Taking Indoor Furniture Outdoors: How to Weatherproof Furniture

Wooden patio chairs and table

Having the right outdoor furniture can make or break your patio, but purchasing furnishings specifically made to withstand mother nature can get expensive fast. Luckily, there is a way you can get the porch of your dreams without breaking your budget. Here is a quick and easy guide on how to take affordable indoor furniture outdoors.

Items You'll Need

  • Sander
  • Sand paper
  • Paint stripper
  • Paint
  • Wood stain
  • Wood sealer
  • Fabric waterproofing chemical
  • Waterproof lacquer

Step 1 - Prepping Wood Surfaces

With wood surfaces, you want to ensure that the material can withstand any weather condition, from the extreme heat in the summer to showers and humidity in the spring. To start, you will need to remove the outer layer of paint or stain to get to the natural wood surface. You can do this using sand paper and a power sander or a chemical wood stripper.

Once the original wood is exposed, sand the material using fine sandpaper. Then wipe everything down a tack cloth to remove sawdust. After everything is clean, apply a coat of primer or a stain to the surface. A good primer should be applied if you plan on painting the surface.

Tip: Always observe safety protocols when sanding, priming, staining, or painting materials. This includes wearing safety gear—dust masks, eye and ear protection, and gloves—and working in a well-ventilated area.

Step 2 - Apply Sealant

A woman painting sealant on wood

You need to apply a few layers of sealant to waterproof the wood surface. By waterproofing the wood, you can help prevent mildew and rot from forming on the material. You should apply the sealant after the final layer of paint or stain has fully dried. If you want to keep the natural look of the wood, simply brush on the sealant after you clean the surface.

You can use a paint brush to spread out the sealant evenly on the wood. You can also purchased spray sealant that works just as well. These chemicals typically dry within eight hours and usually require two coats, though you should follow the manufacturers directions whenever possible.

Step 3 - Waterproofing Materials

Indoor fabrics are a little trickier to take outdoors. Without proper preparation, these materials are highly susceptible to mildew. Fortunately, you can waterproof fabrics and fully protect them from whatever mother nature has in store.

You can find a good waterproofer for fabrics at your local big box store or online. These chemicals are typically used with a washing machine, with the dryer acting to set the repellent. After the waterproofer has dried, you can apply a stain repellent for an additional layer of protection.

Step 4 - Working With Metals

Metal table and chairs outside

Metal surfaces are perfect for outdoor use because they are hardy and can easily be converted to withstand the weather. You can use waterproofing lacquer to condition a number of metal surfaces, including copper, steel, and aluminum. The lacquer will help protect the surface from moisture, the sun, salt, and wind. With metals, apply a lacquer is doubly important for resisting rust and preventing paint from flaking and peeling off. Just remember to use the lacquer after you have sanded away old paint and applied a new coat.

Additional Tips

If you cannot find a suitable waterproofer for a material, consider replacing it with something that is already outdoor safe. These fabrics not only guard against moisture but they are also made to resist ultraviolet rays, which tends to fade colors.

Once you have properly prepped your furniture for outdoor use, you should check it periodically to ensure it retains its weatherproofing properties.

If you want your outdoor furniture to last even longer, consider purchasing covers for parts of the year when the furnishings are not used. This is especially important in the winter time, when heavy snows can damage even the hardiest of materials. But with a little care and attention, your converted outdoor furniture can easily stand the test of time without breaking the budget.