How to Finish an Outdoor Storage Bench

What You'll Need
Water hose
Cleaning solution

Finishing a weathered piece of outdoor furniture, such as an outdoor storage bench, is a simple task anyone can do at home. Just follow these steps and you'll have a beautifully restored wooden bench in no time.

Step 1 - Wash the Bench

Spray down the wooden bench with a hose before you begin. This will help the stain apply evenly to the surface and keep the bench moist through the entire process of restoration.

Step 2 - Apply a Cleaning Solution

  • You may also want to use a cleaning solution to fully clean the bench. Use a deck cleaner or brightener to get rid of dirt buildup and restore the original look of the wood. Add the cleaning solution to a sprayer or apply it with a paintbrush. Always start at the bottom of the bench and move upward to avoid streaking.
  • Let the cleaning solution soak into the wood for a few minutes and then give the bench a good scrub with a brush to remove dirt, debris, and pieces of wood that may have come loose during the process. Use a smaller brush to clean hard to reach areas.
  • Rinse the solution from the bench and let the piece dry completely. You'll notice raised wood grains when the bench is dry. Sand the bench with rough sandpaper to smooth the surface of the wood, but don't sand too much, or the wood will not be able to absorb the finish.

Step 3 - Finish the Bench

  • Now it's time to stain the bench. Adding a coat of stain will transform the bench and give it a rich color. Stains also protect wooden furniture from the elements. If you want to avoid dripping, use a gel stain.
  • First, apply the stain to the edges of the bench with a paintbrush. Sometimes the applicator pad that comes with the stain can be handy for coating the flat surfaces of the bench. The pad is designed to spread the stain evenly and work the stain into the wood grain more easily.
  • When you have finished staining the bench let it dry completely.