Looking for Western Red Cedar finish suggestions - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-07-2018, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for Western Red Cedar finish suggestions

Hi there!

I am looking for suggestions on finishing a Western Red Cedar wood slice that will be used as a centerpiece for a wedding table. I removed all bark, leveled the on both sides and have sanded down to 150 so far. I am looking on suggestions on finishing this piece so that is has some protection as well as a nice almost flat but not quite, sheen to it. Nothing full gloss.

This is a good example of what I'm looking for, http://littlebranchfarm.com/rustic-d...ge-slab-table/

I now being a wood slice the end grain will soak up a lot of whatever I put on it so any other tips/tricks would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 4 Old 02-07-2018, 03:39 PM
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What happens to it after the wedding?

If it's not going to get high levels of use, I'd give apply shellac until it's fully sealed, then one more coat. Once fully cured, I'd apply wax with 0000 steel wool and buff. This is one of my favorite finishes for things that don't need a highly durable finish.

Alternatively, you could seal with de-waxed shellac and then give it a coat of satin or semi-gloss poly.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-07-2018, 04:18 PM
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You could finish cedar with any finish you would use for any other project. That light in color you may not want the yellowing an oil based finish gives. As far as the sheen which ever finish you end up with select a satin sheen. What product you use largely depends on how the table is going to be used in the long run. Some are more water resistant than others.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-07-2018, 04:57 PM
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Most of my wood carvings over the past 15+ winters are done in western red cedar.
9" to 64" tall, nothing huge.

Most commonly, the outer white sap wood is removed as it can get rotten punky in a hurry.
Thus, the carvings are mostly heart wood which is various shades of rusty red.
Me and a bazillion other carvers, here in the Pacific Northwest.

Carvings get dusty, they need some finish to make dusting easier.
MinWax Tung Oil Protective Finish is a soup of all kinds of chemicals.
Might even be some Tung Oil as well.
The first coat, the heavy coat, dries on carvings to a satin finish = just what you need.
Plus, it doesn't seem to darken the cedar as much as I expected.

4 coats, a week apart so you can't smell it, is water-wet glossy. How convenient.

Then you rout out the cavity on the back side. Buy a number set and a clock movement from Lee Valley.
Build the clock and give it to them to hang on the wall. BIG. Be dramatic.
Or install 2 = Local time and some other time-zone where relatives live.
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