can i use polyurethane on outdoor furniture

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Outdoor furniture is an essential element in creating a cozy and comfortable outdoor living space. The quality of the outdoor furniture is the main concern when it comes to maintaining its longevity. Polyurethane is a popular choice for furniture finishing, but can it be used on outdoor furniture? In this article, we will explore the use of polyurethane on outdoor furniture, its benefits and drawbacks, and how to apply it correctly.

The Benefits of Using Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a finish that is applied to wooden surfaces to protect them from moisture, scratches, and UV rays. It is a popular choice because it is durable and easy to work with. It can give a smooth and glossy finish that enhances the look of the wooden surface. Polyurethane is also resistant to water, heat, and chemicals. These properties make it ideal for indoor furniture and can be used for some outdoor furniture as well. However, there are some factors to consider before applying polyurethane to outdoor furniture.

The Drawbacks of Using Polyurethane on Outdoor Furniture

Polyurethane is not specifically designed for outdoor furniture. It can work well on some surfaces but can result in poor performance on others. One of the main disadvantages of using polyurethane on outdoor furniture is that it is not weather-resistant. Exposure to sunlight, rain, and humidity can cause the polyurethane to degrade and peel off from the surface. This can result in discoloration and damage to the wooden surface. The constant exposure to moisture can also lead to mold and rot. Additionally, polyurethane can be prone to cracking, chipping, and flaking if applied incorrectly.

How to Apply Polyurethane to Outdoor Furniture

If you decide to use polyurethane on your outdoor furniture, there are some essential steps to follow to ensure that it performs well and lasts longer. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you apply polyurethane to your outdoor furniture:Step 1: Prepare the surface.Ensure that the surface of the outdoor furniture is clean, dry, and sanded before applying polyurethane. This will help the polyurethane bond to the wood surface and create a smooth finish.Step 2: Apply a sealant.Apply a sealant to the wooden surface to create a barrier between the polyurethane and the wood. This will help protect the wood from moisture and other weather elements.Step 3: Apply polyurethane.Use a brush or a roller to apply polyurethane to the wooden surface. Be sure to apply a thin and even layer of polyurethane. Wait for 24 hours before applying a second layer.Step 4: Repeat.Repeat the application process until you achieve the desired finish. It is advisable to apply at least three coats of polyurethane for optimal protection and longevity.


In conclusion, polyurethane can be used on outdoor furniture, but it may not be the best choice. If you decide to use polyurethane on your outdoor furniture, ensure that you follow the application process carefully and use a good quality sealant to protect the wood from moisture. However, if you want long-lasting and weather-resistant outdoor furniture, it is advisable to use finishes that are specifically designed for outdoor use, such as varnish or oils. Remember, outdoor furniture requires more attention and care than indoor furniture, and choosing the right finish is vital to ensure its longevity.


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