Maintaining Your Barrel Sauna

We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality Western Red Cedar sauna. As with any organic material, there are some considerations to make when it comes to maintenance and care of the sauna. We suggest the following practices to ensure your sauna lasts for years.

Over time, two things typically can affect WRC cedar. Neither of the below will affect the functionality of the sauna and they can be combatted with our recommended care steps.

  1. UV. The sun will grey the cedar unless protected by an exterior sealant.
  2. Moisture/Precipitation. Rain, snow and moisture are naturally repelled by the cedar’s resin. That’s why boats, decks and docks are often built with Western Red Cedar. Without any sealant on the interior or exterior, water marks will appear in the cedar. The end grains of the staves will usually absorb some water over time and after drying out they will leave marks that are a bit darker than the rest of the wood. These marks can make it look like water is getting into the sauna but it’s actually just unsealed wood absorbing some moisture.

Sealing the Interior Of Your Sauna (Once Per Year)

With all of our barrel saunas we provide 1 quart of sauna-safe sealant, which is manufactured by Homecraft Saunas. This is an acrylic based product that can be applied to the interior of the sauna on all the wood components. This will help keep the cedar free of water marks and should be applied annually to keep the sauna looking new. 

If you wish to purchase more sealant, it can be found here: Link


Sealing the Exterior Of Your Sauna (Once Per Year)

The exterior of the sauna can be sealed with a number of different products. Everything from Home Depot’s Behr Deck Sealant to OSMO’s oil based sealant works well. We personally recommend OSMO 420 as it maintains the beautiful look of the Western Red Cedar. It takes about 1.5L (2x 750ml cans) of sealant to cover a Nootka Sauna (8ft or 10ft). Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application. 

OSMO 420 can be purchased at Ardec.ca Link


Tightening Your Bands and Filling Any Gaps

Over time, cedar can change slightly in it’s dimensions. We attempt to minimize this by working with kiln-dried cedar. If you’re sauna bands become loose over time, there is no issue tightening them as much as possible with an adjustable wrench. The bands are mainly provided as an aesthetic accessory, but the middle band is able to help close any gaps between staves. We also recommends a product like DAP-230 caulking between troublesome joints. 



DISCLAIMER: While we have found the above recommendations to work well on our own saunas, we are not the manufacturer of the aforementioned products and recommend each customer review the MSDS sheets for any product they apply to their sauna to ensure there is no harm 


We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality Western Red Cedar sauna. As with any organic material, there are some[...]