How To Refinish Outdoor Furniture

Posted on: 10 May 2016

Outdoor wooden furniture needs a little extra maintenance. Wood is a material that is not naturally waterproof. It can get warped and swollen when it gets wet or the temperature suddenly changes. Because of this, wooden furniture that you keep outside needs to be sealed regularly. Even extremely durable wood species like teak need to be maintained over the years. Here is how you can refinish a wooden piece of furniture to restore the waterproof finish and ultimately lengthen the life of the piece.

Prepping Before Staining

You cannot just apply stain to a piece of furniture that has been sitting outside for years. First, you need to do a little bit of preparation work. Usually, you just need to sand the surface to smooth it out. If the surface has a consistent smoothness, the new stain will go on more evenly. Also, it will stick better to the surface. You can speed up the sanding if you use a vibrating power sander with fine grit sandpaper. However, decorative furniture, with round edges and ornate designs will need to be sanded with sponge center. This allows you to get into all the hard to reach areas. Once you are done sanding, you should inspect the furniture for any large holes or cracks in the wood grains. Before you go any further you should patch these holes with exterior wood filler.

Staining the Wood

Once the surface is sanded and all the holes are patched, you can go ahead and start to stain. When staining wooden furniture you should use rags instead of a traditional paintbrush. Using rags allows you to prevent drips and apply the stain more evenly. Just wear latex gloves and the rag directly into the stain can, and then spread it onto the wood. You need to constantly remix the stain to make sure the dye doesn't sink to the bottom of the can. You will probably need to apply two or three coats to the wood for extra protection. After each coat dries (and after the final coat), you need to rub down the stain with steel wool. After rubbing with the steel wool, the surface will be smoother, but there will be some fine dust on the surface. Use a damp rag to wipe away this dust before applying the next coat.

This simple project will not only protect your outdoor furniture, but it is also a great chance to apply a new stain that will redefine the furniture.