Guide: How to Protect Wooden Outdoor Furniture

October 11, 2023 Posted by La Maison protect wooden outdoor furniture

Outdoor furniture can transform your garden or patio into a cosy oasis, offering a space to relax, entertain, and connect with nature. Knowing the essentials of how to protect wooden outdoor furniture is key to ensure its beauty and longevity. Whether it’s a classic wooden dining table, wooden wicker dining chairs, or a chic lounge sofa, the condition of your outdoor furniture depends on how well you care for it.

Learn the fundamentals of outdoor furniture maintenance, including valuable insights into preventing damage from weather, pests, and wear and tear. In this guide, we’ll explore the key steps to protect and maintain your wooden outdoor furniture, ensuring that it remains a stunning centrepiece in your outdoor space for years to come. Are you ready to dive into wooden patio furniture care?

Understanding the Vulnerabilities of Wooden Outdoor Furniture

Wooden outdoor furniture is not immune to the forces of nature. Exposure to weather, pests, and regular use can take a toll on its condition. Constant exposure to rain, sun, wind, and temperature fluctuations can cause wood to warp, crack, fade, and decay over time. Mold and mildew can also thrive in damp conditions. Furthermore, can insects, such as termites and carpenter bee burrow into wood, causing structural damage. Plus, everyday use, like sitting and dining, can lead to wear and tear, affecting both the functionality and appearance of your furniture.

Calais Outdoor Dining Chairs
HAMPTON Wooden Dining Table, Photo by @msmimsimpson
round hamptons dining table
HAMPTON Round Dining Table, Photo by @littlewhitelabel

Essential Steps to Protect Wooden Outdoor Furniture

To combat these vulnerabilities and ensure the longevity of your cherished wooden outdoor furniture, it is imperative to follow a comprehensive wooden patio furniture care. These essential steps will help you safeguard your investment and maintain the beauty of your outdoor pieces for many seasons to come:

1. Cleaning: Regular cleaning is the first line of defence against the wear and tear that outdoor furniture faces. Over time, dust, dirt, and environmental pollutants can accumulate, leading to a dull appearance and potential damage. To combat this, establish a routine of gentle cleaning. Begin by preparing a mild soap and water solution; avoid harsh chemicals that can harm the wood. Next, use a soft-bristle brush or a clean cloth to scrub away surface dirt. Be thorough but gentle to avoid scratching the wood. Afterwards, rinse the furniture to remove any soap residue, and allow it to air dry completely.

2. Sealing: Applying a high-quality wood sealer or protector is a pivotal step in protecting your outdoor furniture from the elements. These sealers create an impermeable barrier that repels moisture and harmful UV rays, which can cause the wood to deteriorate, fade, or lose its shine. When initially sealing your furniture, ensure it is spotless and dry. Apply the sealer evenly, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Most sealers will require reapplication on an annual basis or as needed.

3. Regular Maintenance: To stave off potential issues and prolong the life of your furniture, adopt a proactive approach to your outdoor furniture maintenance. Periodically inspect your pieces for loose screws, wobbly joints, or any other structural concerns. Address these issues promptly by tightening screws or bolts and applying wood glue to secure loose joints. Additionally, if you notice any signs of wear or damage to the protective sealant, be prepared to spot-treat and reapply it as necessary.

Three Birds Renovations Outdoor Dining Setting Including Hampton Dining Table And Bahama Folding Chair Cream Black
HAMPTON Wooden Dining Table & BAHAMA Folding Chairs, Photo by @threebirdsrenovations

Weatherproofing Techniques for Outdoor Furniture Maintenance

Consider these weatherproofing techniques to protect wooden outdoor furniture in your patio.

    • Covers: Invest in covers designed to fit your furniture. They shield your pieces from rain, sun, and dust when not in use.
    • Awnings and Umbrellas: Position awnings or patio umbrellas to provide shade and reduce exposure to direct sunlight.
    • Proper Storage: During harsh seasons, store your wooden furniture indoors or in a well-ventilated, dry area.

    Additionally, opt for cushions and outdoor upholstery that has a strong weather resistance. Choose materials designed for outdoor use, as they are more resistant to moisture and fading.


    Pest Prevention and Maintenance

    To prevent pests and maintain your wooden furniture’s structural integrity, follow these guidelines:

      • Inspect Regularly: Routinely inspect your furniture for signs of pest infestations or damage.
      • Seal Entry Points: Seal any cracks or holes in the wood that pests could use to access the interior.
      • Use Pest-Repellent Products: Consider using non-toxic pest repellents or traps in the vicinity of your outdoor furniture.

      Malawi Outdoor Dining Chairs
      MALAWI Outdoor Chairs
      MAKEMO Easy Chair

      Tips for Preserving Wooden Furniture’s Aesthetic Appeal

      To keep your wooden outdoor furniture looking its best all year round, follow these tips:

        1. Refinishing: Over time, exposure to the elements and regular use can diminish the finish on your furniture, leading to a dull appearance and reduced protection. To revitalise your pieces, periodic refinishing is essential. Begin by sanding away the old finish using fine-grit sandpaper, providing a fresh canvas for your chosen finish. You can opt for staining to enhance the wood’s natural beauty and protect it from UV rays and moisture. Alternatively, painting allows you to add colour and a contemporary touch to your furniture. Both options breathe new life into your pieces.

        2. Natural Wood Grain: If you prefer the timeless beauty of natural wood, choose clear sealers or oils designed for outdoor wood. These products enrich the wood’s colour and highlight its grain patterns while protecting it from the elements. Clear sealers like polyurethane or varnish offer excellent moisture and UV protection, letting the wood’s innate charm shine through. Wood oils, such as teak or linseed oil, deepen the wood’s colour and grain while safeguarding it.



        Proper outdoor furniture maintenance is essential to protect and extend the life of your wooden outdoor furniture. By understanding its vulnerabilities, taking proactive steps to protect it from weather and pests, and preserving its aesthetic appeal, you can ensure that your outdoor pieces remain not only functional but also beautiful for years to come. So, invest some time and effort into caring for your outdoor furniture, and maintain a regular wooden patio furniture care.

        We’d love to hear from you! Share your own tips or experiences in the comments below. What methods have you found most effective in caring for your outdoor furniture?

        For further guidance on outdoor furniture maintenance, feel free to explore our comprehensive guide here. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest advice, trends, and promotions.