Mohammadpur, Dhaka |

How to Waterproof Outdoor Wood Furniture: The Ultimate Guide

Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PHD

Spread the love

To waterproof outdoor wood furniture, use a high-quality wood sealer such as Minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane, which contains special oils to allow for expansion and contraction with changing seasons and temperatures. This four-season wood sealer is available in both oil-based and water-based options, with various finishes ranging from satin to gloss.

Applying a clear penetrating epoxy sealer to any exposed end grain before staining or painting is also recommended. Other options for waterproofing wood furniture include using liquid sealants, water repellents, or wood fillers. Alternatively, you can achieve a protective finish by using linseed or Tung oil, or by coating the wood with polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer.

Another option is to use a stain-sealant combo for simultaneous finishing and waterproofing.

Choosing The Right Sealer

Discover the best wood sealer for waterproofing outdoor furniture in Austin, Texas. Minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane is highly recommended for its special oils that accommodate seasonal changes and temperature fluctuations. Seal your wood furniture with this four-season sealer for long-lasting protection.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Wood Sealer:

  • Type of wood: Different sealers may work better on certain types of wood, so consider the specific wood you are working with.
  • Purpose: Determine whether you want to enhance the natural color of the wood or protect it from the elements.
  • Durability: Look for a sealer that can withstand outdoor conditions and offer long-lasting protection.
  • Application method: Consider the ease of application, whether it’s a spray, brush, or wipe-on sealer.
  • Drying time: Check the drying time to ensure it fits your timeline for completing the project.
  • Environmental impact: Consider choosing a sealer that is eco-friendly and safe for both you and the environment.

Types Of Sealers Suitable For Outdoor Wood Furniture:

  • Polyurethane: Provides a strong protective layer, making it ideal for outdoor use.
  • Varnish: Offers a glossy finish and excellent protection against moisture and UV rays.
  • Sealant: Penetrates the wood to create a moisture barrier while maintaining the natural look of the wood.
  • Oil-based sealers: Provides deep penetration and enhances the wood’s natural beauty.
  • Water-based sealers: Quick-drying and environmentally friendly, ideal for lighter-colored woods.

The Importance Of Uv Protection In A Sealer:

  • Protects against sun damage: UV rays can cause wood to fade, dry out, and deteriorate over time, leading to cracks and warping.
  • Preserves the wood’s color: UV protection helps maintain the original color of the wood, preventing it from turning gray or dull.
  • Extends the lifespan of the furniture: By preventing sun damage, UV protection helps to prolong the life of your outdoor wood furniture.
  • Ensures long-lasting beauty: A sealer with UV protection will help your furniture look new and vibrant for years to come.

When choosing a wood sealer for your outdoor furniture, consider factors such as the type of wood, purpose, durability, application method, drying time, and environmental impact. Types of sealers suitable for outdoor use include polyurethane, varnish, sealant, oil-based, and water-based sealers.

It is important to choose a sealer that offers UV protection to prevent sun damage, preserve the wood’s color, extend the lifespan of the furniture, and ensure its long-lasting beauty.

Preparing The Furniture For Waterproofing

Preparing outdoor wood furniture for waterproofing is essential to ensure its longevity and protection against the elements. Prior to waterproofing, it is important to seal any exposed end grain with a clear penetrating epoxy sealer and choose a suitable wood sealer or spar urethane with UV absorbers for maintaining the outdoor wood finish.

Weatherproofing furniture can also be achieved by using liquid sealants, water repellents, or wood fillers. By following these steps, you can effectively waterproof your outdoor wood furniture and prolong its lifespan.

Cleaning The Wood Surface:

  • Begin by removing any dirt or debris from the wood furniture using a soft brush or cloth.
  • Use a mild detergent mixed with warm water to gently clean the surface. Avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the wood.
  • Rinse the furniture thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  • Allow the wood to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Sanding And Smoothing Any Rough Areas:

  • Inspect the wood furniture for any rough spots or uneven surfaces.
  • Use sandpaper with a fine grit (around 120 to 180) to smooth out these areas.
  • Sand in the direction of the wood grains to avoid damaging the surface.
  • Make sure to remove any loose splinters or debris that may be present.

Filling In Cracks And Gaps:

  • Check the furniture for any cracks or gaps that could potentially let water seep in.
  • Use a suitable wood filler to fill in these imperfections. Make sure to choose a filler that is compatible with outdoor use.
  • Apply the filler according to the manufacturer’s instructions and smooth it out using a putty knife.
  • Allow the filler to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Remember, proper preparation is key to effectively waterproofing outdoor wood furniture. By following these steps, you will ensure that the wood surface is clean, smooth, and free of any cracks or gaps. This will help the waterproofing solution to adhere properly, prolonging the life of your furniture.

Applying The Sealer

Applying the sealer is an essential step in waterproofing outdoor wood furniture. Choose a high-quality wood sealer that contains special oils to allow for expansion and contraction with changing seasons. Apply the sealer using a terry cloth, cheesecloth, paint roller, or brush for effective protection against moisture.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Applying The Sealer:

  • Start by preparing your outdoor wood furniture by cleaning it thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure to remove any dirt, debris, or old sealant.
  • Allow the furniture to dry completely before starting the sealing process.
  • Using a brush or roller, apply an even coat of the wood sealer to the entire surface of the furniture. Make sure to cover every nook and cranny for comprehensive protection.
  • Work in small sections, applying the sealer in long, smooth strokes. This will ensure even coverage and prevent drips and streaks.
  • Pay extra attention to areas that are prone to water exposure, such as the joints and corners of the furniture.
  • Allow the first coat to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually takes a few hours.
  • Once the first coat is dry, apply a second coat of the wood sealer for added protection. Repeat the same application process, making sure to achieve even coverage.
  • After applying the second coat, allow the furniture to dry completely. This may take up to 24 hours, depending on the sealer used.
  • Inspect the furniture carefully for any missed spots or uneven coverage. If needed, touch up those areas with a small brush or roller.
  • Once the furniture is fully dry and the sealer has cured, you can enjoy your newly waterproofed outdoor wood furniture.

Using A Brush Or Roller For Even Coverage:

  • When applying the sealer to your outdoor wood furniture, it is important to use a brush or roller for even coverage.
  • A brush with synthetic bristles or a foam roller works best for applying the sealer smoothly and evenly.
  • Make sure to choose a brush or roller that is appropriate for the size of your furniture and allows you to reach all the nooks and crannies.
  • Dip the brush or roller into the sealer and remove any excess by tapping it against the edge of the container.
  • Apply the sealer in long, even strokes, working in the direction of the wood grain.
  • Avoid using too much pressure, as this can cause drips and streaks.
  • Make sure to cover the entire surface of the furniture, including small crevices and joints.
  • If using a brush, feather out any brush marks to achieve a smooth finish.
  • Clean the brush or roller immediately after use to prolong its lifespan and prevent the sealer from drying on the bristles.

Tips For Avoiding Drips And Streaks:

  • To ensure a professional finish and avoid unsightly drips and streaks, follow these tips:
  • Apply thin coats of the sealer, rather than one thick coat. This will prevent excess sealer from pooling and dripping.
  • Use long, smooth strokes when applying the sealer to minimize the chances of creating streaks.
  • Work in small sections, rather than trying to cover the entire furniture at once. This will allow you to maintain better control and prevent drips.
  • Check for drips or pooling sealer as you go along, and immediately smooth them out with a brush or roller.
  • If you notice streaks or uneven coverage after the first coat, lightly sand the surface before applying the second coat.
  • Keep a clean, dry cloth or paper towel handy to wipe away any excess sealer that may accumulate in corners or crevices.
  • Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Rushing the drying process can lead to drips and uneven coverage.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying times and recommended number of coats for optimal results.

Remember, proper application of the sealer is crucial for effectively waterproofing your outdoor wood furniture. By following these step-by-step instructions and implementing the tips provided, you can ensure even coverage, avoid drips and streaks, and achieve long-lasting protection for your furniture.

Maintaining Waterproofed Wood Furniture

Learn how to effectively waterproof your outdoor wood furniture with these expert tips. From using sealants like Minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane, to applying clear penetrating epoxy sealers and water repellents, you’ll discover the best methods to protect your furniture from the elements.

Keep your wood furniture looking great all year round.


Regular cleaning and maintenance:

  • Clean the wood furniture regularly using a gentle cleanser and a soft brush or cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the wood.
  • Remove any dirt, dust, or debris from the furniture surface regularly to prevent buildup and prolong the life of the waterproofing.
  • Wipe down the furniture after rain or any outdoor gathering to prevent water stains and maintain the waterproofing.

Reapplying the sealer as needed:

  • Over time, the waterproofing sealer on the wood furniture may degrade due to exposure to weather and UV rays. It is important to monitor the condition of the sealant regularly.
  • If you notice any signs of wear or if the water is no longer repelling off the surface, it is time to reapply the sealer.
  • Before reapplying the sealer, make sure to clean and dry the furniture thoroughly to ensure proper adhesion.

Protecting the furniture from harsh weather conditions:

  • Harsh weather conditions such as excessive heat, rain, or extreme cold can damage the wood furniture.
  • Consider covering the furniture during extreme weather conditions or storing it indoors when not in use.
  • Use protective covers or tarps to shield the furniture from direct exposure to the elements and prevent moisture from seeping in.

Remember, maintaining waterproofed wood furniture is essential to ensure its longevity and protect it from damage caused by moisture and weather conditions. By following these simple steps, you can keep your outdoor wood furniture looking great for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Waterproof Outdoor Wood Furniture

What Is The Best Waterproofing For Outdoor Wood Furniture?

One of the best waterproofing options for outdoor wood furniture is Minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane. It has special oils that allow it to expand and contract with changing seasons and temperatures. Other options include spar urethane, which contains UV absorbers, and clear penetrating epoxy sealers.

What Should I Use To Seal Outdoor Wood Furniture?

The best sealant for outdoor wood furniture is spar urethane. It comes in oil-based or water-based options and offers protection from UV rays. Apply the sealant directly to the wood using a brush or roller.

How Do You Weather Proof Wood Furniture?

To weatherproof wood furniture, seal any exposed end grain with a clear penetrating epoxy sealer. For painting, use a primer and outdoor paint like Rust-Oleum Restore. Another option is to use liquid sealants or water repellents. Apply the sealant directly to the wood using a brush or roller.

You can also use polyurethane or urethane sealants for painted surfaces. Choose the best sealant based on your product label instructions.

How Do You Waterproof Outdoor Wood?

To waterproof outdoor wood, use a wood sealer like Minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane. Apply a clear penetrating epoxy sealer to seal any exposed end grain. Use a water repellent after the sealant has dried. Another option is to finish and waterproof the wood simultaneously with a stain-sealant combo.


Seed oil with a protective coating of polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer. This will not only enhance the appearance of your outdoor wood furniture, but also provide long-lasting waterproofing. Another effective method is to use a stain-sealant combo, which allows you to finish and waterproof the wood simultaneously.

Additionally, liquid sealants and water repellents can be applied to further protect the wood from moisture damage. Remember to seal any exposed end grain with a clear penetrating epoxy sealer before applying the stain or paint. Spar urethane, an outdoor-friendly polyurethane, is a popular choice for maintaining an outdoor wood finish due to its UV absorbers.

Whether you opt for oil-based or water-based products, make sure to choose a sealant that is suitable for outdoor use. By following these tips and using the appropriate sealants, you can effectively waterproof your outdoor wood furniture and ensure its longevity for years to come. Protection Status