The Best Finish for Outdoor Furniture


If you want to preserve wood or metal patio furniture from the damaging effects of moisture and ultraviolet radiation, or UV, you need to apply a protective coating. The greatest finishes are able to fulfil this role in an efficient and lasting manner over a long period of time, all while boosting the aesthetic value of the furniture. Paint, stains, oil, varnish, or an epoxy sealer topped with varnish are some of the several treatments that may be applied to wood. A natural patina, powder coating, chromium plating, polyurethane, and oil are some of the finishes that may be applied to metal.

Choosing Wood Finishes

Wood finishes are notorious for failing for the simple reason that the wrong finish was chosen or that the finish was applied improperly. The durability of coatings is affected by seasonal shifts in the amount of moisture that is contained in wood. The grain direction of the wood, whether it is edge-grained or flat-grained, is another factor that influences how well a finish adheres to the surface. Paint and varnish have a stronger adhesion to smooth, edge-grained wood surfaces, but flat-grained wood is better suited for penetrating stains. Oil, exterior varnish, or epoxy sealer with a topcoat of external varnish are the three finishes that must be chosen if you want to keep the original colour and grain of the wood intact.

Applying Wood Finishes

The natural wood finish that is the most labor-intensive as well as the one that lasts the longest and is the most durable comprises of three layers of epoxy followed by an external varnish topping. The epoxy acts as a moisture barrier, which stops the wood from swelling and contracting, and the varnish produces a sparkling bright-work-style finish, which is the kind of finish that is preferred by those who are interested in sailing. According to Woodworking Trade, the simplest kind of finish to apply is an oil finish; however, oil finishes only last around three to six months. Oil stains, which soak in and give protection against UV rays, mould, and mildew, are available in a variety of hues as well as in their clear form.

According to Popular Woodworking, applying external varnishes or polyurethanes, which give greater protection and stay longer, requires more time and patience. However, the end result is a natural wood finish that looks great. For an optimal finish that would last between two and three years, the manufacturers suggest applying eight thin layers and sanding in between each one. When the surface develops a coating that has the appearance of chalk, it is time to sand it down and apply a new topcoat of varnish. This will preserve the wood and save you from having to remove the whole finish and begin the process all over again.

Explaining Furniture Metals

The most appropriate finish for outdoor furniture is going to be decided by the kind of metal that was utilised in its construction.

Galvanized iron and steel are treated with zinc to prevent corrosion. As a result, galvanised iron and steel are ideal for use in the construction of outdoor furniture. Aluminum, a non-rusting metal that is lightweight and malleable, may be cast into many shapes. The addition of chromium to an iron alloy gives it the ability to resist rust, corrosion, and stains while preserving its silvery appearance. Stainless steel is one such iron alloy.

Copper is a naturally flexible metal that can be formed into furniture, cleaned using copper-specific cleaners, or left to rust into a lovely green patina over time. Either way, the end result is beautiful. In the rolling process, mill scale steel obtains a covering of metallic dust that protects it from rust. However, if the film of scale is broken, the steel underneath will quickly corrode if it is not coated with a protective coating.

Finishing Metal Furniture

Powder coating is a method that provides metals with the finest and most lasting colour finish available. The metal is coated with pigments using electrostatic paint guns, and then the coating is cured in an oven at a high temperature as rapidly as possible to create a finish that will remain intact for a number of years. Polyurethane may either be brushed on or sprayed on and either method can be used to maintain the inherent colour and texture of metal or to shield a finish that has been finely painted. A reflecting surface that resembles a mirror may be achieved on steel by plating it with a thin layer of chromium. The use of metal oils will prevent corrosion and bring out the metal’s inherent hues, but the oils need to be used on a regular basis in order to be effective.