How to Treat Wood Furniture For Outdoor Use?

How to Treat Wood Furniture For Outdoor Use?

Here are 13 easy methods to treat your wooden furniture for outside use. Furniture can get damage from sun weather and water spillage.

How to Treat Wood Furniture For Outdoor Use? You can treat wooden furniture for outdoor use by applying oil finishes or sealants to protect against water and weather. Cover the furniture with paint and fabric to protect it from sunlight. 

You have to consider many things before taking the wooden furniture to an outside area. 

You should provide it protection against all the damage. Here is a brief description of all the ways to protect furniture from sun and weather.

Protect the furniture from sunlight

Exposure to sunlight for a prolonged time causes discoloration and fading of wooden furniture. UV rays, heat radiation, and visible light are responsible for all kinds of damage to it.

Try to keep it somewhere in a shady area in the ground. 

Apply fabric protector

It will make a thin barrier against all the dirt and moisture present outside. It will not allow the stains and filth to get absorbed on the surface of cushions.

This barrier also protects it from harsh sun rays. You can buy any good quality fabric protector for this purpose.

Before spraying it on the cushions:

  1. Cover other nonfabric areas of furniture.
  2. Shake the can thoroughly and hold the spray can upright 20 cm from the cushions.
  3. Apply two light coats on it and let it dry.

UV protection spray

These sprays protect the whole wooden furniture from harmful rays. Just spray it on all the parts of wood and let t dry.

It reflects all the UV rays and protects the wood from fading and discoloration.

Shellac it

Shellac is a type of wood finish that protects it from sunlight. It is a solution of resin flakes in alcohol. It is present in clear to mahogany color hues.

Shellac is available in different concentrations thickness of the coat depends upon the concentration of shellac is alcohol. A two-cut product has two pounds of shellac per gallon of the denatured alcohol.

Before applying a coat of shellac, apply its coat on scrap wood to check its thickness. Add any mineral oil to the mixture as a lubricant to adjust its consistency.

Then apply it and let it dry. Shellac gets dry within seconds and gives a smooth look to our wood.

You can also fix scratches on the previous shellac coat on the wood. Just apply thin coats of shellac on scratches and let it dry.

Apply wax

Waxes are also protective coating to prevent all the radiation and heat from damaging the furniture in an open area.

You should apply a thin layer of wax to it before putting it in direct sunlight.

The wax coats lose their efficacy within few days. You have to apply coats of wax more often to protect the furniture.

Sand the wooden furniture

Sanding is the process of removing old finishes and paint from the furniture. This process is done before applying new paint and finishes.

Sandpaper is suitable for sanding wooden furniture. It is available in different grits or grades depending upon the number of sand granules per square inch of paper.

Hand sanding is suitable for wooden furniture. Palm sandpaper of 0 to 150 grit is best to remove all kinds of finishes.

Start sanding with medium-grit sandpaper and then switch to finer grit sandpaper. Never sand unfinished or unpainted wood with finer grit sandpaper.

For this purpose, fold sandpaper into folds such that you can hold it in hand properly. You can also use some aid to hold the sandpaper easily and rub it against the surface.

Use sandpaper to remove grains, these are pores present on wooden surfaces in unique patterns.

Move the paper in the direction of grains and not perpendicular to them. It will produce scratches on the wood.

These scratches will be visible even after applying paints or finish. Hold the sandpaper flat and apply even pressure on grains and damaged paint. Repeat the steps until you see bare and clean wood.

Paint the furniture

Painting is also a suitable option to treat the wood for outdoor use. You can buy any UV protection paint to treat your wooden furniture.

It will protect it from UV rays, humidity, and dust.

Spray a cloth on the ground to avoid any mess on the surface. It will help you to select paintbrushes and roller.

You can choose any color of paint depending upon your choice. Choose a combination of colors to give both protection and a contemporary look to furniture.

The paint should be of high-quality to provide a long-lasting coat on the wood.

Use small rollers and brushes to apply paint to the wood.

You can use spray paint to coat it on the wood. But it will not provide long-lasting protection from moisture and sunlight. Liquid paints are far more superior than spray paints.

Before applying paint, coat a thin layer of primer on the wooden furniture. It will give you a smooth base for applying paint. Then use rollers or brushes to paint it.

Apply 2 to 3 coats of paint and then let it dry for several days. Paint requires a lot more time to settle than shellac or finishes on the wood.

Keep it away or store it in a garage or store for letting it completely set.

Cleaning of wooden furniture

After sanding the furniture, use a microfiber cloth to wipe out dust from crannies. After this, take another cloth to remove all the filth from the surface.

To remove stubborn stains from the wood, add some drops of dish wash liquid in water. Mix it well and soak a cloth in it. 

You can use any soft sponge for this purpose. You can also put some mineral spirit on bare wood to remove stains from it.

A paste of baking soda and toothpaste works best on stains like ink, coffee, and tea. Apply it and leave it for few minutes. Then wipe out with a wet microfiber cloth.

Use equal white vinegar and olive oil. Mix them and leave them for 5 to 10 minutes. Then rub it gently with sandpaper. It is ideal to prevent the wood furniture from cracking.

Use fabric covers

The fabric of cushions and pillows of wooden furniture is prone to fading and discoloration. When you are planning to set up it outside, change the cloth of the covers.

Choose such cloth covers that can resist discoloration and fade due to sunlight. For this purpose, you can consult any interior designer to get complete information about fabric covers.

You can cover the whole furniture with a fabric cover to protect it from external damage. In the market, different fabric covers are available for items like chairs, sofas, and tables. 

When you are low on budget, use any ordinary king-size bedsheet to cover the wood. You can spread it on the couch so that t covers all the parts.

For 3 seater sofa, you will need a 20-meter piece of cloth. You can stitch it on the edges to protect the furniture. When you want to cover chairs single bedsheet is enough.

Use PVC grippers to prevent the sheet from shifting and slipping. Insert the gripper between cushions and tuck the cover inside to make it secure.

Waterproofing wooden furniture

Waterproofing furniture is essential when you are setting it in garden or grassy areas. There are three ways to make the wood waterproof.

Use oil finish

Oil finishes are suitable to weatherproof a wood. Different oils like Tung oil or linseed oil are best for coating oil finish on the furniture.

These oils are available in blended form with other ingredients. These ingredients are essential to get the required consistency.

You can also prepare a blend at home by adding mineral spirit and polyurethane. Add one part of mineral oil and polyurethane to get a thinner oil finish.

When you want to increase the thickness of the coat, add two portions of both ingredients. These blends also increase the drying time of the finish.

Take all the ingredients in a big bowl and stir thoroughly. They take a small and smooth brush to apply oil blend on the furniture.

Apply the first coat on the wood like mahogany or oak. Let the oil soak on the surface. Then use a second coat to it. Apply separately on any dry spot left on the surface.

Then absorb all the excess oil from the surface with the help of a dry cloth. After this, let it dry overnight in a store or garage.

You can apply multiple coats depending upon the thickness of the oil blend. 

Use sealants to protect furniture

Sealants are also best to protect the wooden furniture from moisture and humidity. Different sealants like varnish, lacquer, and polyurethane are available in the market.

Applying sealants on wood is similar to the oil finish. You can either coat them with a brush or spray them on the wood. Before coating, sand the wood thoroughly.

After this, apply one or two coats of sealant and let it dry. Here is a brief description of different adhesives.


It will give a thick finish that can resist scratches. It is a combination of resin drying oil and solvents. It does not cause the yellowing of wood after prolonged use.

Varnishes are also protectors against the sun because of their UV rays absorbing properties. Avoid shaking the varnish before applying it to the surface.

It will produce bubbles in it that will remain on the wooden surface even after drying.


It is a combination of synthetic resin and tree resin in alcohol. It is available in different sheen choices and gives a deep tone to the wooden furniture.

It is ideal for dark woods due to its tendency to produce yellow tinges over time. You can also adjust its consistency using lacquer thinner.

It resists scratches and stains on the wood. It is highly flammable, so ventilation is a must. Work outside to provide an open environment for rapid evaporation.


It contains polyurethane resin solvents and different acrylic. It also offers different sheen choices to high tones wood. Use mineral spirit to wash the brush and rollers.

Use sealants and stain combinations

These products not only protect the wood from water but also give it color. This combination contains color pigment, a binder, and sealants.

The binder can be oil-based, water-based, or alkyl-based. This combination produces a light coating on the surface to protect it from moisture.

Some products only get soaked in the wood; all the excess finish evaporates.

You have to apply it once a year to give a smooth finish to the outside furniture. Some alkyl-based stain sealers get patchy in poor maintenance and cleaning conditions.

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