The best outdoor furniture is built to look good, feel good, and last for years of wind, rain, heat, and cold. Still, the weatherproofing on every piece of outdoor furniture is not created equal and may need a bit of help from you. Here, we’ll cover some useful tips for making your outdoor furniture truly worthy of the name.
Your first step should be to anchor the legs or main structure of each piece of furniture to your porch. This can best be done using chain and heavy hooks with a wood-screw end, but baling wire also works well. Second, you will want to lacquer or otherwise seal your furniture to guard against moisture and corrosion. As the heavy weather approaches, you may not have all your supplies at the ready. Protect furniture with a tarp or plastic coverings until you gather the things you need.
Only specially solution-dyed fabric upholstery can be expected to stand up to the rigors of the outdoors. Check the sides of any fabric upholstered furniture for uniformity. If the color and wear are even, it should be factory sealed. If not, you can obtain fabric sealants from most home improvement stores.
A nice, thick coat of automotive wax can do wonders to protect metal furniture from the weather. Rusty metal spray prime by the Rust-Oleum company is another good option. Inspect your furniture for rusty spots, and buff them out if you find them, taking care to protect your eyes and lungs. Then, seal them with wax or Rust-Oleum.
Quality wood has a natural resistance to the elements. In time, most quality wood will seal itself against the weather and develop a nice grayish patina. But if you want it to retain its factory look, you can improve its chances of survival with a nice coat of lacquer. A clear water repellent will protect your wood without changing the color. For best results, sand off any surface wear or old wood finish first. This will improve the longevity of your work.
Wicker can be stained or lacquered just as regular wood can. You will need to use much more stain or lacquer to obtain the same result as with wood due to the absorbent nature of this material. Adding sealant-treated fabric can help it to last longer and to be more comfortable but only if the value of your wicker furniture warrants the upgrade.
To guard against mildew, your best bet is to keep your outdoor furniture dry. Using outdoor structures to guard against rain and infrared heaters, you can prevent water from standing inside your favorite pieces. Leave any damp surfaces open to the air to dry fully when possible.
Following these tips will give you a good, solid headstart in your race to beat the elements. Applying certain types of furniture glue and other sealants to the feet of wood pieces and the vulnerable areas of other items will go a long way.