Best Finish for Cedar Furniture
Hi - I built some outdoor chairs using cedar from Lowe's, which is smoth on one side. I wanted the lowest-maintenance option to finish the chairs, while extending their life as long as possible and preventing "splintering". My wife wanted me to stain them dark brown and polyurethane, or otherwise protect them, but neither of us want to re-do that every 1-2 years.
I've searched the internet for this, and I keep finding the same answers: (1) either don't finish it if you want to let cedar go gray, but this will allow the grain rise (I read splinters), or (2) finish it to keep it looking new, but will have to refinish every 1-2 years.
I wouldn't mind not finishing the chairs if I was sure they would still last a long time and the wood wouldn't splinter with age. I have read that sealing the chairs will prevent the wood grains from rising, so I'm considering that. I'm also considering staining the chairs gray to achieve the gray look immediately and finishing with a sealer to prevent splintering.
Can anyone suggest anything? Any specific sealers or stains that work well with the least maintenance? Thanks.