Outdoor wooden furniture adds a touch of elegance and natural beauty to any garden or patio. To ensure that your investment stands the test of time, proper care and maintenance are essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to keep your wooden outdoor furniture looking stunning and well-protected against the elements.

A Guide for Maintaining Outdoor Wooden Furniture

How to Care for Wooden Outdoor Furniture Guide1

Cleaning: The Foundation of Maintenance

Regular cleaning is the first step to maintaining the allure of your wooden outdoor furniture. Start by gathering mild dish soap or wood-specific cleaner, a bucket of warm water, a soft-bristle brush or sponge, and a garden hose or pressure washer. Begin by removing any loose debris, leaves, or dirt from the furniture. This initial step helps prevent scratches and ensures that the cleaning solution can penetrate more effectively.

Next, prepare the cleaning solution by mixing mild dish soap or a wood-specific cleaner with warm water in the bucket. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they may damage the wood’s natural properties. With the solution ready, gently scrub the furniture’s surface using a soft-bristle brush or sponge. This process helps remove accumulated dirt, grime, and stains, revitalizing the wood’s appearance.

After scrubbing, rinse the furniture thoroughly to eliminate any soap residue. Use a garden hose or pressure washer on a low setting for a more efficient rinse. Once the cleaning is complete, allow the furniture to air dry completely before moving on to the maintenance stage.

Maintenance: Preserving Beauty and Integrity

Caring for wooden outdoor furniture involves regular inspections and prompt repairs. Periodically inspect the furniture for signs of wear, cracks, or splintering. Wood is susceptible to weathering, especially when exposed to harsh outdoor conditions. Minor scratches can be easily remedied by lightly sanding the affected area and reapplying the finish or sealant. This simple maintenance step will help maintain the furniture’s original appearance and protect it from further damage.

For more substantial damage, such as cracks or splits, it’s essential to take timely action. Use wood filler or epoxy to fill the gaps, followed by sanding the surface smooth. Once the damaged area is repaired, apply the finish or sealant to ensure the entire piece remains protected.

If you lack the expertise or time to handle repairs, consider reaching out to a professional screen porch builder who specializes in outdoor furniture maintenance. They can provide expert guidance and service to ensure your wooden furniture remains in top-notch condition for years to come.

Applying a protective finish or sealant is crucial to safeguard the wood from the elements. Choose an outdoor wood finish suitable for your furniture type. For example, teak and cedar require different finishes because of their varying properties. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply the finish evenly on a clean, dry surface. Remember that different wood types may have different requirements for reapplication, but ‌a yearly reapplication will maintain the furniture’s protection.

Protection from the Elements: Shielding Your Investment

While wood can be resilient, it requires some help to withstand the outdoor elements. To protect your wooden outdoor furniture from rain, snow, and the damaging effects of UV rays, invest in high-quality, weather-resistant furniture covers. These covers will shield the furniture when it’s not in use, extending its lifespan and preserving its beauty.

During severe weather, such as storms or heavy snow, consider moving the furniture to a sheltered area or indoors, if possible. This proactive approach will shield the furniture from potential damage and increase its longevity.

To prevent moisture absorption from the ground, consider elevating the furniture using risers or protective pads. This small step will go a long way in preserving the integrity of the wood and avoiding common issues like warping or rot.

Winter Storage (for Colder Climates): Preparing for the Cold Months

For those living in colder climates, proper winter storage is essential. Before storing the furniture, clean and dry it thoroughly. Moisture can cause damage during the colder months, so make sure the furniture is completely dry before putting it away.

Ideally, store the wooden furniture in a dry, climate-controlled indoor space during the winter months. If bringing the furniture indoors is not an option, consider using a weatherproof furniture cover and placing the furniture in a protected area, such as a covered porch or a shed.


With the help of this ultimate guide, you can now confidently care for your wooden outdoor furniture. By following these steps, your furniture will maintain its beauty and durability, allowing you to enjoy the natural charm of your outdoor living space for years to come. Regular cleaning, proper maintenance, and adequate protection will ensure that your investment remains an inviting focal point in your garden or patio, always ready to welcome you into its warm embrace. 

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, https://www.patriciadavisbrowndesigns.com/. She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and eHow.com talent offering design tips.