How to Weatherproof Wood Furniture

Springtime means it’s time to bust out the patio set and all of your other outdoor furniture. But, with warmer temperatures, will come a whole lot of water.

Waterproofing your outdoor furniture is absolutely vital if you want it to last more than a season. Without being fully waterproofed, your outdoor furniture runs the risk of being completely ruined by the elements.

Keep reading to learn how to waterproof outdoor wooden furniture and what to choose for the type of wood your furniture is made from.

How to Waterproof Outdoor Wooden Furniture

Reasons To Waterproof Your Outdoor Wooden Furniture:

Outdoor furniture made of wood is destined to absorb rain, dew, humidity, and any other type of moisture. If it’s not sealed, it’s left vulnerable to:

  • Fungus growth like mold, moss, and actual mushrooms.
  • Wood will split or warp and may crumble under weight.
  • Woot rot, which will eventually cause the furniture to fall apart.
  • Bugs that eat damp wood, such as termites.

Commonly Used Wood For Outdoor Furniture

There are so many different kinds of wood that can be used as furniture, but some are just better suited for the outdoors. Here are the top three most commonly used woods for outdoor furniture:


Teakwood is one of the strongest hardwoods known to woodworkers and carpenters. A benefit of teak is that it has a near-perfect grain that is almost impossible to find in any other trees. However, it is much more expensive and can only be used with sealers that are made specifically for teak wood, like Starbrite Teak Sealer.

Star brite Teak Sealer

Star brite Teak Sealer

  • Works great on outerwear
  • Cleans clothes and makes them waterproof at the same time
  • Works in a single wash cycle

Easy Application, Great Color, Prep Important!


Cedar is a softwood that can be used for furniture, shingles, and even house siding. The natural oils already found in the cedar wood can repel water and bugs, making it a perfect fit for outdoor furniture. It’s those oils that make cedar such a fast-burning and great-smelling kindling.


Oak trees are well-known for their symbolism of strength. The wood of the mighty oak makes strong garden benches, patios, and even interior furniture. However, oak wood needs to be sealed because it does not do well with too much moisture, even as a living tree.


This is usually made from pine and is used more frequently than any other kind of wood. Pressure-treated wood can be used in all types of furniture, from couches to patios.

How to Waterproof Outdoor Wooden Furniture

Choosing The Right Waterproofing Treatment

Rain, dew, and humidity can absorb right into your wooden furniture, which may destroy it over time. Use one of these solutions to preserve the wood and prevent any water damaging from happening.

Remember, when you’re waterproofing wooden furniture, every wood has a different composition, meaning that it will mix and look much better with certain waterproof coatings. For instance, pressure wood does much better with paint and stains than it does with oil varnishes, but cedar is better mixed with oils or a natural stain. 

Transparent or Translucent Natural Wood Stains

Stains are best for woods that have beautiful grain, but a boring color. For oak or cedar, try a transparent stain for a protective clear coat, or a semi-transparent stain to create more vibrant colored outdoor wooden furniture. For upkeep, re-stain every 2-3 years.

Latex Exterior Paint

Latex paint like Rustoleum Painter’s Touch is a water-resistant sealer that you customize all of your outdoor wooden furniture with. Painting is an excellent choice if you don’t like the color of pressure-treated wood or just want some more color in your life. To keep the paint looking its best, reapply a new coat or to every year.

Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch Latex

Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch Latex

  • Covers up to 120 sq ft and dries to touch in 30 minutes for quick project completion
  • Use for a variety of indoor and outdoor project surfaces including wood
  • Water-based acrylic formula is low odor, resist chips and provides long-lasting protection

Easy Application, Great Color, Prep Important!

Oil-Based Varnish Sealants

Since cedar is already waterproofed, it doesn’t need to be completely sealed. Instead, using Tung Oil or Linseed Oil (aka Flaxeed Oil) are great waterproofing sutions to keep cedar weather-resistant, without losing any of its natural beauty. Plus, you can put a coat of epoxy sealer on top to add an extra layer of waterproof protection

How To Waterproof Your Outdoor Wooden Furniture

There are five steps to efficiently seal off your outdoor wooden furniture from the water and all of the damage that comes with it. Make sure you’re always following the instructions for the product you're using to get the best effect.

step 1

Prepare The Wood for Waterproofing

Before applying any kind of stain to your furniture, the wood needs to be prepared first. This includes getting rid of dirt and sanding down the surface to create a smooth blank canvas for your waterproofing solution.

step 2

Choose The Proper Waterproofing Agent

Choose whether you’re going to stain, paint, or use a varnish on your furniture to make it waterproof. Remember to choose the finish according to the type of wood you’re using and whether you want to change the color or not.

step 3

Lay First Coat and Dry

Paint or spray on an even first coat of your waterproof sealant. Then, leave it to dry for the next few hours or until the product has dried and hardened.

step 4

Second and Third Coats (if needed)

Next, lay down a second, and perhaps, even a third coat for extra protection. If you’re using a stain or paint, a third coat won’t be necessary. But, with oil varnishes, you may have to have multiple coats for a perfect and longer-lasting finish.

step 5

Drying and Curing

This is the most important part. To make sure everything goes according to plan, closely follow the direction on the waterproof product’s label. Typically, you’ll want to leave your furniture to dry for at least 24 hours for oils, varnishes, and paints. But for stains, you will want to let them cure for up to 3 days.

step 6

Enjoy Your Newly Waterproof Furniture

After you’ve sealed your wooden furniture, you can leave it out in the rain, without worrying about it ever coming apart! Plus, you won’t have to wait to let your Muskoka chair dry to sit down after it rains. Waterproofing means that you can just wipe it off with a towel, and it’s dry.