How To Waterproof Painted Wood Furniture For Outdoors

Outdoors Furniture Maintenance

Furniture placed outdoors must be properly protected from Outdoors substances such as rain, snow, and ice can easily penetrate your wooden furniture, causing moisture that will eventually destroy your wood piece.

It is crucial to have properly finished furniture that will give a layer of protection against bad elements. It is possible to make the outdoor furniture that you have painted to become waterproof so that it will be long-lasting.

How To Waterproof Your Painted Furniture For Outdoors

After you are done painting your wooden outdoor furniture, the next step you should take is to make your wood furniture waterproof. To make your wooden piece waterproof, select the right paint type you use for painting.

The Materials Needed For Waterproofing Your Painted Wood Furniture

Here are the required materials you need to prepare before working on the waterproofing job:

  • Cloth or rag with lint-free type
  • Polyurethane
  • Sandpaper with fine grit level (number 220)
  • Prepare a Polyurethane applicator. Choose a lambswool roller or natural bristle brush if you use oil-based polyurethane. If your polyurethane is water-based, go with a synthetic roller or bristle brush.
  • Drop cloth for protecting your working area from spillage or over-spray.
  • If you use oil-based polyurethane, you must also prepare mineral spirits.

How To Waterproof Painted Wood Furniture For Outdoors Using Oil-Based Paint

A paint that is oil-based type is generally used as a sealer for outdoor furniture. This paint can defend from moisture well and give a classic glossy appearance.

The downside of oil-based paint is that it takes more time to dry. The dry time can also be affected by high humidity or a low-temperature level. Typically, paint with oil-based type require at least a day (24 hours) to dry.

Oil-based paint can give waterproofing ability. However, you need to apply at least two polyurethane coatings after the paint dries.

This will give an additional protection layer to defend from water that can cause damage to your wood.

When oil-based paint is in the drying process, it also releases moisture. That’s why you need to wait for the paint to cure properly.

If you apply polyurethane before the furniture is fully cured, then cracking and peeling may occur because moisture is trapped under a polyurethane coat.

This case often happens when water-based polyurethane is applied on top of oil-based polyurethane.

Steps To Waterproof Painted Wood Furniture

Here are the instructions to make your freshly painted wooden furniture waterproof:

  • The first thing is to ensure that you have given your furniture adequate time to properly cure.
  • After you are sure that your wood piece has cured, it’s time to sand your furniture. Sand your wooden furniture lightly using a fine grit level of sandpaper. Sanding is needed to help the polyurethane to be able to adhere properly when applied over the oil-based paint that is already cured.
  • If possible, you can apply polyurethane in a protected area. This will lessen the risk of debris and dust damaging your finish. This can also allow for anticipated dry times.
  • After that, you need to prepare your wooden surface to be ready to receive polyurethane. Use mineral spirits moistened on a lint-free cloth. Then, use the cloth to clean all of the areas.
  • Then after you are done applying the mineral spirits, now leave the surface to dry.
  • Now. Apply polyurethane to your wooden surface in a thin and even coat.
  • Allow the polyurethane solution to cure. Read the instructions from the manufacturer to know how long it takes to cure.
  • Use sandpaper and sand it lightly, then wipe down the furniture before starting to apply a second polyurethane coat.
  • Apply a second coat of polyurethane.
  • Adding additional coats to your furniture may be necessary depending on your chosen polyurethane and the environment.
  • When your polyurethane coats have cured, now your furniture will become waterproof.

How To Waterproof Wood Furniture Using Water-Based Paint

For your information, water-based paint is generally not preferred for outdoor furniture.

This is because water-based paint in the early formulations had little durability outdoors and was more prone to damage caused by heat and water.

However, as the technology to manufacture water-based paints has improved, so is their durability. Now it is possible to create long-lasting outdoor furniture using water-based paint.

If you want to turn your freshly coated outdoor furniture waterproof using water-based paint, here are the instructions:

  • Firstly, ensure that the paint is not gooey or tacky and has hardened well.
  • Gently scrape off the paint surface using a fine-grit level of sandpaper.
  • If possible, move your furniture to a temperature-controlled and dust-free place.
  • Take a lint-free cloth and dampen it with water. Then, use that lint-free cloth to clean up all grease, dust, and oil from the water-based paint surface.
  • Leave your wooden surface to dry.
  • After that, apply polyurethane with a thin layer using long and even strokes.
  • Let the poly cure be based on the recommendation from the manufacturer.
  • Sand using fine grit sandpaper gently, then clean away dust using a damp cloth.
  • Wait for your furniture surface to be completely dried.
  • Proceed to paint the second coat of poly.
  • It may be required to apply more coats depending on the chosen polyurethane and your environment.

How To Restore Old Furniture Paint And Waterproof It

Maybe you have bought great patio furniture at a yard sale, and the style is great. However, the paint is in bad condition.

It is important to fix the damaged paint on your furniture before placing it outdoors since moisture can penetrate through that damaged paint and caused fungus, rotting, and mold.

Follow the steps below carefully to restore your furniture and make it waterproof.

The Needed Supplies For Restoring Old Painted Furniture

Fixing your old painted outdoor furniture takes time and work. You also need to wear safety gear while working on the project.

You must wear goggles and a respirator, and you need to work in an area with a good ventilation system.

Here are the needed supplies to waterproof your old painted outdoor furniture:

  • Sandpaper with a medium level of grit (#80)
  • Paint Scraper
  • Exterior Primer
  • Exterior Paint
  • Wood Sealer or Wood Oil

How To Fix Paint Problems On Your Painted Wood Furniture Before Waterproof It

Observe imperfections or paint flaws to fix your old outdoor wood furniture. The imperfection on your furniture is a pathway for water to inrush and eventually damage your outdoor furniture.

Here are the methods to inspect your painted outdoor furniture:

  • First, examine your furniture carefully and look for cracked, bubbled, or chipped paint.
  • Put your furniture on top of plastic sheeting or drop cloth.
  • Wear a respirator and goggles for safety measures.
  • Scrape off all damaged paint using a paint scraper. When scraping, try to keep the paint chips from falling on the plastic sheeting or drop cloth to make the safe removal easier.
  • Use sandpaper for sanding all the areas where your wood is exposed. This aims to make a smooth transition between wood and paint.
  • Use a damp rag to clean up any leftover dust. After that, leave the furniture to dry.
  • When disposing of the paint, follow the guidelines from EPA or your local regulations, especially if the paint scrapings are lead-based.

How To Prepare Your Surface For Waterproofing Job

After you have done the previous step, your old furniture is ready to receive wood sealer or primer, oil, and paint.

  • Apply wood oils or wood sealer based on instructions from the manufacturer. The drying time depends on your oil or sealer choice. Generally, it can take up to a week to dry.
  • Allow the oil or sealer solution to cure.
  • Lightly sand your entire furniture piece and use a damp cloth to wipe it clean.
  • Leave the surface to dry.
  • After that, use exterior primer on your furniture.
  • After the primer becomes dry and sets. Use fine-grit sandpaper and sand it gently.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe the surface from debris.
  • Apply two paint coats and do sanding and also cleaning between coats.
  • At this phase, your old furniture should appear like a brand new piece again since the exposed wood is sealed and the entire furniture has been applied with new paint and primer.
  • Now, your outdoor wood furniture is ready to be waterproofed. Just follow the steps explained previously to waterproof your wood furniture using polyurethane.
Scroll to Top