What is the Best Sealer for Outdoor Wood Furniture? (2022)

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Wooden pieces create a comfortable aesthetic in your home and are also durable for outdoor use. However, without proper care, these pieces may crack. Using the wrong wood sealing products may aggravate the problem with your furniture. 

Let our veteran woodworkers help you expand your knowledge and choose the best sealer for outdoor wood furniture.

Premium Option
Ready Seal 512 Sealer
Editor’s Choice
Thompson’s Waterseal
Budget Option
Rain Guard Water Sealer
Ready Seal 512 5-Gallons Pail Natural Cedar Extension Stain and Sealer for Wood
Thompson’s Waterseal
Rain Guard Water Sealer
• Offers UV protection
• Protects wood from saltwater
• Creates authentic finish
• Effortless application
• Thick consistency
• Minimal odor
• Dries clear
• Easy maintenance
• Does not yellow over time
Premium Option
Ready Seal 512 Sealer
Ready Seal 512 5-Gallons Pail Natural Cedar Extension Stain and Sealer for Wood
• Offers UV protection
• Protects wood from saltwater
• Creates authentic finish
Editor’s Choice
Thompson’s Waterseal
Thompson’s Waterseal
• Effortless application
• Thick consistency
• Minimal odor
Budget Option
Rain Guard Water Sealer
Rain Guard Water Sealer
• Dries clear
• Easy maintenance
• Does not yellow over time

Reviews of the Top Sealers for Outdoor Wooden Furniture

1. Thompsons Waterseal 21801 Wood Protect VOC

The Thompsons Waterseal 21801 is a trusted brand. This transparent oil-based polyurethane provides excellent protection to your outdoor furniture and restores the inherent beauty of wood. 

Its formula has advanced polymers that help protect the wood from damage for an extended period and protect wood from fading. While it requires reapplication after every two years, you’re guaranteed that it will safeguard your furniture for a period.

Furthermore, the Thompson Waterseal GI Wood Protect creates a semi-transparent finish. It is also one of the best outdoor wood sealers for its selection of different wood species colors.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. Ready Seal 512 5-Gallons Pail Natural Cedar Extension Stain and Sealer for Wood

The Ready 512 Sealer for Wood is an example of an outdoor sealer that does not need any primer. It may be applied using a sprayer, brush, or roller. It also does not require diluting or thinning the product with warm water before application. 

Ready Seal produces a dark shade when the first coat is applied. This product can seal wood and help protect your outdoor furniture from moisture, humidity, UV rays, and mold. 

It can effectively seal exterior wood stain. However, it will not work well on surfaces with sealers already applied. Ready Seal also requires time before it settles in its accurate color.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. Rain Guard Pro Micro-Seal

The Rain Guard Pro Micro-Seal are formulated to keep the rain out. It is also formulated to penetrate deep into the surface. 

It is a budget-friendly water-based wood sealer made up of silane/siloxane water repellent, preventing water damage. This product is safe for indoor and outdoor use. 

You can apply it to all surfaces. It can be used to seal untreated wood, weathered wood, bare wood, or dry wood. Furthermore, it does not leave any residue on the surface post application. It dries clear and enhances the natural beauty of the wood.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. STAR BRITE Premium Golden Teak Oil

This Star Brite Premium Golden Teak Oil is one of the top-performing oil-based wood sealers available on the market and can be applied to a variety of fine woods. 

It requires thorough cleaning and drying before application. Simply make sure to work with the direction of the wood grain, and the application will only be a breeze.

It is effective in resisting UV and protects outdoor wood furniture from splintering, warping, weathering, and fading. This sealer is also great at offering wood protection from harsh environments such as salt water. It dries easily, and the resulting coat is a warm natural color.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. Minwax Water-Based Helmsman Spar Urethane

The Minwax Water-based Helmsman Spar Urethane is one of many exterior wood sealers designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions such as rain and UV rays.

This sealer for outdoor wood furniture provides a shield against moisture and dries quickly. However, it does not work well with sealed wood. Thus, it is necessary to remove pre-existing stains before applying this product. 

It is best to use sponges or nylon broses for application to yield the best results. Make sure to mix the product thoroughly before and during application. After applying the first coat, wait at least 2 hours before applying the next. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Seal Once Marine

Seal Once Marine is a water-based formula that creates a water-resistant barrier that effectively protects the wood from water damage. This coat also preserves the wood’s color. 

This wood sealant is considered the best sealer for outdoor wood furniture for modified wood, boat docks, and wood deck. However, one downside is that its application cannot be conducted under sunlight.

Seal once the marine wood sealer for outdoor wood furniture is formulated to contain low volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This formulation makes it a good eco-friendly option. Furthermore, it has a clear tone but also comes with various wood tones.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. Waterlox Original Sealer

The Waterlox Original Sealer can easily be applied on various surfaces. As one of the exterior penetrating wood sealers, it is easily absorbed by the wood deep within its surfaces. 

This creates a barrier that protects the outdoor wood from water exposure, mildew, and harmful UV rays. This exterior wood sealer produces a clear and polished finish after several applications. Furthermore, it can be applied over most stains.

The Waterlox Original sealer is made from advanced tung oil polymers. This allows the sealer to dry down to a hard finish completely. This product is non-toxic when cured. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

8. Anchor Seal 2 Hybrid Log

Anchor Seal is a combinator of water and wax, making it an excellent sealer. It is popularly known to protect wood against end grain checking. 

After two to three coat applications, you will never have to worry about your wood splintering. It is considered a green wood sealer since it can be applied on a fresh cut made to the wood.

It is also environment-friendly. This product is made up of plant-based polymer and wax mixture. This mixture helps check and splitting of logs and lumber from happening. It is budget-friendly and is the best wood sealer for freshly cut lumber. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

What is a Wood Sealer and Why Should You Use It?

All wood is susceptible to rot, staining, and damage, and a wood sealer can protect them further from damage as a result of wear and tear. Applying a wood sealer can give your wooden pieces some shine and add color.

A wood sealer effectively protects wooden surfaces whether they are placed indoors or outdoors. 

Sealer for Outdoor Wood Furniture Buyer’s Guide

Kind of Sealers

There are three types of wood sealers for outdoor use on the market today. They can be differentiated based on their formula and transparency. Available sealers include clear, opaque, and semi-transparent.

Clear

A clear outdoor wood sealer or a clear finish can brighten up wood and other related surfaces. Most clear sealers are formulated to ensure that surfaces do not turn yellow in time. 

Furthermore, clear sealers are long-lasting and resistant to moisture and several household chemicals.

clear wood sealer

Opaque

An opaque finish results in a high quality and low maintenance acrylic wood finish. Furthermore, the resulting satin finish is water repellent, and the wood is protected against UV rays.

Semi-Transparent

The application of a semi-transparent sealer adds a faint color to the wood’s surface. This semitransparent appearance allows its natural wood grain to appear. However, these tints tend to fade over time which calls for a reapplication once every two or three years. 

How Big The Project Is

The project size determines the amount of sealer used. This assessment of various wood projects before undertaking them will most definitely save time and money. Taking simple measurements of your outdoor furniture can go a long way.

drying the wood

Drying Period

Determining the drying period of your chosen sealant helps you plot a schedule of your project timeline. Most of the wood stains will set in a few hours after application. 

On the other hand, latex wood sealers completely dry for approximately 2-3 weeks. Planning these activities will help you save time and reduce errors.

Resistance to Water, Moisture, and Mildew

Choosing a sealer resistant to water, moisture, and mildew can keep your wooden outdoor furniture from rotting prematurely. 

UV Protection

The best sealers for outdoor wood furniture offer UV protection. Once a surface is applied with a UV-resistant sealer, it will prevent wood splitting and warping.

uv protectant on wood

Step-by-Step: How To Seal Your Outdoor Wood Furniture

Wood furniture exposed to the elements require protection from a trusted outdoor wood furniture sealer and regular care and maintenance. To protect these pieces and help them last a long time, here are the steps you need to follow: 

Step 1: Choose Your Finish

Make sure to choose a finish that protects your outdoor furniture from moisture and harsh UV light. A high-quality primer, followed by an oil-based paint exterior, will do the job. 

Step 2: Sanding

Sand the surface to remove any dirt, debris, and existing can exterior stain on it. A chemical wood stripper is recommended to ensure the sealer sticks to the surface.

Step 3: Sealing

Completely seal the wood. Ensure the sealer is applied to all joints, nooks, and crannies. For hard-to-reach areas, use a small brush to apply the sealer.

sealing furniture

Step 4: Maintenance

To ensure your outdoor wood products are protected for an extended period, regularly apply a maintenance coat. A recoat is called for every two or three years.

How To Protect Outdoor Wood Furniture From Harsh Elements

Protecting your outdoor wood furniture from harsh elements will help it last longer. Here are a few methods that can help you achieve this.

1. Sealing

Protecting outdoor wood will require sealing furniture from water due to humidity and rain. A wood sealant will prevent water from getting into the wood, preventing wood rot. 

Sealing

You don’t have to worry about changing the color of your pieces since most sealers maintain the wood’s natural color. So, completely seal all parts of the outdoor furniture. Some of the more popular sealants include polyurethane sealants and lacquer. 

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2. Varnishing

Varnishing is another method that can seal the wood. Applying an exterior varnish topcoat on wood can protect outdoor furniture from moisture since it is water resistant. Furthermore, it does not alter the wood color. 

varnishing

A layer of varnish is enough to protect the wood from UV rays, thereby preventing wood discoloration and increasing its durability. 

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3. Painting

Applying a coat of paint is a good option to reinforce your wood furniture from harsh elements. Paint can not only block UV rays, but it can also protect the wood from issues such as discoloration.

applying paint

Latex paint can give better protection compared to oil-based paints. These latex paints can give a good layer of protection and hide scratches and dents on exterior wood surfaces.

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4. Outdoor Furniture Covers

One of the easiest ways to protect wooden furniture is by covering it. Proper coverage will protect the outdoor furniture from dust, UV light, and water. These coverings may be in the form of fabrics or a mantle. 

outdoor furniture cover

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5. Regular cleaning and maintenance + Move the furniture

Regularly cleaning your wood furniture will help maintain it. Accumulating dirt, mud, and mold can contribute to the deterioration of the wood.

cleaning the furniture

Moving your outdoor furniture is also another effective way to protect it. This will keep your furniture safe from the harsh environment. You may also install shades to minimize catching sunlight on the wood surface.

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Waterproofing Your Outdoor Furniture

Protecting your patio furniture or other outdoor furniture from the rain will help it last longer. An item of completely waterproof furniture will effectively protect it from water damage. Waterproofing wood is simple; you only need a wood stain and sealer.

Furthermore, you can waterproof the entire surface of the wood furniture by using a combination of a wood stain and sealer. 

Sealant

Wood sealants such as polyurethane, lacquer, and varnish can effectively waterproof wood furniture. 

waterproof table top
  1. Clean and sand the wooden surface
  2. Completely apply the sealant on the surface
  3. Allow the sealant to penetrate the wood and reapply to cover missed spaces
  4. Let the wood dry for a few hours to a couple of days. Make sure it is dried completely before proceeding to the next step.
  5. Sand the surface
  6. Reapply the sealant and allow the wood to dry completely

Refrain from shaking or stirring the sealant to prevent bubbles from being trapped inside. 

Linseed Oil or Tung Oil

Using Linseed oil [1] or Tung oil is the easiest and quickest way to waterproof outdoor wooden pieces. Furthermore, it is very affordable. Follow these steps:

linseed oil application
  1. Clean and sand the wooden surface
  2. Stir the oil well and apply it over the surface using a brush
  3. Allow the wood to soak the oil and reapply to cover missed spaces
  4. Let the wood dry for a few hours to a couple of days. Make sure it is dried completely before proceeding to the next step.
  5. Sand the surface.
  6. Reapply a coat of oil and allow the exterior wood to dry completely.

After successfully applying 2-3 coats, you now have waterproof wood furniture. Reapply the coat once every few months as part of its maintenance. 

FAQ

What is the best way to seal outdoor wood furniture?

The best way to seal outdoor wood furniture is a combination of wood stain and sealer. This process effectively protects wood furniture from natural elements while keeping it shiny and beautiful. 

Is there a difference between wood finish and wood stain?

The main difference between a wood finish and a wood stain is how deep it soaks into the wood underneath. A stain goes deeper into the wood. Compared to the exterior penetrating wood stain, a wood finish creates a barrier on the surface. 

What comes first – sealing or staining the wood?

Whether sealing or staining should come first depends on the wood you will be working on. However, a rule of thumb calls to stain first, seal second, and apply a topcoat last to achieve the ideal results. 

Should I seal the wood after I stain it?

Yes, before staining wood, take time to seal it. Wooden materials are still porous and require a sealant to prevent moisture from getting in, leading them to rot. 

Our Top Pick For a Sealer for Outdoor Wood Furniture:
Thompsons Waterseal 21801

Thompson Waterseal 21801 is our choice for the best sealer for outdoor wood furniture. It is a trusted sealer that provides one of the strongest protection that can be applied on a wood surface. 

It prolongs wood life and, at the same time, preserves and maintains the wood’s inherent color. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson

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