How Do You Weatherproof Wooden Garden Furniture?

A tranquil garden space often involves wooden furniture that blends seamlessly with nature. However, the whims of weather can quickly take a toll on these prized possessions. Fading, warping, and even rotting, to name a few. This is where weatherproofing comes into play.

This guide will walk you through the steps and provide tips to prolong your investment. Ready to shield your furniture from elements and maintain its integrity and beauty?

The Importance of Weatherproofing

BillyOh Windsor Traditional Bench - 2 Seater
BillyOh Windsor Traditional Bench – 2 Seater

Wooden garden furniture gives off a natural touch of elegance. However, the ever-changing weather conditions can wreak havoc on such pieces. Fortunately, weatherproofing solves the problem of fade, warp, and rot dilemmas. It provides a solution that helps preserve beauty and extends its lifespan.

Understanding the effects of weather is crucial in appreciating the need for weatherproofing. Here’s how it can prevent or mitigate these issues:


Garden wooden bench showing a sign of fading

(Image Credit: Pxfuel)

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Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause wooden furniture to fade over time. UV rays penetrate the wood’s surface, breaking down its natural pigments. This leads to a dull, weathered appearance, and the fading can be noticeable in darker woods.

Weatherproofing solution: Apply a weatherproofing treatment with UV protection. This helps shield your furniture from the harmful effects of the sun. By creating a protective barrier, weatherproofing treatments can slow down the fading process. Moreover, preserve the rich, natural colour of the wood.


Warped outdoor wooden bench

(Image Credit: Pxhere)

Changes in humidity and moisture levels can cause the wooden furniture to distort. When wood absorbs moisture, it expands, and when it dries out, it contracts. These constant fluctuations can lead to warping. They also can result in an uneven surface, wobbling, or even structural damage.

Weatherproofing solution: Weatherproofing treatments act as a barrier against moisture. It prevents excessive absorption or loss. Sealants, varnishes, and paints form a protective layer on the surface. They help reduce the wood’s exposure to humidity. By limiting moisture penetration, weatherproofing helps minimise warping. In return, your furniture retains its shape and stability.


Rotting outdoor wooden bench

(Image Credit: Wallpaper Flare)

When exposed to moisture for prolonged periods, wood becomes susceptible to rotting. Rainwater, dew, or high humidity levels can create a breeding ground for fungi or bacteria. If overlooked, this can lead to decay, compromising the furniture’s structural integrity.

Weatherproofing solution: Select treatments that include fungicides and inhibitors to combat rot. These additives help inhibit the growth of fungi and prevent wood decay. Regular maintenance and inspections allow you to identify and address any signs of rot early on. This guarantees your furniture remains strong and durable.

Preparing the Furniture for Weatherproofing

Here are the steps involved in preparing your furniture and the necessary tools you’ll need:

1. Gather tools and materials

Before you begin, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Protective gloves and safety glasses
  • Scrub brush or stiff bristle brush
  • Mild detergent or wood cleaner
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Sandpaper or sanding block (medium to fine grit)
  • Dust mask
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Painter’s tape or plastic sheets (if necessary)

2. Remove loose debris and dust

Start by removing any loose debris, leaves, or cobwebs from your wooden furniture. Use a brush or a broom to sweep away the larger particles. This step helps prevent scratches during the cleaning process.

3. Clean the furniture

Prepare a mixture of mild detergent or wood cleaner with warm water in a bucket. Dip the scrub brush or stiff bristle brush into the soapy water and scrub the surface gently. Pay close attention to any areas with stains, dirt, or grime. Be thorough but avoid excessive scrubbing, as it may damage the wood.

4. Rinse and dry

After scrubbing, rinse the furniture with clean water to remove any soapy residue. Ensure all the cleaning solution is completely washed off. Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe away excess moisture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely before proceeding to the next step. Ensure it is completely dry to avoid trapping moisture during the weatherproofing process.

5. Sanding (if necessary)

Check if your wooden furniture has rough spots, splinters, or old weatherproofing coatings. If so, sanding can help smoothen the surface. This process also helps promote better adhesion of the weatherproofing treatment.

Use medium to fine-grit sandpaper or a sanding block to sand the surface gently. Sanding also helps open up the wood pores for better absorption of the treatment.

6. Remove dust

After sanding, use a clean cloth to remove any dust or debris created during the sanding process. This step ensures a clean surface for the weatherproofing treatment. Also, it prevents particles from getting trapped under the protective coating.

7. Protect surrounding areas (if necessary)

Are you applying a weatherproofing treatment that requires avoiding contact with certain surfaces? Use painter’s tape or plastic sheets to protect the glass tabletop, for instance. This precaution helps maintain a neat and clean application.

By following these tips, you can ensure your wooden garden furniture is clean and smooth. Most importantly, it’s ready to receive the weatherproofing treatment.


Congratulations! You now possess the tools to protect your wooden furniture and maintain its beauty and durability for years.

Remember, weatherproofing is not a one-time task but an ongoing maintenance responsibility. Regular inspections and cleaning, coupled with appropriate maintenance schedules, make a difference.

Cheers to the longevity, beauty, and resilience of your weatherproofed wooden garden furniture!