Red cedar: a sustainable type of wood for woodworking

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 19, 2022
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Red cedar can be left untreated and red cedar can also be painted.

Red cedar is a sustainable wood. The tree grows in North America and has toxic substances that ensure that you do not get wood rot.

Red cedar wood

You can compare it a bit with impregnated wood. Only here is the wood immersed in an impregnated bath. Red cedar naturally possesses these substances. So basically you can leave it untreated. The only drawback is that it turns gray over time. Then you always have a choice to paint it. Red cedar does not belong to the hard wood species, but to the soft wood species. You often see them in wall panelling. Often at the top of the ridge just below the point of a house you see a triangle of wood, which is often red cedar. It is also used as buoy parts around garages. Windows and doors are also made of it. It is simply a more expensive and durable type of wood, but with quality.

Red cedar can be treated with stain.

Surely you can treat red cedar. The best way to do this is to use a stain. And preferably a stain that covers well and is transparent. You will then continue to see the structure of the wood. Of course you can also paint it with a color stain. Before you start painting with a stain, wait at least 6 weeks. Red cedar needs some time to get used to the environment. Before you start, degrease the wood well. When the wood is dry you can start staining. When you have painted 1 coat, sand lightly and apply a second coat. When it has cured, sand again and then paint a third coat. This way you know for sure that the red cedar is well in the stain. You will then carry out maintenance between 3 and 5 years. That is, apply another coat of stain. And that way your red cedar wood remains beautifully intact. Which one of you has also painted this type of wood? If so and what are your experiences? Do you have a general question? Then leave a comment below this article.

Thanks in advance.

Piet de Vries

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.