How to Refinish Cedar Paneling

Lead Image for How to Refinish Cedar Paneling
  • 8-20 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Bleach and household detergent
Paint or varnish
Water and hose

Cedar paneling is widely preferred by homeowners due to the durability, beauty, and appealing scent of this coniferous wood. Cedar paneling can also be refinished to produce a more beautiful and earthly appearance. You only need a few simple tools and materials to successfully undertake this fun and worthwhile activity.

Scrape Old Finish

Use a scraper to remove loose bits and pieces of the old finish from the cedar paneling. You may opt to leave the hard-to-remove parts of the finish on the wood.

Sand the Surface Smooth

Use sandpaper to sand the surface. This will enable you to expose the old wood finish and further remove traces of the old finish on the cedar panels. Judiciously sand the surface to achieve a smooth and fine appearance.

Wash the Panels

Mix a capful of bleach and a small amount of household detergent to 2 liters of water. Dip the sponge in the soapy mixture and wash the cedar panels to get rid of fungus and other bacteria that may be present on the wood. Rinse the panels with a hose and wipe dry. Let the panels dry completely.

Apply Finish

Use a paintbrush to apply your finish of choice and let dry.

Remember that you can safely restore cedar paneling and other wood finishes provided that there are no visible signs of rot or decay on the surface.