how to coat outdoor wood furniture

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Outdoor wood furniture can be a great addition to any patio or backyard, but it requires special care to ensure it lasts as long as possible. One of the most important steps in this process is coating the furniture with a protective finish. In this article, we'll walk you through the steps to successfully coat your outdoor wood furniture.

Step 1: Choose the Right Finish

Before you can start coating your outdoor wood furniture, you need to choose the right finish. There are a variety of options available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Some of the most popular finishes for outdoor wood furniture include oil-based finishes, water-based finishes, and varnishes. Oil-based finishes are typically the most durable and long-lasting, but they are also the most difficult to apply. Water-based finishes are easier to apply and dry quickly, but they may not provide as much protection as oil-based finishes. Varnishes are a good option if you want a glossy finish, but they can be prone to cracking and peeling over time. Consider your priorities and select the finish that works best for your needs.

Step 2: Prepare the Surface

Before you can apply the finish to your outdoor wood furniture, you need to make sure the surface is properly prepared. This involves sanding the wood to remove any rough spots or imperfections, as well as cleaning it to remove any dirt or grime. Use a fine-grit sandpaper to gently sand the surface of the furniture, being careful not to overdo it and damage the wood. After sanding, wipe down the furniture with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dust or debris.

Step 3: Apply the Finish

Once the surface of the furniture is properly prepared, you can begin applying the finish. Start with a small test area to make sure the finish applies evenly and to your liking. If you're satisfied with the results, apply the finish to the rest of the furniture using a paintbrush or roller. Be sure to apply the finish in thin, even coats, and follow any specific instructions provided by the manufacturer. Depending on the type of finish you're using, you may need to apply several coats to ensure adequate protection.

Step 4: Allow Time to Dry and Cure

After applying the finish, you need to allow time for it to dry and cure. This can take several hours or even several days, depending on the type of finish and the weather conditions. Be patient and avoid using or moving the furniture until the finish is fully cured. This will help ensure that the finish hardens properly and provides the best possible protection.


Coating your outdoor wood furniture can help it last for years to come. By choosing the right finish, properly preparing the surface, and taking the time to apply it correctly, you can ensure that your furniture is well-protected. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your outdoor wood furniture for years to come.


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