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Using Oak Furniture Outside

Using Oak Furniture Outside

When looking for outdoor furniture, many find their options can be limited and styling their outdoor space to their own personal tastes can be hard going, especially when finding the right look for their patio or outdoor seating area. Some may even consider using indoor furniture outdoors, but is this ever a good idea?

Oak is a naturally resilient wood and is therefore far more capable than many other options to be out in the elements. That doesn’t mean you can just throw it outside and hope for the best, but if you know how to treat wood for outdoor use you can turn your oak furniture into wooden outdoor furniture that’ll last quite some time.

Preparing oak furniture for outdoor use

It’s all about preparing your furniture and knowing how to treat wood for outdoor use, making sure it has what it needs to survive whatever the elements throw at it. Follow these steps to do just that:

  1. Clean the wood first of any grime, dust, or residue. You can use dish detergent to really cut through any layered dirt the piece may have acquired over the years but make sure you’ve left nothing on it.
  1. Repair any knicks, scratches or damage that may have happened to your furniture. You don’t want any faults or cracks opening it up to the elements. Make sure you give it enough time for any glue or wood filler to dry depending on the type of repair you are doing.
  1. Lightly sand the surface of your now clean and repaired furniture so that any paint or coating will get a better application on the surface.

Painting oak furniture for outdoor use

Painting outdoor wood furniture is not as simple as just throwing on a lick of paint. You need to make sure you have the right coating for the conditions your furniture will be in so you should select a paint that keeps out the rain or humidity, or lasts a long time in bright, sunny conditions depending on the location of the furniture.

  1. Coat your furniture’s surfaces thoroughly, making sure everywhere that would be exposed is entirely covered. You need to form a protective layer between the wood and the outside world and if you’ve done this properly, you’ll be left with a nice piece of painted outdoor furniture.
  1. Leave your furniture to dry. This could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on the paint, coating, how heavily you layered it on, weather conditions etc, so make sure you’ve given yourself enough time. Wait until it has completely dried for the best effect as the better protected your outdoor wooden furniture is, the longer it will last.
  1. Now is the time to add decoration or a second, or third, layer of paint. Add trim or your own little flourishes here and there but extra coats of paint could be more advantageous in protecting the piece.


If you want to keep your outdoor wooden table and chairs (or whatever furniture you’ve now decided to put outside) in a good condition you can’t just paint it once and leave it be. 

Keeping furniture in a covered area will provide much needed shelter and reapplying paint every few months will liven it up a bit and restore any protection lost. We have a guide on painting oak furniture should you need it. Always be sure to read the instructions and safety instructions on any care products you choose to use.

Check out our oak furniture collections here.