Unlike indoor pieces of furniture, outdoor wood furniture are almost constantly exposed to weather elements. These weather elements can reduce their lifespan and cause damages to the wood if you don’t come up with a solution.
The first step to preventing moisture, mildew, and sun rays from damaging your patio furniture and other outdoor wood pieces is using an excellent sealer. With sealers, you will get a few more years out of your outdoor furniture. So, what’s the best sealer for outdoor wood furniture? Here is a complete review of the best products available.
All at a Glance
What Is a Wood Sealer?
A wood sealer is a chemical formulation that you can add to wood to prevent degradation and increase its durability. A wood sealer prevents the wood from rot, warp, and swelling caused by UV rays, moisture, and other environmental factors.
Why Should You Seal Exterior Wood?
Wood is porous by nature – it absorbs water quickly. Since outdoor pieces of furniture are continually exposed to humidity and moisture, they can warp, swell, or rot, damaging the wood in the process. This is why sealing the wood furniture is necessary.
Sealing with the right finish can prolong your outdoor furniture’s lifespan and prevent the wood from deteriorating. With a sealer, you don’t need to repair or replace the furniture after a wet season.
Apart from protecting the outdoor furniture, sealers can enhance the wood’s appearance. The various products in this review prevent aging and offer waterproofing ability.
Reviews of the Best Sealer for Outdoor Wood Furniture
1. Star Brite Premium Golden Teak Oil – Best Overall Sealer for Outdoor Furniture
The Star Brite Premium Golden Teak Oil ranks top of this list of sealers because of its exciting coating features and versatility. This product is an excellent solution for all fine woods and marine teak, so if you have a piece of outdoor furniture that falls into the category, we recommend purchasing the product.
This Star Brite product is made of premium natural, ultra-refined, chemically modified oils, additives, and UV blockers that can withstand long-term exposure to saltwater and damaging UV rays. Additionally, the sealer penetrates the wood deeply, providing the ultimate UV protection.
Aside from protecting the wood surface from damages, this product also improves its beauty. The sealer restores the wood’s natural color and adds a shine that radiates the wood’s beauty. You get to enjoy all these benefits for an affordable price of one, which is fantastic.
It dries fast, is easy to apply, and spreads evenly, so you only need a minimal application to coat the entire surface of your boat or wood furniture. However, the wood needs to be thoroughly cleaned and dry before applying it. Overall, it provides a long-lasting finish.
Given the fast-drying ability and durability, this sealer is arguably the best for teak. It offers a long-lasting and natural beauty. Before application, the preparation process may be rigorous and a little technical, but once done, applying it is straightforward. It’s one of the best clear finishes for exterior use.
- Formulated for teaks and high-quality fine woods
- Offers UV and saltwater protection
- Dries easily
- Adds a beautiful golden finish
- Suitable for teaks and various wood types
- Requires thorough preparation before applying it
- Slightly expensive
2. Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.041851 – Best Clear Sealer for Outdoor Furniture
Thompson is one of the best brands you can trust for making sealer and stain-sealer combo. This economical sealer will provide complete waterproof protection to your outdoor furniture, elongating its lifespan.
Applying this sealer won’t affect the wood’s natural look because it’s a transparent sealer. Instead, it will bring out the profound beauty of the furniture while protecting the wood from mold, mildew, moisture, etc. The sealer also contains advanced polymers that prevent the wood from fading.
Speaking of application, Thompson’s WaterSeal is easy to apply, as you can use it directly on both damp and dry wood. This means that you can be working on your project while it’s raining. In addition to that, you don’t need to re-coat the second time after the first coating because the sealer adheres to wood correctly.
The method of application is also straightforward. You can use the sealer with a brush, roller, or paint pad. However, you’ll need to do lots of cleaning when reapplying the sealer.
Despite not being durable under UV rays, this sealer formula is economical and will last for more than one use. Re-coating is optional, and its direct application on damp and dry wood makes it versatile. This is a great product, especially for those who are looking for a transparent sealer.
- Economical sealer
- Offers adequate waterproof protection
- Easy to apply and use
- You can apply it directly to various projects.
- Transparent in nature
- Enhances the wood’s beauty
- Doesn’t sit well with UV rays.
3. Ready Seal 112 1-Gallon Can Exterior Stain and Sealer – Best Stain and Sealer Combo
If you want to change the color of your outdoor furniture and, at the same time, protect the wood from mold growth, moisture, and UV rays, we recommend the Ready Seal 112 1-Gallon Can Exterior Stain and Sealer. Ready Seal is a leading manufacturer of wood stains and sealers in the industry, and this particular product is one of the best for coating painted outdoor wood furniture.
What makes this product the best stain-sealer combo? It’s versatile – you can use it both as a wood stain and sealer, thanks to the resin formula and paraffin oil inside. This product can penetrate wood, change its color, and seal the wood from moisture and other weather elements.
The sealing finish is incredible. It provides a smooth and even coat. Due to the paraffin oil, the finish can be a little oily for several days before it dries. However, the oily finish dries thoroughly afterward, revealing the wood’s actual color.
The most impressive thing about this stain and sealer combo is its ease of application. You don’t need to prim, as the product reaches its actual color after two weeks after the first application. You also don’t need any wet-line application, as the product blends itself with the wood.
You can apply it with a brush, roller, or sprayer at any temperature. What’s more? You don’t need to dilute or thin the product before spraying. Be rest assured that you will find no streaks if the product is applied correctly with a good brush.
Ready Seal 112 1-Gallon Can Exterior Stain and Sealer is an incredible and versatile combo that will naturally improve the beauty of your outdoor furniture and protect it at the same time. It’s the ideal product with the great coverage that you need for your pieces of furniture.
- 2-in-1 product
- Provides a durable and smooth finish
- Straightforward application
- It can be applied at any temperature with various application tools
- Requires no primer or wet-line application
- The stain coverage is not great.
- The finish becomes oily after sealing.
4. Rain Guard Water Sealer SP-8002 Wood Sealer Concentrate – Best for Water Repellent
Rain Guard Water Sealers is another excellent brand for making wood sealers. For more than six decades, this brand has been in existence, designing authentic varieties of wood sealers for home and commercial use. Rain Guard Water Sealers SP-8002 Wood Sealer Concentrate is another example of their unique products.
This water-based sealer penetrates deep into the surface, restoring the life of the wood from the inside and protecting it from further wear, UV damage, mildew, and moisture. It’s formulated with a siloxane water repellent to resist water from penetrating the surface.
The good thing about this product is that it’s non-toxic and safe. Whether you have plants or pets at home, this product is safe to use around them. However, we still strongly advise that you move away from anything you don’t want to seal or cover with a damp cloth.
The drying ability of this sealer is incredible. This product dries into a natural, transparent, tough, and durable finish. Unlike some sealers, this product doesn’t turn yellow. It maintains a clear finish for a long time.
Like most wood sealers, surface preparation is necessary before applying them. You need to remove the dust and debris from the surface and clean it before applying.
The product is easy to use and straightforward to apply. Although it seems watery, it doesn’t affect its waterproofing ability. Once dried, the finish becomes tough and transparent, retaining the original color of the wood. It dries quickly and comes at a reasonable price.
- It dries into a durable, tough finish
- Clear and doesn’t yellow
- Non-toxic and safe to use around pets and people
- Prevents UV rays damage, mildew, moisture, and mold
- It can be applied with various a sprayer, roller, or brush
- Easy to use
- Too transparent and watery
5. Rust-Oleum 250141H Ultimate Spar Urethane Water-Based, Quart, Semi-Gloss Finish – Best Drying Formula
This water-based finish offers a protective coating for outdoor wood surfaces. Whether you want to coat your doors, windows, fences, or trims, this poly will provide a durable, long-lasting finish that won’t yellow over time.
This water-based formula features superior weather and UV resistant abilities that ensure your outdoor furniture isn’t damaged by moisture, mildew, sun rays, and mold. In addition to that, the formula flattens and spreads quickly with minimal application while sealing out water. What’s more? It dries to touch within half an hour and re-coats after two hours.
Furthermore, this formula has a low odor with no health effects. With soap and water, cleaning the sealer up is easy. However, you need to re-coat up to four times to prevent the sealer from breaking down under sunlight.
This spar sealer is another excellent and affordable product that you should try. It’s clear, doesn’t yellow, and straightforward to use, making it ideal for beginners.
- Easy to use and clean
- It offers a durable, crystal-clear finish
- Good price
- Easy to apply
- It doesn’t yellow over time
- Sticky when wet
Best Sealer for Outdoor Wood Furniture Buyer’s Guide
Choosing the best sealer for outdoor wood furniture isn’t easy, especially for first-timers. There’s bound to be a mistake when it comes to deciding the most suitable product for your furniture rightfully. For this reason, we have come with this guide to prevent you from making mistakes.
Here are what you should consider before choosing a sealer.
Type of Sealers
Three types of wood sealers exist based on finishes – opaque finish, semi-transparent finish, and clear finish. Sealers that offer opaque finishes last longer than the rest, although they can be slightly slippery. Semi-transparent and clear finishes preserve the natural color of the wood but less durable than sealers that provide opaque finishes.
An excellent opaque sealer lasts for about five years on outdoor furniture. Semi-transparent wood sealers last for about three years on outdoor furniture, after which you have to reapply. Clear finishes last for about a year.
You should know that if your outdoor furniture is already sealed, the type of sealer used will determine the kind you will apply. For example, if the finish is opaque, you can only apply a sealer with an opaque finish unless you strip off the existing finish from the wood. Then you can use another wood sealer.
Sealers come in gallons and specific container sizes. If the project is extensive, you need to purchase an excellent sealer and last through the project. Additionally, the sealer must have excellent coverage when you apply it. This will help you save a lot of finish and money.
The drying time of a wood sealer depends on certain factors, such as temperature, kind of wood, environment, and type of sealer used. Most sealers dry quicker if the weather condition is less humid and airy/dryer. Conversely, if the atmosphere contains so much moisture, then the drying time will be longer.
Sealers without penetrative properties will require a few days or a few weeks to dry. Latex wood sealers have the longest drying time, usually two to three weeks. You should opt for sealers that have a faster drying time.
Since outdoor furniture is exposed to the sun, you’ll need a sealer that comes with UV blockers to prevent discoloring and fading.
Moisture and Mildew Resistance
As we earlier pointed out, outdoor furniture is predisposed to water and mildew. Water-resistant sealers will shield the furniture from moisture and mildew. It also enables you to use the sealer outdoors in high humidity.
How to Waterproof Wood Furniture for Outdoor Use
Waterproofing wood furniture for outdoor use is the best way to seal the wood from snow, UV rays, and moisture. Most manufacturers state that their outdoor furniture is waterproof. However, you can’t be sure about this because even the best outdoor furniture will lose its water resistance over time.
Without protecting the outdoor furniture, you risk damaging the wood by exposing it to moisture, warping, rotting, swelling, etc. These things will reduce the wood’s lifespan and its natural beauty.
To avoid any surprises, we recommend that you waterproof the wood furniture. Waterproofing your outdoor wood furniture is a way of treating the piece of furniture with the right finish to withstand weather elements and prevent the wood from deteriorating.
So, how do you waterproof your outdoor wood furniture? To do this, you need the following tools and materials.
- Safety gears
- sealer with a UV blocker (polyurethane or varnish)
- Chemical wood stripper
Follow the steps below to waterproof your outdoor wood furniture successfully.
- Put on your safety gear first, like overalls, gloves, goggles, etc. Some sealers are highly corrosive and will burn the skin once it comes in contact with it.
- Apply the finish in a room temperature environment that’s well-ventilated.
- Sand the furniture’s surface down to bare wood. You can use a chemical wood stripper to make the job faster and more efficient.
- Wait for the chemical stripper to work its way into the furniture. After allowing it to dry, use a scraper to remove the paint.
- Use a sander with 80-grit sandpaper to sand the wood so that the sealers will adhere to the wood perfectly.
- Never shake or briskly stir the sealers before application. Doing that will cause air bubbles to appear in the container that would remain on the surface.
- Using a paintbrush, apply the sealer to the furniture. Seal every part of the wood with this finish, and if there are any cracks, ensure that it’s filled up with putty.
- Allow to dry for at least fifteen minutes, and that’s it. You have sealed the wood.
- If you wish to add another coat to the furniture, re-sand the surface again and apply the sealer.
- For best durability, we recommend that you re-coat the piece of furniture periodically. This will prevent it from breaking down over time.
Note that you should opt for a high-quality stain-sealer combo if you want to add color to the furniture while sealing it. Unlike sealers that provide waterproofing features only, the stain-sealer combo will enhance the beauty of the wood and offer optimal weather resistance simultaneously. Stain-sealer products contain color pigments and binders in the form of oil, water, or alkyd.
After applying the stain-sealer combo, the final result can be opaque or transparent, depending on the pigment in the product. Like sealers, you would want to make sure that you re-coat the furniture periodically to maintain the furniture’s beauty and longevity.
Tips for Waterproofing Wood Furniture for Outdoor Use
As you waterproof your wood furniture, you need to take note of the following;
Make sure the wood surface is adequately cleaned. Remove any fibers or debris before you begin sealing your outdoor furniture.
If the wood is bare, there would be no need to use a chemical wood stripper. However, if treated before with a sealer, paint, or stain, use a chemical wood stripper and a scraper to remove the paint.
If you want to apply paint directly over the sealer, ensure that you use a product that allows that. Else, the paint’s adhesion will be futile.
To verify that your furniture is waterproof, you can perform a water drop test. Pour some water droplets onto one side of the wood. If it absorbs water, then you will need to retreat the wood. But, if the droplets turn into water beads, it means you sealed the wood correctly.
What is the best sealer for outdoor use?
The best sealer for outdoor use is an epoxy sealer. Epoxy sealer with exterior varnish topcoat is the most durable of all finishes that you can apply to your outdoor furniture. However, the application takes longer. It’s one of the favorite finishes for boat builders because it forms impenetrable moisture and UV barrier that prevents sun damage, swelling, and shrinking.
Other suitable sealers for outdoor use are exterior varnish or urethane and exterior oil. Exterior oil is the simplest to apply, but the durability is incomparable to urethane and epoxy sealers.
What should I use to seal outdoor wood furniture?
You can seal outdoor wood furniture using linseed or Tung oil, polyurethane/varnish/lacquer coating, and a combination of stain-sealer.
What’s the difference between wood stain and sealer?
There have been some misunderstandings about what these two are amongst users. Wood stain is a color pigment that can be applied to wood pieces to change the appearance. On the other hand, Sealers is a finish added to protect the wood from moisture, debris, mold, and UV rays.
Can you weatherproof wood furniture?
Yes, you can. Weatherproofing your wooden furniture will offer optimal protection against UV light and water – the two significant elements that affect wood furniture’s lifespan. The easiest way to weatherproof your wood is by using a sealer. A sealer will prolong the lifespan of the wood while polishing the surface.
Can you use polyurethane on outdoor wood?
You can use polyurethane on outdoor wood, provided it has the required ingredients. Typically, outdoor woods are exposed to the sun’s rays and moisture, so you’ll need a poly finish with UV blockers and additives.
Is Thompson Water Seal oil or water-based?
Thompson WaterSeal is an oil-based product. This product protects the wood by penetrating its pores and sealing out water from infiltrating it.
How long does a wood sealer last?
That depends on different factors, such as the type of sealer, wood, and climatic conditions. Wood that’s highly exposed to weather elements like sunlight and rain will have a reduced lifespan. With all things being equal, a wood sealer will last four to five years.
Conclusion – Best Sealer for Outdoor Wood Furniture
If you want to get many years of use out of your outdoor furniture, you need to opt for the best sealer. The best sealer for outdoor wood furniture will not only protect the furniture from weather elements but add more beauty to its appearance. You don’t need to replace your furniture anytime soon if you choose any of the products reviewed here
Do you want to alter the appearance of your furniture? The Ready Seal 112 1-Gallon Can Exterior Stain and Sealer will do a perfect job. However, you need to understand the processes involved before using it. Remember to check the label for further clarifications.