How To Refinish Outdoor Wood Furniture?

Looking to give your outdoor wood furniture a fresh new look? Refinishing is the way to go! Whether your furniture has been damaged by the elements or is simply in need of a makeover, refinishing can bring it back to life. Refinishing outdoor wood furniture involves sanding, staining, and sealing, which helps protect the wood from further wear and tear. With the right tools and a little effort, you can transform your weathered furniture into a stunning focal point for your outdoor space.

Firstly, start by cleaning your furniture to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. Use a mild detergent and water to scrub the surface thoroughly. Once cleaned, allow the furniture to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Next, sand the furniture to remove the existing finish or roughen the surface to promote better adhesion of the new stain. Begin with a coarse-grit sandpaper and gradually switch to finer grits until the surface is smooth and even.

After sanding, apply a wood stain of your choice using a brush or a clean cloth. Make sure to apply the stain evenly, following the wood grain. Allow the stain to penetrate the wood for the recommended time, and then wipe off any excess stain.

Lastly, seal the wood with an outdoor wood sealer or varnish to protect it from moisture, UV rays, and other outdoor elements. Apply multiple coats, allowing each coat

how to refinish outdoor wood furniture

Essential Tools and Materials for Refinishing Outdoor Wood Furniture

If you have outdoor wood furniture that has seen better days, refinishing it can breathe new life into it and make it look brand new. However, before you begin the refinishing process, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools and materials to ensure a successful outcome. Here are some essential tools and materials you will need:

1. Safety Gear

Before diving into any project, safety should always be a top priority. Make sure you have the following safety gear:

  • Safety goggles or glasses to protect your eyes from dust and debris
  • Disposable gloves to protect your hands from chemicals and stains
  • Respirator mask or dust mask to filter out harmful fumes and dust particles

2. Cleaning Supplies

Properly cleaning the wood surface is essential before refinishing. Here are some cleaning supplies you will need:

  • Mild soap or wood cleaner
  • Soft bristle brush or sponge
  • Bucket of water
  • Pressure washer (optional)

3. Sanding Tools

Sanding is an important step in refinishing outdoor wood furniture. These are the sanding tools you will need:

  • Orbital sander or sanding block
  • Sandpaper in various grits (coarse, medium, fine)
  • Sanding sponge for hard-to-reach areas

4. Stain or Paint

The choice between staining or painting your outdoor wood furniture will depend on your personal preference. Here are the materials you will need:

  • Exterior wood stain or paint
  • Paintbrush or stain applicator
  • Paint tray or container
  • Painter’s tape (if necessary)

5. Protective Finish

Applying a protective finish will help prolong the life of your refinished furniture. Here are the materials you will need:

  • Exterior polyurethane or varnish
  • Paintbrush or foam brush

6. Additional Supplies

These additional supplies may come in handy during the refinishing process:

  • Drop cloth or plastic sheeting to protect your work area
  • Putty knife or scraper to remove old paint or stain
  • Wood filler or putty for repairing any damaged areas
  • Clean cloths or rags for wiping surfaces
  • Disposable containers for mixing and applying stain or paint

Having the right tools and materials will make the refinishing process smoother and more successful. Make sure to gather everything you need before starting the project to ensure a professional-looking finish for your outdoor wood furniture.

Step-by-Step Guide to Sanding and Preparing Outdoor Wood Furniture for Refinishing

Refinishing outdoor wood furniture can breathe new life into your tired and weathered pieces, giving them a fresh and vibrant look. However, before you can apply a new coat of paint or stain, it is important to properly sand and prepare the surface. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process, ensuring that your furniture is ready for a beautiful new finish.

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Step 1: Gather the necessary tools

Before you begin, gather all the tools you will need for the job. This may include sandpaper or a power sander, a scraper or putty knife, a wire brush, a clean cloth, wood filler, and a dust mask for protection.

Step 2: Remove any existing finish

The first step in preparing your outdoor wood furniture is to remove any existing finish. This can be done using a scraper or putty knife to gently scrape away the old paint or stain. If the finish is particularly stubborn, a heat gun can be used to soften it before scraping.

Step 3: Sand the surface

Once the old finish has been removed, it’s time to sand the surface of the furniture. Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining residue or rough spots. Then, gradually move to finer-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface. If you have access to a power sander, it can make this process much quicker and easier.

Step 4: Repair any damage

Inspect the furniture for any signs of damage, such as cracks, splinters, or loose joints. Use wood filler to fill in any cracks or holes, and sand the repaired areas smooth once the filler has dried. This will ensure that your furniture is both beautiful and structurally sound.

Step 5: Remove dust and debris

After sanding and repairing, it is important to remove any dust and debris from the surface of the furniture. Use a clean cloth or a soft brush to wipe away any remaining particles. This will ensure that the new finish adheres properly and provides a smooth and even result.

Step 6: Protect surrounding areas

Before applying a new finish, it is important to protect the surrounding area to avoid any accidental spills or stains. Cover nearby plants, furniture, or other surfaces with plastic or drop cloths to prevent any unwanted damage.

Step 7: Apply new finish

Finally, it’s time to apply the new finish to your outdoor wood furniture. Whether you choose to paint or stain, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. Use a brush or roller, applying thin and even coats, and allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

Step 8: Maintain and protect

Once your outdoor wood furniture has been refinished, it’s important to properly maintain and protect it to prolong its lifespan. Regularly clean the furniture with a mild soap and water solution, and apply a fresh coat of finish as needed to keep it looking its best.

In summary, refinishing outdoor wood furniture is a rewarding DIY project that can transform your worn-out pieces into beautiful additions to your outdoor space. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your furniture is properly sanded and prepared for a stunning new finish that will last for years to come.

Best Techniques for Applying a New Finish to Outdoor Wood Furniture

Outdoor wood furniture adds beauty and functionality to any outdoor space. Over time, however, the natural elements can take a toll on the wood, causing it to fade, crack, or lose its luster. Applying a new finish to your outdoor wood furniture is a great way to revive its appearance and protect it from further damage. In this section, we will explore some of the best techniques for applying a new finish to outdoor wood furniture.

1. Prepare the Surface

Before applying a new finish, it’s important to properly prepare the surface of your outdoor wood furniture. Start by cleaning the furniture with a mild detergent and water to remove any dirt, grime, or mold. Use a brush or sponge to scrub the surface gently, and rinse thoroughly with water. Allow the furniture to dry completely before proceeding.

Next, inspect the furniture for any loose or damaged parts. Tighten any loose screws or bolts, and repair any cracks or splits in the wood. Sand the entire surface using a medium-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough areas or old finish. Be sure to sand along the grain of the wood for best results.

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2. Choose the Right Finish

When selecting a finish for your outdoor wood furniture, it’s important to choose one that is specifically designed for exterior use. Look for finishes that offer protection against UV rays, moisture, and mildew. Some popular options include exterior-grade varnish, oil-based finishes, and water-based polyurethane. Consider the natural color of your wood and the desired look you want to achieve when choosing a finish.

It’s also a good idea to test the finish on a small, inconspicuous area of the furniture before applying it to the entire piece. This will allow you to ensure that you are happy with the color and finish before committing to applying it to the entire piece.

3. Apply the Finish

When applying the finish to your outdoor wood furniture, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Start by stirring or shaking the finish to ensure it is well-mixed. Use a brush, roller, or sprayer to apply an even coat of finish to the entire surface of the furniture.

Work in small sections, applying the finish in the direction of the wood grain. Avoid excessive brushing or over-applying the finish, as this can lead to drips or a sticky finish. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying additional coats, if necessary. Depending on the type of finish you choose, you may need to apply multiple coats for optimal protection and durability.

4. Maintain the Finish

Once you have applied a new finish to your outdoor wood furniture, it’s important to maintain it properly to ensure its longevity. Avoid placing hot items directly on the surface, as this can cause damage to the finish. Clean the furniture regularly with a mild detergent and water to remove dirt and debris. If you notice any areas where the finish has worn away, simply sand lightly and reapply a thin coat of finish to those areas.

Additionally, you may want to consider storing your outdoor wood furniture indoors during extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow. This will help to further protect the finish and extend the life of your furniture.


Applying a new finish to outdoor wood furniture is a simple yet effective way to enhance its appearance and protect it from the elements. By properly preparing the surface, choosing the right finish, applying it correctly, and maintaining it regularly, you can enjoy your outdoor wood furniture for years to come. So, why wait? Bring new life to your outdoor space by giving your wood furniture a fresh and durable finish.

Tips for Caring and Maintaining Refinished Outdoor Wood Furniture

Outdoor wood furniture adds warmth and beauty to any outdoor space. Whether you have recently refinished your outdoor wood furniture or are planning to do so, it is important to properly care for and maintain it to ensure its longevity. Here are some useful tips to keep your refinished outdoor wood furniture looking its best:

1. Clean Regularly

The first step in caring for your refinished outdoor wood furniture is regular cleaning. Use a mild detergent mixed with water and a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub away dirt, grime, and any debris. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow the furniture to air dry completely before using it again.

2. Protect from the Elements

Outdoor wood furniture is exposed to various weather conditions, which can cause damage over time. To protect your refinished furniture, consider applying a waterproof sealant or protective finish. This will help repel water, prevent fading from UV rays, and minimize the risk of mold or mildew growth.

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3. Avoid Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight can fade and damage the finish of your refinished outdoor wood furniture. Whenever possible, place your furniture in a shaded area or use umbrellas or canopies to provide additional protection. This will help preserve the color and integrity of the wood.

4. Use Protective Covers

During periods of inclement weather or when the furniture is not in use, consider using protective covers. These covers will shield your refinished outdoor wood furniture from rain, snow, and other harsh elements, preventing water damage and prolonging its lifespan.

5. Apply a Fresh Coat of Finish

Over time, the protective finish on your refinished outdoor wood furniture may wear off. To maintain its appearance and protect the wood, periodically apply a fresh coat of finish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and choose a compatible finish that matches the original one.

6. Repair Damage Promptly

If you notice any signs of damage, such as cracks, splits, or rot, it is important to address them promptly. Repair or replace damaged parts to prevent further deterioration. Regular inspections and timely repairs will help extend the lifespan of your refinished outdoor wood furniture.

7. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

When cleaning or maintaining your refinished outdoor wood furniture, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. These can strip away the protective finish or damage the wood surface. Stick to mild soapy water or specialized wood cleaners recommended by the manufacturer.

8. Prevent Stains

To prevent stains on your refinished outdoor wood furniture, use coasters, placemats, or tablecloths for outdoor dining. Wipe up spills immediately to avoid permanent staining. Regularly clean and treat the wood to minimize the risk of discoloration or stubborn stains.

9. Store Properly in Winter

If you live in an area with harsh winters, consider storing your refinished outdoor wood furniture indoors during the winter months. This will protect it from extreme cold, snow, and ice, which can cause significant damage. Alternatively, cover the furniture with waterproof tarps for added protection.

10. Regularly Inspect and Maintain

Lastly, make it a habit to regularly inspect and maintain your refinished outdoor wood furniture. Check for any signs of wear, damage, or loose fittings. Tighten screws and bolts as needed. By being proactive and addressing issues promptly, you can keep your furniture in great condition for years to come.

In summary, caring for and maintaining refinished outdoor wood furniture involves regular cleaning, protecting it from the elements, avoiding direct sunlight, using protective covers, applying a fresh coat of finish, addressing damage promptly, avoiding harsh chemicals, preventing stains, storing properly in winter, and regular inspections and maintenance. By following these tips, you can enjoy the beauty and durability of your refinished outdoor wood furniture for many seasons to come.


How to refinish outdoor wood furniture?

To refinish outdoor wood furniture, start by sanding the surface to remove any old finish. Clean the furniture thoroughly and apply a fresh coat of exterior-grade wood stain or paint. Allow it to dry completely before applying a weather-resistant sealant to protect the wood from the elements.


In conclusion, refinishing outdoor wood furniture is a great way to enhance its appearance and prolong its lifespan. By following the step-by-step process of sanding, cleaning, and applying a protective finish, you can bring new life to your old outdoor furniture.

Not only does refinishing allow you to customize the look of your furniture, but it also helps to protect it from the elements and prevent further damage. Whether you choose to stain, paint, or seal your outdoor wood furniture, make sure to use quality products that are specifically designed for outdoor use.

Remember to wear protective gear and work in a well-ventilated area when refinishing. With proper care and maintenance, your outdoor wood furniture can continue to be a beautiful and functional addition to your outdoor space for years to come.

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