Red Cedar Message Boards

Red cedar message boards are a versatile and attractive choice for a variety of applications. From home décor to practical uses in offices, schools, and public spaces, these boards are prized for their durability, natural beauty, and unique characteristics. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore every aspect of red cedar message boards, including their features, benefits, applications, maintenance tips, and where to buy them.

Introduction to Red Cedar Message Boards

What Are Red Cedar Message Boards?

Red cedar message boards are made from the wood of the red cedar tree, known for its rich color, aromatic scent, and natural resistance to decay and insects. These boards can be used as bulletin boards, chalkboards, or whiteboards, depending on the finish and treatment of the wood.

History of Red Cedar in Woodworking

Red cedar has a long history in woodworking due to its favorable properties. Indigenous peoples in North America have used red cedar for centuries to create tools, canoes, and structures. The wood’s natural resistance to moisture and insects made it an ideal choice for various applications. In modern times, red cedar continues to be a popular material for outdoor furniture, fencing, and message boards.

Types of Red Cedar

There are several types of red cedar, but the most commonly used for message boards are Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) and Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana). Western Red Cedar is known for its light, reddish-brown color and fine, straight grain. Eastern Red Cedar, on the other hand, has a more pronounced reddish hue and a distinct aroma due to its high oil content.

Benefits of Using Red Cedar Message Boards

Durability and Longevity

One of the most significant advantages of red cedar message boards is their durability. Red cedar wood is naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage, making it an excellent choice for long-lasting message boards. This durability means that red cedar boards can withstand the test of time, even in outdoor settings.

Aesthetic Appeal

Red cedar wood has a unique, warm color that ranges from light pinkish-brown to dark reddish-brown. This natural beauty enhances any space, whether it’s a rustic cabin, a modern office, or a cozy home. The wood’s fine grain and smooth texture make it an attractive surface for writing and posting messages.

Natural Aroma

Red cedar is known for its pleasant, aromatic scent, which comes from the wood’s natural oils. This aroma is not only enjoyable but also has practical benefits, such as repelling insects. The scent can add a touch of nature to indoor environments, creating a calming and refreshing atmosphere.

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable

Red cedar is a sustainable choice for message boards. The trees are abundant and grow relatively quickly, making them a renewable resource. Additionally, red cedar’s natural resistance to decay means that fewer chemicals are needed to preserve the wood, making it an environmentally friendly option.

Applications of Red Cedar Message Boards

Home Décor

Red Cedar Message Boards are a popular choice for home décor. They can be used in kitchens for grocery lists and reminders, in living rooms for family messages and photos, and in-home offices for organizing tasks and ideas. The natural beauty of red cedar adds warmth and character to any room.

Educational Settings

In schools and educational institutions, red cedar message boards serve as effective tools for communication and organization. Teachers can use them for displaying important information, classroom rules, and student work. The durability of red cedar ensures that these boards can withstand the wear and tear of daily use in busy classrooms.

Office Environments

In office settings, red cedar message boards can be used for a variety of purposes, including project management, team communication, and brainstorming sessions. The aesthetic appeal of red cedar adds a touch of elegance to office spaces, making them not only functional but also visually pleasing.

Public Spaces

Red cedar message boards are also ideal for public spaces such as community centers, libraries, and parks. They can be used to display announcements, event schedules, and public notices. The durability and natural resistance to weather make red cedar a practical choice for both indoor and outdoor use.

How to Maintain Red Cedar Message Boards

Regular Cleaning

To keep red cedar message boards looking their best, it’s important to clean them regularly. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe away dust and dirt. For tougher stains, a mild soap solution can be used. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the wood’s surface.

Protecting the Wood

Although red cedar is naturally resistant to decay and insects, it’s still a good idea to protect the wood with a sealant or finish. This will enhance the wood’s natural beauty and provide an additional layer of protection against moisture and UV damage. There are various sealants available, including clear finishes that preserve the wood’s natural color and tinted options that can enhance its hue.

Handling and Installation

When handling and installing red cedar message boards, it’s important to take care to avoid damaging the wood. Use appropriate tools and hardware to secure the boards in place, and ensure that they are mounted on a stable surface. If installing outdoors, consider using stainless steel or galvanized hardware to prevent rust and corrosion.

Where to Buy Red Cedar Message Boards

Local Lumberyards and Hardware Stores

One of the best places to buy red cedar message boards is at local lumberyards and hardware stores. These establishments often carry a variety of red cedar products, including boards that can be used for message boards. Buying locally also allows you to inspect the wood in person and choose the best pieces for your project.

Specialty Woodworking Stores

Specialty woodworking stores are another excellent source for red cedar message boards. These stores typically offer a wider selection of high-quality wood products and can provide expert advice on choosing and working with red cedar. Some specialty stores also offer custom cutting and finishing services, allowing you to create a message board that perfectly fits your needs.

Online Retailers

For those who prefer the convenience of online shopping, there are numerous online retailers that sell red cedar message boards. Websites such as Amazon, Etsy, and specialized woodworking sites offer a variety of options, from pre-made boards to raw lumber that you can customize yourself. When buying online, be sure to read product descriptions and customer reviews to ensure you’re getting a quality product.

DIY Red Cedar Message Boards

Materials Needed

Creating your own red cedar message board is a rewarding project that allows you to customize the size and design to suit your needs. Here’s a list of materials you’ll need:

  • Red cedar boards
  • Saw (circular saw or handsaw)
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Wood glue or screws
  • Sealant or finish
  • Paint or chalkboard paint (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Measure and Cut the Wood: Determine the size of your message board and cut the red cedar boards to the desired dimensions. If you’re creating a framed board, cut additional pieces for the frame.
  2. Sand the Wood: Use sandpaper to smooth the edges and surface of the wood. Start with a coarse grit and gradually move to a finer grit for a smooth finish.
  3. Assemble the Board: If you’re creating a framed board, attach the frame pieces to the main board using wood glue or screws. Ensure that the corners are square and the frame is securely attached.
  4. Apply Finish or Sealant: To protect the wood and enhance its natural beauty, apply a coat of sealant or finish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times.
  5. Optional: Paint the Surface: If you want a chalkboard or whiteboard surface, apply a coat of chalkboard paint or whiteboard paint to the main board. Allow the paint to dry completely before using the board.
  6. Mount the Board: Once the board is complete, mount it on the wall using appropriate hardware. Ensure that it is securely attached and level.

Innovative Uses for Red Cedar Message Boards

Interactive Learning Tools

In educational settings, red cedar message boards can be used as interactive learning tools. Teachers can create custom boards for specific subjects, such as a math board with removable numbers and symbols, or a science board with labeled diagrams. The durability of red cedar ensures that these boards can be used repeatedly without showing signs of wear.

Personalized Home Accents

Red cedar message boards can also be used to create personalized home accents. For example, you can create a custom family message center with sections for each family member, or a decorative board with a favorite quote or design. The natural beauty of red cedar adds a touch of elegance to any personalized project.

Outdoor Signage

Thanks to their natural resistance to weather, red cedar message boards are ideal for outdoor signage. They can be used for garden markers, welcome signs, or directional signs in parks and nature reserves. The wood’s durability ensures that the signs will remain attractive and readable for years.

Business Branding

Red cedar message boards can also be used as part of a business’s branding and décor. Custom boards with the company logo or mission statement can enhance the professional appearance of an office or retail space. The warm, natural look of red cedar creates a welcoming atmosphere for clients and customers.

Customizing Your Red Cedar Message Board

Choosing the Right Size

When customizing your red cedar message board, consider the size that will best suit your needs. A large board is ideal for busy households or offices, while a smaller board may be sufficient for personal use. Measure the space where you plan to install the board to ensure it will fit properly.

Selecting the Finish

The finish you choose for your red cedar message board can significantly impact its appearance and durability. Clear finishes preserve the natural color of the wood, while tinted finishes can enhance its hue. If you plan to use the board outdoors, choose a finish that offers UV protection to prevent the wood from fading.

Adding Decorative Elements

To make your red cedar message board truly unique, consider adding decorative elements such as carved designs, painted accents, or custom hardware. These additions can enhance the board’s aesthetic appeal and make it a focal point in your space.

Incorporating Functionality

In addition to serving as a message board, your red cedar board can incorporate additional functionality. For example, you can add hooks for keys and accessories, a shelf for mail and small items, or a calendar section for keeping track of important dates. These features can make your board even more useful and versatile.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

Sustainable Harvesting Practices

Red cedar is often harvested using sustainable practices that ensure the long-term health of the forest. Many red cedar suppliers adhere to guidelines set by organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which promotes responsible forest management. By choosing red cedar products from certified sources, you can support sustainable forestry practices.

Longevity and Reduced Waste

The durability of red cedar message boards means that they have a long lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements. This longevity helps to minimize waste and reduce the environmental impact associated with manufacturing and disposing of products. Additionally, red cedar’s natural resistance to decay and insects means that fewer chemicals are needed to preserve the wood, further reducing its environmental footprint.

Recyclable and Biodegradable

At the end of its useful life, a red cedar message board can be recycled or allowed to biodegrade naturally. Unlike synthetic materials, red cedar wood breaks down into organic matter that can be returned to the environment. This makes red cedar an eco-friendly choice for message boards and other products.

The Future of Red Cedar Message Boards

Innovations in Wood Treatment

As technology advances, new methods of treating and finishing red cedar are being developed. These innovations can enhance the wood’s natural properties, making it even more durable and resistant to environmental factors. For example, advanced sealants and finishes can provide better UV protection and moisture resistance, extending the lifespan of red cedar message boards.

Increased Demand for Natural Products

In recent years, there has been a growing trend toward using natural and sustainable materials in home décor and construction. This increased demand for eco-friendly products is likely to drive the popularity of red cedar message boards even further. Consumers are increasingly seeking out products that are not only beautiful and functional but also environmentally responsible.

Customization and Personalization

The trend toward customization and personalization is also influencing the market for red cedar message boards. Consumers are looking for unique, one-of-a-kind items that reflect their personal style and preferences. This demand for customized products is leading to new opportunities for artisans and woodworkers who specialize in creating bespoke red cedar message boards.


Red cedar message boards offer a perfect blend of functionality, durability, and aesthetic appeal. Whether used in homes, offices, schools, or public spaces, these boards provide a practical solution for displaying information and staying organized. Their natural beauty, pleasant aroma, and eco-friendly properties make them a top choice for anyone looking to add a touch of nature to their space. By understanding the benefits, applications, and maintenance of red cedar message boards, you can make an informed decision and enjoy the many advantages they offer for years to come.