Furnishing a Sauna Suite #3: Sand and Oil the Sauna Benches

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 12-10-2020 09:14 AM 482 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Building the Cedar Sauna Benches Part 3 of Furnishing a Sauna Suite series Part 4: Sauna Stove Guard »


I was surprised how well the western red cedar cleaned up as I sanded the benches. I walked through the grits from 80 to 120 to 220. My original thought was to focus on the tops and maybe not even oil the underside. However, I ended up giving them a close to furniture-grade sanding job and oiled them completely.

Paraffin Oil

I’m leaving the walls unfinished to keep the awesome cedar scent. However, the high use areas such as benches, foot rests, back rest, and duckboard flooring could use some protection from all the sweat. A film-based finish isn’t an option since it would be unbearably hot to sit or lay on in the “buff.” I purchased paraffin oil from Superior Sauna and Steam in Ashland, Wisconsin when I picked up my sauna stove and other sauna essentials. Apparently, it’s completely non-toxic and even used as a base for massage oils. I applied one liberal coat with a kitchen sponge. The cedar benches soaked up close to a pint of oil. I wiped off the excess after an hour. The instructions say that the wood will soak it in more when the sauna is heated up.

You can see the color difference between a finished and an unfinished bench.

Benches Installed

We’ll see how they feel tomorrow night…

These little head rests are amazingly comfortable. Each of the four wood disc pads are mounted to a swivel and cradle your head perfectly.


Build the sauna stove guard.

-- Mark, Minnesota

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