what to use to protect outdoor wood furniture

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Outdoor wood furniture adds beauty and warmth to your yard or patio area. However, with the exposure to the harsh elements, the furniture can deteriorate over time. This can lead to fading, cracking and rotting. To ensure that outdoor wood furniture remains durable and beautiful, you need to protect it with proper coatings. There are several protective coatings to choose from, but which one is the best? In this article, we'll examine some of the most recommended coatings for protecting outdoor wood furniture.

Oil based Stain

Oil based stain is a popular protective coating for outdoor wood furniture. It penetrates deep into the wood, enhancing the grain and color. Oil-based stain also contains UV inhibitors that protect the furniture from the harmful effects of the sun, such as fading and cracking. Additionally, oil-based stains are easy to apply and you can recoat them every few years to maintain the wood's color and appearance.


Varnish is another protective coating for outdoor wood furniture. It forms a hard, durable and clear surface that protects the wood from water, UV rays, and scratches. Varnish is easy to apply and dries quickly. It also comes in various finishes, such as gloss, satin, and matte. However, one downside of varnish is that it tends to peel or crack over time, especially when exposed to extreme weather conditions. Therefore, you need to recoat it every few years to maintain its protective quality.


Paint is also a suitable option for protecting outdoor wood furniture. It creates a thick protective layer on the surface of the wood, which shields it from water and UV rays. Paint also comes in various colors and finishes, allowing you to customize the appearance of your furniture. However, paint tends to peel and crack, especially when subjected to the outdoors. This peeling not only ruins the appearance of the furniture but also exposes it to further damage, including rotting. Therefore, you need to maintain the paint by repainting the furniture every few years.


Sealer is a popular protective coating for outdoor wood furniture. It creates a barrier on the wood, preventing moisture from penetrating the surface and causing rotting. Sealers come in various finishes, but the most recommended one for outdoor use is the clear sealer. The clear sealer protects the wood from UV rays, mildew growth, and water damage. Additionally, sealers are easy to apply and dry quickly. One disadvantage of sealers is that they tend to darken the wood's color, making it less attractive than other coatings.


In conclusion, protecting outdoor wood furniture is crucial to ensure its longevity and beauty. There are several protective coatings to choose from, including oil-based stains, varnish, paint, and sealers. Each coating has its advantages and disadvantages, but the most recommended ones are oil-based stains and clear sealers. These coatings provide a durable and long-lasting protection to the furniture, while enhancing its natural beauty. By choosing the right coating and maintaining it over time, you can enjoy your outdoor wood furniture for many years to come.


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