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Old 11-22-2007, 10:12 AM   #1
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Cedar


We found some beautiful local rough cut cedar that we are using to trim the inside of our windows with, including the sills. The cedar sands easily, tho I am not going to try to get it completely smooth. I want to give it a good transparent finish that will seal the wood so it can be easily cleaned and that will protect it from the sun.

Does anybody out there have any suggestions? I found this website... http://www.wrcla.org/pdf/WRCLA_Guide_to_Finishing.pdf ...but I can't figure out which way to go from the info I found there.

I will be exceedingly grateful for any insight...

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Old 11-22-2007, 05:24 PM   #2
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You raise a very good question to which I have no definitive answer other than that Dunn Edwards carries more than just a few clear finishes, beyond the obligatory polyurethane, varnish and shellac. They have a website and a toll-free number. I would surmise that the coating should be absorbed and also breathable, more like a conditioner. Perhaps you might ask Lane Cedar Chest (or a similar company) as to the type of protective finish, if any, that they use. Let us know what you find out. I could use the knowledge.

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Old 11-23-2007, 02:40 PM   #3
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Found this info at KilmerCreek.com (They make outdoor cedar furniture). I like the idea of polyurethane with UV light protection. I need to find which ones can be used indoors.

POLYURETHANE: A great looking finish is semi-gloss polyurethane with UV light protection. The polyurethane will place a very hard finish over the wood. Easily resists water, chemicals and grease. Won't crack, peel or stain; and covers the grain well. A UV stabilizer is incorporated to protect it from breaking down in sunlight and to protect any underlying stains from fading. The cedar will slightly darken, but will give the wood a very rustic, yet very traditional look. The warmth of the red tinge really comes out nicely. However, this finish needs patience to apply, two coats are recommended, and to refinish will require sanding.

TUNG OIL based MARINE VARNISH: A better application for cedar that will be exposed to a lot of liquid water or for direct sun applications. Marine finishes have more UV inhibitors and can better stand direct sun than most spar varnishes. This finish will be double to cost of most other finishes. In a liquid environment, expect the varnish to last 2-3 years.

VARNISH: A clear varnish can be applied. Varnish gives a hard finish, a beautiful shine, and a more natural look than polyurethane. The finish can easily be repaired, but when applying the varnish allow proper time to cure the finish.

I am going to check out Lowe's and our local paint store to see what they say... will get back to you.
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:57 AM   #4
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Don't count on good advice from Lowes!!! Good paint store maybe.

you are on the right track with the advice here. I might suggest going to woodnet's forums (Google it) and post in their woodworking forum the same question. Lots of wood guys and you will get a ton of advice that may make your head spin.

I would add to your post that "you want something that is readily available in your area" and "is not a custom formulation."

The responders will likely ask you questions about what your goals are. Do you want to maintain the color, protect against moisture, use the sills to put plants or water glasses on, and so forth. Get involved in the discussion and answer back.

I have my thoughts but on this one I would defer to my friends at woodnet for their expert advice with all things wood.
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:59 AM   #5
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Oh - And all the finishes you mentioned can be used inside. Some will take longer to cure and will stink longer. Also, there are many variations of the solutions referenced.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:10 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tip, Brik!
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:11 PM   #7
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I like varnish. Poly is too hard. Varnish does look more natural. Does this cedar have a rough side and a smooth side?
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:04 AM   #8
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The cedar is not western as you would find at Lowe's. It is local Arkansas cedar and it's straight from the mill. I am hand sanding it with coarse paper and am not all that concerned with getting it totally smooth but it is looking really good. I figure once I am tired of sanding and figure out what finish I want, I will sand a scrap piece and see what it looks like with the finish... that will determine if I need to sand some more.

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