How to Paint Cedar Wood

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Things You'll Need

  • Cedar

  • Sanding blocks, sandpaper or orbital sander

  • Soft cloths

  • Primer/stain blocker

  • Foam paint rollers

  • Paint tray

  • Latex, milk or chalk paint

  • Synthetic paintbrush

  • Polycrylic sealant

Cedar wood naturally repels insects, is aromatic and a very durable material. The smoothness of cedar makes it a natural choice for furniture – its lack of knots and raised grain is comfortable against the body. When working with cedar on craft projects, you may need to paint the wood. It is common to see sealed or just stained cedar wood, but jobs such as a birdhouse or rehabbing an antique cedar chest may need to be painted. Don't fear, if the paint is applied correctly it will be a success and the wood's natural smoothness will give it a polished finish.


Step 1

Sand the surface of the wood. Use sandpaper, sanding blocks or an orbital sander depending on the size of your surface.

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Step 2

Wipe the surface with a dry cloth then a damp cloth to remove all dust from the sanding.

Step 3

Apply a coat of primer and stain blocker with a foam roller. Let dry completely.

Step 4

Apply latex or chalk paint with a foam roller. Use a paint brush for milk paint. Let the first coat dry. Apply a second coat. Work fast when using milk paint, it tends to dry fast.


Step 5

Let the final coat of paint dry for a minimum of 72 hours.

Step 6

Use a synthetic brush to apply a polycrylic sealant to the wood. Let dry.


You can apply a layer of wood wax over the polycrylic seal to give it a waxed look. If you seal with only wax, you will have to frequently reapply.


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