Finishing Outdoor Furniture

Finishing outdoor furniture such as Adirondack chairs with high-quality products helps them retain not only beauty but also their durability. Formulated to hold up well against inclement weather and the rigors of seasonal changes, outdoor finishing products like those from the Real Milk Paint Co. offer a simple way to seal, preserve and protect your outdoor furnishings against time, use and Mother Nature herself.

Keep reading to explore reasons for finishing outdoor furniture, considerations when choosing finishes for your projects and which products and methods work best for outdoor furnishings.

Reasons for Finishing Outdoor Furniture

As mentioned above, the main reason for sealing porch, deck or patio furniture is creating a durable outdoor finish. Not all outdoor projects are the same, however, so you may still need to add a finish to wooden furniture, even if you don’t plan on using it directly outside. For example, if you plan on using indoor furniture on an enclosed porch that sees direct sunlight, photo-oxidation due to UV light may require you to finish the piece just like you would outdoor furnishings. Also, if you’re not using rot-resistant wood, a good outdoor finish may help reduce weathering over time to maintain your bare wood project’s integrity.

Outdoor Furniture Finishing Considerations

Finishing outdoor furniture isn’t quite as simple as purchasing some exterior varnish, semi-transparent stain, teak oil or exterior paint and slapping it on your outdoor wood project. Instead, there are various considerations to take into account when choosing exterior finishes that help you get the best results. Some questions to ask when deciding on a durable outdoor finish include:

  • Is the wooden furniture made from softwood or hardwood?
  • Are the wood fibers sanded, painted or bare?
  • What’s your outdoor environment’s ambient temperature?
  • What’s the use of the outdoor project you’re finishing?
  • Is the outdoor wood project made from old or new wood?
  • Do you want a clear or colored exterior wood finish?
  • Do you desire a satin, matte or gloss finish?
  • How important is durability versus ease of maintenance?

Products for Finishing Outdoor Furniture

Finishing outdoor furniture is simple and satisfying when you use the right products for the task at hand. With that in mind, the Real Milk Paint Co. offers several high-quality exterior finishes that extend the outdoor life of your favorite furnishings.

Outdoor Wood Oils

Formulated to bring out the natural beauty of wood grain while protecting against the elements and UV radiation, outdoor wood oils are your best bet when you want a fast, simple option for finishing outdoor furniture. These wood oils don’t sit on the top of wooden surfaces but rather soak into the pores for enduring protection. Some also boast nontoxic formulations for an added level of eco-friendliness, including Outdoor Defense Oil by the Real Milk Paint Co. Combining pure tung oil with pine oil and zinc, Outdoor Defense Oil works equally well on decks and Adirondack chairs as on fences and raised garden beds, and it also helps preserve the look of other porous outdoor materials such as stone and concrete. Additionally, Outdoor Defense Oil works on milk-painted surfaces for added decorative flexibility.

Exterior Paints

While many people go for the obvious oil-based paint when finishing outdoor furniture, more sustainable and practical options exist such as Real Milk Paint. One of the oldest mediums in existence, milk paints offer a nontoxic formulation with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), allowing you to paint bare wood indoors without ventilation before moving your piece outdoors to its final destination. This powdered paint lets you mix the correct amount for each job right when you need it, then store any leftovers for up to 2 weeks hassle-free, and it’s food contact-safe and has a biodegradable and compostable formulation for easy disposal when you finish your project. Available in 56 beautiful colors, Real Milk Paint delivers a matte wood finish that stays put when mixed with our Outdoor Additive or covered with an Outdoor Defense Oil finish.

Applying finishing product on furniture

Methods for Finishing Outdoor Furniture

Several methods exist for finishing outdoor furniture, depending on the exterior finishes you plan on using on your outdoor projects. For larger outdoor projects with smooth, flat surfaces such as a dining room table you want to use on your deck, porch or patio, consider using a garden sprayer for quickly applying both Outdoor Defense Oil and Real Milk Paint. Smaller projects like Adirondack chairs and accent tables typically go quickly when you use a brush or soft rag for applying your medium, since there are more nooks and crannies to cover. Though neither of these mediums requires sanding or priming before use, you may still want to give wood surfaces a quick once-over with fine grit sandpaper to ensure a smooth application surface.

Before beginning, though, be sure to always clean the surface to ensure smooth application. Our Tri-Sodium Phosphate cleaner removes all the dirt without leaving behind any residue, while our Oxalic Wood Bleach helps you remove any stains left behind by iron hardware before you complete your outdoor finish. If you want to get back to the bare wood before adding exterior finishes, consider our Soy-Gel Professional Paint Remover to eliminate diverse finishes, from latex and oil to lead and shellac, and use Milk Paint Remover to take off any chipped milk paint before you start. Real Wood Filler lets you easily repair knot holes and other damages on wood before you add a durable outdoor finish.

Finishing outdoor furniture keeps everything from indoor furniture placed in direct sunlight or Adirondack chairs on your front porch to benches in your garden and accent tables on your patio looking their best, even with exposure to seasonal weather changes. The key to great results, however, is determining the best exterior finishes for your wood projects based on everything from ambient temperature and moisture levels in your outdoor environment to whether you want natural color or a more bold and vibrant look. Regardless of your requirements, the Real Milk Paint Co. offers exterior finishes that mesh beautifully with your concrete, stone or wooden furniture for hassle-free project planning.

You can reach us here: (800) 339-9748 to help you with products for your outdoor furniture.