How to Refinish Cedar Furniture

Cedar is a durable wood that is resistant to rotting and makes an excellent material for outdoor or indoor furniture. Regular wear and tear can leave your cedar furniture with a dull appearance. Refinishing your cedar furniture is a great way to rejuvenate the look and feel of your home.

  1. Brush on a heavy coat of chemical stripper onto the surface of the cedar furniture. Let the stripper sit for the time recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Use a putty knife to remove the old finish from the cedar furniture. Use the medium-grade steel wool to remove hard to reach spots of the old finish.
  3. Sand the entire piece of cedar furniture with the 220-grit sandpaper until the surface is smooth.
  4. Use a brush to apply a thick coat of sanding sealer to the cedar furniture. Allow the sealer to dry and wipe off any excess sealer with a rag.
  5. Brush on the initial coat of stain. Apply evenly to the entire surface of the cedar furniture. Let the first coat dry and add further coats until the cedar achieves the depth of color desired.
  6. Apply a coat of polyurethane to the entire surface of the cedar with a brush using long, even strokes. This will protect the wood from moisture.

Things You Will Need

  • Brushes
  • Chemical stripper
  • Putty knife
  • Polyurethane
  • Steel wool
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Sanding sealer
  • Rag
  • Stain


  • Oil-based stains are best for cedar as cedar is a porous wood


  • Work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wear gloves and eye protection.



About the Author

Hubert Oresco is a writer with over one year of experience. He has written for Demand Studios and several other online clients, including quizwinners.com. He has a degree from SUNY New Paltz. He lives and works in New York City.