What’s the Best Protection for Outdoor Wood Furniture?

You need a line of defense between your outdoor wood furniture and the many outdoor elements. Wood can’t protect itself and it’s prone to shrinkage and rot. Learn here what’s the best protection for outdoor wood furniture.

Different kinds of wood can even attract bugs that’ll eat away at it.

The finish of your wood furniture is what comes between it and any damaging weather. And that’s why you need a high-quality finish that’s going to do more than make it look nice.

You have to figure out what finish is best for your outdoor wood furniture. Then you have to decide which one will protect your furniture.

Exterior Wood Oil 

Oil is a common choice for an outdoor wood furniture finish. It’s on the cheaper side too.

There are several types of oil to choose from including Danish oil, linseed oil, tung oil, and mineral oil. Linseed oil is our favorite choice for wood.

Even though oil can assist in protecting your wood furniture, it can’t do what the next two choices can do. And you’ll have to reapply it often.

Plaza Double Boiled 1 Litre Linseed Oil 

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Plaza’s highly refined linseed oil is one of our tops. Part of that’s because it’s 100% chemical free and it works on all types of wood.

It has great pigment wetting property. The oil penetrates the surface of your wood furniture and creates a tough barrier.

The barrier protects wood from moisture and protects it from getting scratched.

Once you apply the linseed oil, you need to polish the wood for the best look and performance.

It doesn’t take forever for the linseed oil to dry. 

Exterior Varnish 

Wood varnish is our second choice for protecting our outside wood furniture. Most varnishes are clear so they won’t cover the natural beauty of the wood.

The varnish creates a protective layer that’s able to stop moisture from coming through or even UV rays.

There are a couple of downsides to using wood varnish though. First, you have to apply several coats for proper coverage and protection. And you have to sand it between every coat of varnish you apply.

But, unlike oil, you don’t have to retouch varnish all the time. It will last a good three years before you’ll have to do any retouching.

Miniwax 63210444 Helmsman Spar Urethane/Varnish, Clear Semi-Gloss 

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Miniwax has a great wood varnish or spar urethane, among their other great products. The company has regular spar urethane and it also has water-based ones.

The product, once layered, creates a strong barrier for the wood. It’ll be hard for any moisture, including rain, to come through and soak in.

This Helmsman urethane contains UV blockers that block UV rays from penetrating your outdoor wood furniture. No more bleaching or fading.

There are oils in this varnish that let your furniture contract and expand from temperature changes. And there’s no warping or damage done to the wood.

This particular color, clear semi-gloss, works the best with light-colored wood. There are others that will work as well with darker-colored wood.

The varnish dries fast, so you don’t have to wait too long for your furniture to be ready.

It’s easy to clean up if you make a mess. 

Exterior Paint or Stain 

Believe it or not but paint (and wood stain) is one of the best finishes you can use for outdoor wood furniture. And it can protect without the constant retouching of oils.

You need outdoor paint or stain with the works. When it comes to wood furniture, outdoor paint and primer combo is the best choice. It’ll save you a step.

But you can buy them separate from each other if you need to.

These paints usually seal it as well to protect it from being bleached or fading away from UV rays.

The paint for your outdoor wood furniture can be latex or oil-based.

And with paint or stain, you don’t have to retouch it all the time compared to other finishes. There will always be touch-ups but at least you don’t have to paint it every six months.

Ready Seal 130 1-Gallon Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer, Mahogany 

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You don’t need a primer with this exterior wood stain. It’s a stain and primer combo. It’s an oil-based paint/stain.

This mahogany stain brings out the natural design and beauty in your outdoor wood furniture.

It’ll protect your furniture from UV rays and even mildew. It’s also waterproof, so no water is getting through to the wood for a while.

Nothing is getting through the seal created by a coat of this wood stain.

It doesn’t require back brushing. And you won’t have to deal with laps, runs, or streaks.

There’s no wet-line application. The stain blends itself which is a nice little touch. You don’t even have to dilute or thin the paint before you apply the paint through spraying.

Ready Seal has its’ “goof proof” application. You won’t make mistakes while staining your outdoor furniture.

It takes 14 days for the true color to come out. Otherwise, the color seems darker than it is. This is a semi-transparent color and stain. 


It’s hard to find worthy protection for your outdoor wood furniture. You’ve scoured the internet for the right products but you haven’t had any luck.

You’ve got a tarp waiting nearby but that doesn’t help for weather changes when you’re not home or in the middle of the night. We’ve been through it all.

Source of Featured Image: canva.com

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