of the Cedar

You must have seen words like transparent, semi-transparent, or translucent on wood sealers. That is what we call opacity. Those are supposed to guide you regarding what you want for your cedar.

If you feel you want a sealer that won’t change the color of your cedar that much, you will need to go for the transparent ones. Opacity reduces or increases depending on the choice you decide to go with.

Some people love semi-transparent stain and sealers because of the color effect they have on their cedar and other wooden surfaces. That is something you will need to consider when buying a wood sealer.

Oil-based vs. Water-based Wood Sealers

This is a critical factor to consider because it will affect application time and a host of other factors.

Water-based sealers are soluble in water and have shorter drying times. In addition, they give off a hard and dark finish after drying. However, most users love it because of the quick drying time and ease of application.

On the other hand, oil-based Formula, the sealer will add a glossy shine to most cedar and other wooden surfaces. This is because they can’t dissolve in water which is the most significant difference with the water-based sealers. The shine these sealers bring to any wooden surface is incredible, which is why people love using them with furniture.

Before selecting a wood sealer, it would be wise to consider the type of base you want from your cedar.

Area of Application: Where are You going to Apply the Sealer

This is another crucial aspect to consider since there are specifications for each type of wood sealer. While you will only be looking for a cedar wood sealer, you might want to know whether you can use it for your patio or your house’s flooring.

Exterior wood sealers are usually tough and durable. They are also entirely waterproof to reduce the chances of water seepage. That helps protect exterior surfaces from water damage.

Interior wooden sealers, on the other hand, aren’t as tough as exterior sealers. It, therefore, should be a no-brainer for you when choosing a sealer to help you avoid the confusion of buying an exterior sealer for an interior surface.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is the Color of Cedar Wood?

Most wood colors are dependent on the chemical reactions that the wood is subject to. Therefore, cedar wood can be variants, each with a different color. Although some cedar variants have a purplish hue, most of them have a pinkish-red color.

Cedar color might change over time also depending on the storage or prevailing environmental factors. UV rays are one of the significant factors that might cause this change in the color of cedar.

Cedar that has seen the effects of these factors might develop a silverish or grayish hue. However, unlike other woods, it doesn’t darken or lighten.

How Does Wood Sealer Work?

Wood sealers function by penetrating through wood and causing the wood to be waterproof. A typical wood sealer would prevent the water seepage into the wood because the sealer already occupies the pores in there.

Wood sealers are chemicals, just like paint. Consequently, they will have polymers in their chemical makeup to perfect these functions with incredible efficiency.

Wood sealers also have chemicals in them that prevent the wood from fading or rotting. Unfortunately, exterior wood surfaces are more susceptible surfaces to fading due to UV rays from the sun.

With a wood sealer, you can slow down the fading process and retain the shine for longer. However, you will want it to penetrate the wood when applying a sealer to offer better protection. That’s why you need to clean or prep the wood before applying.

Mold and mildew-infected wood will also be resistant to the effects of wood sealer.

What is the benefit of a wood sealer?

There are many benefits you can get by using a wood sealer. The most significant of all these is the protection they give to wood especially exterior wood surfaces. Exterior wood surfaces face the brunt of UV rays from the sun or water seepage from rain. The wood sealer helps slow down the deterioration in the quality of this wood by preventing water damage.

The wood sealer will also help the shine on your cedar to stay longer, provided you get a durable option. You can have your cedar floors retain their luster for years. Wood sealers are, therefore, a necessary purchase for anyone with wooden surfaces in their home.

How to treat cedarwood & apply a stain?

Treating and staining wood isn’t that complicated. It will, however, depend on several things. First, the type of sealer or stain you are using will determine how you stain and treat the cedar.

Sealers are quite easy to apply. You won’t need sophisticated tools to do it since a brush or spray gun will do just fine. The brush needs to be as soft as possible to give you an even finish.

Some sealers will need a primer, especially if you will be adding two coats. You will need to determine that before applying the sealer. After applying the sealer or stain, it should dry after some time. The minimum amount of time required to dry is 4 hours.

Can I Use Polyurethane on Cedar?

Yes, you can. Cedar is much like other wood and would require polyurethane to protect it further. Polyurethane is quite good at protecting cedar from dust, water, and other dirt.

Tats means the ability of the cedar to withstand damage is enhanced. If you can lay your hands on polyurethane, then use it to help add a layer of protection to your cedar.

The cedar will also become waterproof and more resistant to damage from molds and mildews.

How Long Will Cedar Last?

Cedar is one of the most durable wooden materials out there. It can last between 15 to 20 years. With a great sealant, you will be able to extract the maximum life from the cedar. It, however, is better than pressure-treated wood, which lasts between 10 and 15 years.

How do you Keep cedar Looking Natural?

Keeping cedar looking natural involves protecting it from the weather elements and other factors that are likely to make it lose its natural grain. Wood sealant has protective features that enable it to safeguard cedar from fading.

Fading is a common issue with exterior cedar surfaces such as patios or decks. However, stains and finishes will also enable you to retain the natural look of the cedar if you apply them from time to time.

Final thoughts

Do you now have an idea of which the best wood sealer for the cedar is? We hope we have answered any questions you had regarding sealers for cedar and other wooden surfaces.

Sealers and stains will enable you to keep your cedar in pristine condition and have it retain the natural beauty it came with. When you are choosing these sealants, you should consider whether they are oil-based products or water-based.

While both seale3rs have their advantages, the final decision over which one to go for rests with you, if you consider all we have outlined here, it won’t be an issue getting the best sealer for your cedar.

When buying the sealer, also consider its protective features and whether it will offer the kind of protection you need for your cedar. Most sealer manufacturers will slap a waterproof tag on their products, but ultimately only a few will be worth the money. You, therefore, need to choose wisely.

All the best.

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