A Guide to Protecting Outdoor Wood Furniture from Sun Damage

Protect Outdoor Wood Furniture

Outdoor furniture makes your backyard more relaxing, entertaining, and helps you enjoy the outdoor setting. One of the best pieces of furniture is the patio, and you if have decided to put up outdoor wood furniture in it, consider how to protect it.

To protect your outdoor furniture from sun damage, place it in a shady spot. If unused, you can store or cover it with furniture covers. A good layer of finish on your outdoor furniture also helps the furniture last longer. There are three main finish options: painting it, applying spar varnish, or applying penetrating oil.

In this article, we will reveal how to protect your outdoor wood furniture from sun damage. We will also discuss the options to finish your outdoor furniture and prepare it for outdoor activity.


How to Protect Your Outdoor Wood Furniture from Sun Damage

Just because it is intended for outdoor use doesn’t mean outdoor furniture doesn’t get damaged and worn out. Indeed, sun can damage your outdoor wood furniture if it has been left outside for a longer period, whether it is high-end furniture or not.

Luckily, there are ways to prolong the life and color of your outdoor furniture. Here are some tips to do so.

1. Shade Your Furniture

To protect your outdoor wood furniture from sun damage, keep it in the shade. Trees and umbrellas are the ideal sun protectors as they reduce the amount of direct sunlight that your furniture receives. Shade also protects you and your guests if you are hosting a party outdoors.

Arrange your furniture based on the sun’s position. You can keep it under the trees or in a spot where sunlight is blocked.

Roller shades can protect your furniture and you from sun damage. You can opt for roller shades, which are controlled remotely and electronically, or you can also buy an expandable umbrella for your outdoor table.

You can also add shading with patio covers, sail shades, patio screens, pergolas, and curtains. Before buying shades and umbrellas, ensure that they offer UV protection.

2. Store It Indoors

When summer is over and you know you will not use your outdoor furniture for a long time, you can collect and store it indoors. In this way, you can keep and maintain it well. It can also increase the furniture’s lifespan and help it preserve its colors and figure.

Stack and store folding chairs and tables when you are not using them. The same applies to removable cushions.

Even in cold weather, whether or not the sun shines brightly, store the outdoor furniture in a shed. Patio furniture is intended to be outdoors to preserve it and reduce the amount of UV exposure on them. Make sure that your furniture storage is clean and dry.

3. Use a Protective Wood Oil

Another great way to protect your outdoor furniture from the sun is by using wood oil. It protects and strengthens your wood furniture. Check with your local furniture shop or hardware to find out what the best wood oil to use in your furniture is.

Wood oil also protects your deck, garage door, fences, shades, doors, swings, flower boxes, and benches.

4. Use Furniture Cover

If shade isn’t available in your backyard and your umbrella seems off to blend with your outdoor furniture, you can opt for furniture covers. Investing in this item is a good idea and the best way to protect your furniture from sun damage.

Furniture covers obstruct direct sunlight and protect your furniture from incurring damage. Make sure to buy thick and durable furniture covers that are specifically designed for outdoor furniture.

On the contrary, avoid using covers like sheets or table cloths as they don’t protect your furniture from harmful sunlight. Furniture covers are convenient as you can simply remove them when the furniture is used, and set it back to cover it after.

5. Choose the Right Furniture

Choosing the right furniture for your backyard setup and environment helps preserve its color and increase its lifespan. High-end furniture can last for many, many years before needing any kind of repair.

However, it is best to get outdoor furniture that can withstand scorching sun exposure. Avoid buying plastic furniture as it can easily get damaged by the sun. Instead, choose furniture with paint that blocks UV rays. Also, get cushions made with materials that don’t fade and get worn out easily.


If you want your lawn furniture to last for a long time, you need to place them in storage during the harsher seasons and when the weather is not good. But, just like how outdoor furniture cannot stay outside all year round, they also need to come out of storage at some point. When is the best time to take out your lawn furniture? Read our article to find out. 


3 Ways for Finishing Outdoor Furniture

Finishing your outdoor furniture before using it keeps it from catching moisture and protects them from the harsh sun. Whether you buy or build the furniture, you will need to apply finishing on it.

Aside from protecting your wood furniture against water, sun, and wear and tear, finishing makes your furniture look better. Here are three finishing options for your outdoor furniture.

1. Spar Varnish

Spar varnish is a polyurethane finish that was originally developed to protect wooden ships from the harsh conditions of the sea. It forms a clear and hard barrier on top of the wood when applied to your wood furniture.

Know that marine varnish or spar urethane is spar varnish with different names if you are having a hard time finding “spar varnish.”

Spar varnish protects the top of the wood by forming a waterproof and thick film. It also contains UV inhibitors that protect your wood furniture from the sun. Over time, spar varnish loses effectiveness, so you need to re-apply some and refinish it again.

2. Paint

Paint protects your outdoor furniture against damaging UV rays and forms a watertight barrier against moisture. Paint comes in different colors; just make sure to choose the one that suits your outdoor furniture and setting.

Compared to penetrating oil and spar varnishes, paint gives you a finish that lasts for years without further maintenance.

Latex paint is commonly used as a cosmetic fix. It aids in hiding flaws and adding color to your outdoor furniture.

3. Penetrating Oil

Penetrating oil is like a protective wood stain. It prevents wood furniture from absorbing moisture and provides a UV light barrier after two or three coats.

Penetrating oil is available in natural colors, like transparent cedar, or in clear, keeping the wood protected.

Outdoor or wood furniture treated with penetrating oils becomes water-repellent and UV-protected. Penetrating oils doesn’t leave a film, meaning the finishing outcome will not get chipped or peel.

If you wish to have a color as dark or rich as you want, you need to apply two to three coats of oil. Penetrating oil can last for two years, but you’ll eventually notice signs of wear and tear and will need to refinish it yearly.


Patio furniture can be easily exposed to harsh sun, humidity, rain, frost, strong winds, dust, and pests. So, covering it is essential to prolong its lifespan and looks. But, do you need to cover your patio furniture every night? Read our article to find out. 



We hope this article has taught you how to protect your furniture from the sun’s damage. Investing in high-end furniture will take you a long way. Just make sure to choose the furniture that compliments your backyard setting. Also, invest in furniture covers for a much lesser effort and work.

Aside from the two options that we previously mentioned, you can also opt to apply a finish to your furniture as a way to protect it from sun damage. No matter what option you choose in finishing your outdoor furniture, they all bring about benefits and drawbacks. Either way, each of these options will make your furniture look good and well-prepared for summer use.

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