Wood furniture makes a stunning addition to any patio space. Whether you’ve just set up your new west elm wood dining set or you've added a few chairs to your existing decor, it’s important to protect your outdoor dining furniture so it stays looking as good as new. Wood is a sturdy, durable material, but it can be sensitive to the elements. Luckily, a little effort goes a long way. Weatherproofing wood furniture is quick and easy, letting you enjoy your pieces for years to come.
Seal the Wood
There are several ways you can seal off your outdoor dining tables, coffee tables and benches. Varnish and sealers have clear finishes, letting the natural colour and grain of the wood show through. Water sealers are particularly good choices if you want to protect pieces that are stained or feature rustic finishes, as they are lighter and offer a more natural look. However, you need to apply a new coat every two or three years.
Varnish lasts longer, but it can alter the colour of the wood. If you want to customise your pieces, paints and stains can also seal off your furniture. Before applying a coat of sealer, varnish or paint, clean the piece with warm soapy water and a gentle cloth. Let the wood dry before applying the product with a clean brush. If you want to weatherproof a new piece, you can skip this step.
Choose the Right Space
Placement can also play a key role in preserving your wood chairs and tables. Direct sunlight and rain can alter the appearance of your furniture, so keeping it away from these elements helps it stay as stunning as the day you bought it. When arranging your furniture, choose a dry, shady place. Spaces underneath canopies or large trees work well.
Add Some Glides
If you live in a climate that gets a lot of rain, the legs of your furniture are particularly susceptible to moisture. These make contact with the ground, which exposes them to water on the patio. Adding some glides to the bases of the legs raises them off the ground slightly, keeping them dry during heavy rains.
Keep Your Furniture Clean
Dust and dirt help moisture cling to wood and encourage moss growth. Dust can also wear away at the finish when it gets windy. To help your furniture stay looking its best, clean it regularly with gentle cleaning supplies. Mix some unscented liquid soap with some warm water and carefully wash away dirt with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse off all of the soap with a garden hose and use a towel to dry off the pieces. Be sure to pay extra attention to the undersides of the furniture, as these areas have less exposure to the sun and dry off more slowly.
Even if you’ve applied a sealer and use covers when you’re not using your furniture, you can still take some additional steps to protect your chairs, tables and benches. If the weather forecast calls for a storm, take everything into a sheltered space such as a garage, shed or basement. If you don’t have any space, find the most sheltered area of your yard and put everything there until the storm has passed. You can also store pieces indoors over the winter. This is a particularly good idea if you live in a region with a lot of rain or snow over the colder months. You should also take in any fabric items such as cushions and throws when the weather gets wet.