How to Protect Outdoor Wood Furniture from Elements?

The furniture which is placed outside of your house is prone to lots of conditions. For instance, temperature, rain, sunlight, heavy winds, etc. It is always unpredictable.

These conditions make the wood furniture crack and decrease its usability. The protection of the wood is very important in these situations.

So, the question is, how to protect outdoor wood furniture from elements?

Firstly, you can apply latex paint to the wood furniture to avoid weather hazards. Secondly, varnishing the wood furniture can improve quality & protection. Thirdly, seal the wood furniture for better protection. Finally, you can cover the wood furniture or simply move it to a better location.

These bits of knowledge are useful, but you’ll need to read on to learn more. That’s exactly what I have provided in the article!

Hence, let’s get to reading!

Why Does Outdoor Wood Furniture Need Protection from Elements?


The most famous form of furniture is wood furniture. Wood furniture provides aesthetics and style to your home. It is also very durable and can last for a long time. These things are applicable for both regular wood and manufactured wood.

But you must take care of it in order for it to survive a long time. Since wood is not indestructible, it needs to be protected. The wood furniture receives the most damage when they’re outside.

A lot of things are changing outside. The weather is the most important of all. Constant temperature changes and humidity fluctuations can always damage your favorite wood furniture.

Different Methods to Protect Outdoor Furniture from Elements

So, it is very important to protect the furniture from outdoor elements. But how do you do it? Below I’ve discussed 4 methods to fully protect the wood furniture you have outside. 

Let’s get started without any further ado.

Method 1: Painting the Wood Furniture

This is the most well-known approach of them all. Applying a coating on the wood will protect it from various elements. That is exactly what painting wood furniture does.

As we know, sunlight can be harmful to the wood. The paint coat shields the timber from the sun. Furthermore, it protects against UV rays emitted by the sun. So the wood doesn’t lose color.

Though, all sorts of paint cannot be applied on wood surfaces. The best kind of paint for wood furniture is a satin/semi-gloss finish sort of paint. These are oil-based paint and latex paint. 

If we’re concerned about latex paint vs oil-based paint, latex paint is the better option.

Latex paint adheres to the surface of the wood and is thick enough to protect it. Latex paint can also block the diverse effects of massive weather changes.

Latex paint can be applied very easily. You can do it at home, without any hassle. Let’s have a look at how to execute it.

How to Apply Latex Paint?

To correctly paint wood furniture using latex paint, follow the procedures below.

Let’s have a look at the steps-

Step 1: Carry the Furniture Outside

It’s better to paint the furniture outside rather than inside. Carry the furniture you want to paint; outside. Additionally, remove any cushion, drawer, or any other things from your furniture. 

Step 2: Put on Protection

Before protecting the wood, protect yourself! Wear safety glasses and a mask to avoid any harmful effects of the paint. Always remember safety first.

You can also consider putting on clothes you’re about to give away or spare clothes. So that if any paint spill happens, you can be tension free. 

Step 3: Sand the Surfaces of the Furniture

You can use 220-grit sandpaper to do this job. Sand the surface evenly and well. Try to even out the pressure of sanding. Doing it too much in one area might deform and damage your furniture.

It’s important for the surface to be sanded since a rough surface helps to stick. Furthermore, the latex paint and primer cling to the surface adequately.

Step 4: Apply the Primer

First, take a can of primer. Before usage, give it a good shake. After that, evenly apply the primer to the wood surface.

Continue spraying while keeping the can at least 6 inches away from the furniture. It should cover every inch of the surface. 

There are also liquid forms of primer. In that case, you can use a paintbrush to apply the primer. Just remember to coat it evenly. In both cases, let the primer dry fully before applying the latex paint.

Step 5: Apply the Latex Paint

First, take a can of latex paint. You may paint using a roller or a paintbrush. Dip the roller/brush in the paint, tap off excess paint. Then, paint the wood furniture. Using a paintbrush can reach all the hard-to-reach areas. 

Apply multiple coats of latex paint. It’ll give a smooth and opaque finish to the wood surface. Allow for complete drying of the paint before utilizing the furniture.

It’s critical to select the appropriate latex paint for your furniture. Low-quality latex paints should be avoided. Instead of protecting your wood furniture, it might end up damaging it!

For your convenience, here are some of the best quality latex paints out there-

By using these latex paints, you’ll protect your wood furnitures without panicking.

Method 2: Varnishing/Sealing Wood Furniture

Varnishing or sealing wood furniture is a great option. Wood furniture can retain its natural color and design when you apply them. As we know, the sunlight contains UV rays which are very harmful to wood furniture. 

If you apply varnish to wood furniture, it creates a layer that can absorb UV rays. So your furniture can be set outside under the sun with no worries! On the other hand, applying sealant can protect the wood furniture from the rain.

Varnish and sealant are usually considered while designing on your wood furniture. Painting the furniture can take it away or ruin it. You can see right through them since they’re transparent!

Varnishing the wood also gives it scratch protection. If you were wondering if staining over varnish is possible or not, rest assured! The varnish layer protects the wood from scratches and stains! 

Sealants can make the furniture waterproof as well. You can use lacquer or polyurethane sealant; whichever you prefer. 

You can apply the sealant/varnish yourself. The process is very easy. Let’s see how to do it.

How to Apply Varnish and Sealant?

The process of applying varnish and sealant is very similar. Follow the steps below to successfully apply either of these to your wood furniture.

Step 1: Clean the Furniture

Cleaning the furniture will ensure proper varnishing and sealing of the furniture. You can use a furniture cleaner and clean the furniture with a dry cloth. 

Using a furniture cleaner will prevent it from getting damaged.

Step 2: Prepare the Sealant/Varnish

If you’re applying sealant, you can stir the sealant thoroughly with a stick or a spoon. It’ll even out the density inside the can. Stir it slowly so it doesn’t create bubbles.

For varnish, you’ll need to add thinner. For the 1st coat, add 20-25% thinner to your varnish. For the next coatings, 5-10% will be enough. 

For thinning the varnish, you can use gum turpentine. It is the most used thinner for liquids.

Step 3: Apply the Sealant/Varnish

Use a paintbrush to apply it. Implement long strokes on your furniture. Long strokes won’t create bubbles and brush marks. 

Apply multiple coats if needed. Don’t keep excess sealant or varnish left on the furniture. Brush it off with the paintbrush. 

It’s essential to use good quality paintbrushes for this task. The more brush count in the paintbrush, the merrier!

Here is a list of good quality paintbrushes for you-

You can thoroughly seal and varnish your wood furniture by using these brushes.

Step 4: Let It Dry

You can set the varnished/sealed wood furniture inside your house to dry. It’s recommended not to let it dry outside as it can get dirty. The wet varnish or sealant can capture dirt and particles.

If you are confused between sealing and varnishing, focus on the priorities. If your priority is to make the furniture shiny and protect from heat, varnish it. If you want to retain the original look and make the furniture waterproof, seal it.

Method 3: Moving Or Covering the Wood Furniture

If you have a spacious area outside, you might move the wood furniture. A shelter can easily block a lot of elements. The sunlight can be fully blocked by a shelter. Move the wood under a roof or tree.

Extreme sunlight or rain and the changes it makes to the wood are dangerous. It may damage the wood very badly as well. There are also other scenarios for this. 

For instance, when it rains the wood furniture can get wet. Wet wood drying time is almost unpredictable. On top of that, the wet furniture will be unusable at that time. A simple cover for the wood furniture can prevent these annoying situations!

Covering can protect your wood furniture in many ways. Any kind of heat, moisture, or weather conditions can be dodged by using a cover.

The coverage also keeps the wood furniture cool and clean! It’ll block dust and small particle buildup on the furniture.

Different patio covers or plastic sheets can be used to cover the furniture. They provide great coverage for your furniture!

Below are some high-quality patio covers I’ve listed for you-

These patio covers will protect your wood furniture in style!

You can also make the covers at home by using old bedsheets. Not to mention, they look great! Confirm that it is the right size for the wood furniture and you’re good to go!

These are some of the methods of protecting your outdoor wood furniture. You can go with whichever seems suitable for you. 


How to prevent scratches on tabletops?

The best way to prevent scratches from ruining your tabletop is to use table pads. The table’s pads stick on the surface and protect the wood. Don’t be worried about a ruined aesthetic; you can customize the pads. Desk pads and table pads can be customized according to your taste. Just get creative!

Which wood is better for furniture?

An example of good quality wood can be teak wood. It is a very durable kind of wood. It can absorb a lot of heat and is proven to be fire-resistant in some cases. Except for teak wood, there is lots of good wood for furniture. Oak, mahogany, and rosewood are some of the woods which are better than normal wood.

What is the difference between urethane and polyurethane?

If we are considering flexibility and malleability, urethane is the choice. It is preferable for objects with random shapes. It works best in its liquid form. On the contrary, polyurethane can work with more firm and solid shapes. Polyurethane accordingly has advantages over rubber materials.

Does wood furniture last forever?

Wood furniture can last as long as you take care of it. The longevity of wood depends on different factors of the wood. There are different types of wood to create furniture. For instance, oak wood, mahogany wood, rosewood wood. Also, you can apply different coatings to the wood.

Why is oak wood so expensive?

Oakwood is expensive because it is durable and rich in quality. Compared to normal wood, oak wood grows very slowly. So the time it takes to mature is a long time. Since it is taken care of for a long time, it is costly. Also, the oak wood ages slowly. The high quality increases the price.


I’m hoping that now you clearly know how to protect outdoor wood furniture from elements.

Oftentimes, the furniture is already damaged and it’s not viable to protect it. You can consider repairing the furniture; if this is the situation.

Let’s get to protecting the outdoor wood furniture! All the best.

Kevin Smith

1 thought on “How to Protect Outdoor Wood Furniture from Elements?”

  1. The main factors for outdoor woods which harms wood are the extreme intensity of sunlight and the second one is rain. We should need to make them cover when they are not used by anyone.

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