How to Stain and Seal a Cedar Porch Swing

What You'll Need
Fine grit sandpaper (sanding blocks or sanding pads)
Rotary tool (Optional)
Wood stain
Wood sealer (Dark Color)
Hose or power washer
Paint stripper
Protective gloves
Wood cleaner
Wood brightener

If you have a cedar porch swing DIY project, chances are you are wondering whether you should paint or stain it. Although some might recommend painting it with acrylic to protect it from outside elements, most woodworking enthusiast however will opt to staining it to preserve the cedar wood's natural beauty. Below are details on how to seal and stain a cedar porch swing.

Step 1 – Prepare the Surface

If the cedar wood you used is just a few weeks old, you do not have to wash it. Light sanding will do. Get the sanding block or if you have an electric rotary tool, attach the sanding pads into it, and sand the swing's surface lightly. The aim is just to roughen up the surface a bit so that the stain and sealant will adhere firmly on the wood's surface.

If the cedar wood you used came from old furniture or the cedar swing is a couple of years old, prepping the surface requires more than sanding. Wash with detergent solution. Apply wood paint or sealer stripper using a paint brush. Sand the surface. For tough dirt and stains, use a wood cleaner afterwards. Rinse well. Follow it up with wood brightener if the cedar wood has discolored or has dark stains. Rinse.

Step 2 – Apply Stain

Purchase an oil or solvent-base stain; better if the stain is specifically for cedar wood, which contains oils and resins that penetrate deeply into the grains of the wood. There are some stains that act as a sealer too. Purchase one of these types if you have your budget permits.

Put on gloves and mask. If the stain is oil or solvent-base, the chemicals from the stain diffuse at a faster rate, so you will really need these protections. Next, get the paintbrush or sponge and then apply the stain along the lines of the grain. Apply several thin coats. If you are using a sponge, apply stain in a circular motion. Build up the tone (to darken) gradually. Allow to dry.

Step 3 – Apply Sealer

Even if you purchase a 2-in-1 stain-sealer, it would be wise to apply sealer on the cedar porch swing’s surface for extra protection. The sealer can help in repelling moisture and protect the wood’s surface from discoloration brought about by the sun’s UV rays. Purchase a clear sealer since the stain already has a color.

Get the paintbrush and apply the sealer on the direction of the wood’s grain. Apply a thin coat for the first and second coat, allowing the sealer to dry in between coats. For the third or last coat, apply a liberal amount of sealer. Allow the sealer to dry thoroughly.