How to refinish outdoor wood furniture?

How to refinish outdoor wood furniture?


Refinishing outdoor wood furniture is a great way to revitalize its appearance and extend its lifespan. Over time, exposure to the elements can cause wood furniture to fade, crack, or become worn. By following a few simple steps, you can restore your outdoor wood furniture to its former glory. In this article, we will guide you through the process of refinishing outdoor wood furniture, from preparation to finishing touches.


Before you begin refinishing your outdoor wood furniture, it’s important to gather the necessary materials. Here are some common materials used in the refinishing process:

Sanding equipment: Sandpaper or a power sander will help you remove the old finish and smooth the surface of the wood.

Protective gear: Safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask are essential to protect yourself from dust and chemical fumes.

Cleaning supplies: A mild detergent, water, and a scrub brush or sponge will help you clean the furniture before refinishing.

Stripping the Old Finish

The first step in refinishing outdoor wood furniture is to remove the old finish. This can be done using a chemical stripper or by sanding. If you choose to use a chemical stripper, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Apply the stripper to the wood, let it sit for the recommended time, and then scrape off the old finish with a putty knife or scraper. If you prefer to sand the furniture, start with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually move to finer grits until the surface is smooth.

Repairing Damaged Areas

After stripping the old finish, inspect the furniture for any damaged areas. Cracks, dents, or loose joints can be repaired using wood filler or epoxy. Apply the filler or epoxy according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and allow it to dry completely. Once dry, sand the repaired areas to ensure a smooth surface.

Applying a New Finish

Once the surface is prepared, it’s time to apply a new finish to your outdoor wood furniture. There are several options to choose from, including paint, stain, or varnish. Consider the look you want to achieve and the level of protection required for your furniture.

Paint: If you want to completely change the color of your furniture, paint is a great option. Choose a paint specifically designed for outdoor use and apply it using a brush or sprayer. Multiple thin coats are better than one thick coat, as they will provide better coverage and durability.

Stain: If you prefer to enhance the natural beauty of the wood, stain is a good choice. Apply the stain using a brush or cloth, following the wood grain. Allow the stain to penetrate the wood for the recommended time, and then wipe off any excess with a clean cloth.

Varnish: For added protection, you can apply a varnish or sealer to your outdoor wood furniture. Varnish creates a protective barrier against moisture and UV rays. Apply the varnish using a brush, following the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times and number of coats.

Maintenance and Care

After refinishing your outdoor wood furniture, it’s important to maintain and care for it properly. Regular cleaning, applying a fresh coat of finish when needed, and protecting the furniture from extreme weather conditions will help extend its lifespan.


Refinishing outdoor wood furniture is a rewarding project that can breathe new life into your outdoor space. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can transform weathered and worn furniture into a beautiful and durable addition to your outdoor living area.


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