My son asked what I thought about using western red cedar as interior
millwork around doors and windows. Since I am not that familiar with
cedar, I thought I would ask here. All pros and cons are welcome.
Simply a matter of taste. Western Red Cedar is used mostly as an
exterior wood, but I've used it on the interior on many occasions (I've
a built quite a few recording studios in the past and many of those had
control rooms fitted out entirely in WRC).
WRC can be bought either rough, or planed, and often with a tongue and
groove which makes a nice wall panel.
Nice wood to work with, tools easily, and its light in weight, so easy
to handle in cramped quarters ... it smells good when cut.
I woud agree that it may be a bit soft for traffic areas, otherwise,
no significant objections.
One of my bathrooms is trimmed with WRC and clear coated with water
borne varethane. 15 years and still looks nice. My bathroom doorway
trim and the wall-cabinet doors have no dings/scratches/damage/
discolorations. A WRC toilet paper holder will not support raising
yourself from the sitting position! .... * filed under "Bathroom
If you take some red cedar and plane it smooth, you will likely find a
board with some beautiful color and grain.
I salvaged some old red cedar fence boards, and planed them, and I
ended up with some really lovely dark chocolate colored wood. No knots
in these boards.
All very soft, as mentioned by others.
I ran through a few thou bf of WRC this last summer making Adirondack
chairs (www.sonomaproducts.com) . I found it to be quite beautiful if
you can keep the color. I like it when it is just a little sun burned
but it starts to fade pretty quick. A finish will stop that I suppose.
I also found it a little splintery when cutting and nailing. Yes, it
is very soft, along the lines of Pine. I think even with some good
milling and sanding I would find it a little rustic. That isn't bad
per-se just if you want a rustic look, kind of like Redwood.
I find Knotty Alder slightly more refined than WRC and a lttle more
fine in finish. Just an idea.
Red cedar is the main wood I use for window trim. If you look after it. It
will last forever.
I favour Simi transparent stains as it will turn grey after 6 months in
Havn't found an exterior clearcoat that lasts longer than a year. Some cedar
coloured simi transparent stains look close to natural.
Easy wood to work with and does smell nice.
On Tue, 09 Mar 2010 07:14:44 -0600, the infamous Norvin
To add to Swingy's notes, it is also a very soft wood which cracks
easily (drill first, nail later) and is feathery when sanded. Final
sanding has to be done after a coat or two of finish goes on if you
want a really smooth result. Lots of PNW lodges are fit in WRC,
usually roughsawn for the rustic look and feel. Ditto the old Sundance
Meadows timeshare I used to own. Lotsa roughsawn cedar in that dude
It's good looking when used as an interior wood. Just work around its
Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.
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