How to Waterproof Plastic and Metal Furniture for Outdoors

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We’ve spoken on how to protect your wood furniture from water damage and sun exposure. But not all outdoor furniture is made from wood.

So, what are you supposed to do to protect your plastic or metal outdoor furniture?

The protection for these types of outdoor furniture differ. Unlike wood, they can’t rely on their finish for serious protection. They come with different options for protection.

We’re going to go over how to protect your plastic furniture from sun damage as well as protecting fabric cushions.

We’ll also go over how to protect your metal furniture from sun and water damage.

You don’t have to worry about your outdoor furniture getting ruined every again, no matter what material they’re made from. 

Protecting Your Plastic Outdoor Furniture from Sun Damage 

Plastic furniture for the outdoors can start to fade and lose their color over time. White spots will appear throughout the furniture too.

This is all from oxidation. The chemicals in the plastic furniture react negatively with constant exposure to both oxygen and sunlight.

Some plastics will even weakened over time from constant direct sunlight.

When plastic outdoor furniture is built, it’s made to be protected from the sun. It’s made to make your life easier. But over the years, that protective coating starts to wear off.

UV-Resistant Plastic Spray 

303’s Aerospace UV Protectant Dust and Dirt Repellant Spray


The first option for your plastic patio furniture are products made to be UV-resistant. The sprays create a protective barrier around the plastic furniture.

Most of these sprays are multi-surface sprays, like 303’s Aerospace UV Protectant Dust and Dirt Repellant Spray. It’s for plastic, leather, rubber, vinyl, and more. 

Car Wax with UV Protection

Rust-Oleum Stops Rust, Rust Inhibitor Spray


Car wax is one way to protect plastic from sun damage. Yes, car wax! They work as a sealant and barrier between harmful UV rays and your furniture.

It’s as effective if not more so than the sprays you can buy. Plus, it gives it a new shiny finish to your plastic patio furniture.

The best car wax product to make your outdoor furniture UV-resistant is the TriNova Paint Sealant Car Wax.

Protecting Your Metal Outdoor Furniture from Sun and Water Damage 

Metal patio furniture, like plastic furniture, is protected. They’re made to be waterproof. But like with most anything, the coating protection isn’t permanent.

Long periods are going to take a beating on a coating. So, at some point you’re going to have to take care of upkeep.

Waterproof Metal Spray


Metal furniture can easily rust away when it’s not protected. That’s one of the worst things you can have happen to metal patio furniture.

We like to use Rust-Oleum Stops Rust, Rust Inhibitor Spray to protect ours from water and rust.

UV-Resistant Metal Spray 

SunGuard’s UV-Protectant Spray


But metal furniture isn’t only bothered by rainfall and snowfall. UV rays or sunlight can have a great impact once the original coating has worn away.

The sun can distort the coloring of the metal furniture. It can also slowly corrode away the metal.

As with everything else, there are products to protect it.

We love SunGuard’s UV-Protectant Spray.

Protecting Fabric Outdoor Cushions from Sun and Water Damage

 The actual outdoor furniture isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. The accessories that go along with the furniture need protection too.

One of the biggest accessories along side outdoor furniture, is fabric cushions and pillows. And fabric is even more vulnerable to weather elements than the furniture itself.

The best and safest way to accomplish waterproofing fabric cushions and pillows is to use the many waterproofing products on the market.

Now, you can go one of two ways. There are waterproofing spray options and there are also waterproofing wash-in options.

Test the Fabric for Waterproofing

Before you start, you might want to test the fabric to see if it even needs waterproofing. There are outdoor fabrics that are waterproofed before they hit the shelves.

To test, you only need to use a few drops of water. If the water beads up and isn’t absorbed by the fabric, it’s already waterproof.

But if the fabric absorbs the water, it needs a waterproof treatment of some kind.

Waterproof Fabric Spray 


The first option you have is waterproof fabric spray. These types of sprays fill in the pores of the fabric. With the pores filled, water can’t be absorbed by the fabric.

You do have to reapply most waterproofing sprays every year or two for them to be effective.

One of our favorite waterproof fabric sprays is Rust-Oleum NeverWet Outdoor Fabric Spray.

Waterproof Fabric Wash-In 

Nikwax TX. Direct Wash-in Waterproofing


Wash-ins are perfect for outdoor cushions and pillows with removable covers. It’s easy to apply since all you have to do is throw the covers in the washer.

Wash-in waterproof formulas create a protective barrier around the fabric.

A great waterproof wash-in to try is Nikwax TX. Direct Wash-in Waterproofing

UV-Resistant Fabric Spray 

Star Brite’s Waterproofer + Stain Repellent + UV Protection


Those fun designs on your fabric cushions and pillows aren’t going to last. Especially when they sit in the sun all day, everyday.

Those funky designs and pretty colors are going to fade away. Constant sunlight will also bleach the fabric.

The downside is, depending on what spray you’re using, you’ll have to reapply it every few months. It’s hard to come by a permanent UV-resistant product.

The best UV protectant product is a 3-in-1. It’s Star Brite’s Waterproofer + Stain Repellent + UV Protection. 


Not all outdoor furniture is made alike. There are several material types to choose from outside of wood. There’s even poly plastic that’s made to resemble wood.

Point is, it doesn’t matter what your outdoor furniture is made from. There are products out there to help you protect them from the weather elements, including the sun and rainfall.

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