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Thread: Finishing......Cedar?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    39.92*N x 86.01*W


    Hi, gang.

    Got a bit of a project I'm working on....a kitchen-counter sized storage box, couple of drawers, angled top, to prop up a cookbook/printed sheets of recipes/tablet.

    The whole thing is made from cedar.....salvaged cedar that cost me precisely zero. I was just wondering....since one does not generally put a finish on cedar, it's usually left raw, because of its natural decay/rot/bug resistance, do you guys think it advisable to put a light clear coat, say maybe poly or a marine spar varnish (kitchen - likely to stand a good chance of getting wet) on the outside, or just leave the whole thing raw, seeing as how it IS cedar?

    I'm kinda stuck trying to decide which way to go, looking for some input.

    Here's a couple of pics of the nearly finished item:

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    -Kevin in Indy
    "Heroic? He fell off his bloody Aeroplane!"

  2. #2
    Here is a job I did with aromatic cedar.

    Before finish.
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    After clear finish is applied.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    In a kitchen raw wood will absorb odors that become unpleasant as they combine and age. You could go many ways and your kitchen colors will help you along. I would seal inside and out with shellac (never a bad idea with any conifer IMHO). You could then use a colored gel stain for a base color, seal, add a glaze for that rustic look and seal again with a varnish or even polyurethane (which I almost never recommend) to keep an easy-clean surface. An example of this protocol:

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    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    39.92*N x 86.01*W

    Thanks, the Cedar absorbing odors had not occurred to me - I guess I missed that. I used a Pecan stain, and overcoated with some spray Poly - I had the salvaged Cedar on hand, and both the stain & spray poly were left over from other projects. The drawer pulls were made from undiscarded off-cuts from the cheeseboard I made back at Christmastime - one of my goals here was a project with absolute minimum cash outlay. The ONLY money I spent on this was about $3.00 on the lid hinges - I had nothing suitable laying around.

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    Again, thanks for looking;

    -Kevin in Indy
    "Heroic? He fell off his bloody Aeroplane!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Cape Cod, Ma.
    looks great! The pecan really compliments the natural color of the cedar. I like it!!!
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Re: Finishing......Cedar?

    Kevin i think you show exactly how finish can enhance a piece. well done on the whole project, i like frugal and repurposing.

    Glenn excellent post. Had never thought of your pojnts before either. Great knowledge sharing.

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    S E Washington State
    Really turned out nice and at a price I look for when ever I can!
    "We the People ......"

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