what finish should i use on outdoor wood furniture

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Outdoor wood furniture is a great way to add style, comfort, and functionality to your outdoor living space. However, it is subject to natural elements, such as rain, snow, sun, and wind, which can cause it to become damaged over time. One way to protect your outdoor furniture from this damage is to use the right finish. In this article, we will discuss the various types of finishes available and which one you should use on your outdoor wood furniture.

Oil-Based Finishes

Oil-based finishes are a popular choice for outdoor wood furniture because they are easy to apply and provide significant protection against the elements. These finishes penetrate the wood surface, ensuring long-lasting protection and a beautiful finish. They are available in various colors, which means you can choose one that matches your outdoor decor. However, oil-based finishes can take longer to dry, and they require periodic reapplication, which can be inconvenient.

Water-Based Finishes

Water-based finishes are another popular choice for outdoor wood furniture. They are eco-friendly, easy to apply, and they dry quickly. Additionally, these finishes do not yellow over time, which means they will maintain their original color for a longer period. They also offer excellent resistance to ultraviolet rays and moisture. However, water-based finishes can be more expensive than oil-based finishes, and they may not provide as much protection against deep scratches or dents.

Solvent-Based Finishes

Solvent-based finishes are a third choice for outdoor wood furniture. They are typically made from synthetic resins and provide significant protection against the elements. These finishes come in a variety of colors and provide an excellent glossy finish. Additionally, they are excellent for filling in cracks and voids in the wood surface. However, solvent-based finishes tend to be more expensive than other finishes and require a high level of expertise to apply.


When choosing a finish for your outdoor wood furniture, consider the level of protection you need, the final look you want to achieve, and your budget. Both oil-based and water-based finishes offer excellent protection against natural elements, while solvent-based finishes are ideal for those looking for a glossy finish that fills in cracks and voids. Ultimately, your choice of finish will depend on your specific needs and preferences, but any of these options are sure to provide your outdoor furniture with the protection it needs to stay beautiful for years to come.


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