Do you love summer like I do?
I'm not a winter-lover AT ALL. In fact, while I do love the warm days of spring and fall, I think I could live with the monotony of 80 degrees and sunny every day, with only the occasional rain to cool things down a bit.
But whether you're a four-seasons lover, or a sun-seeker like me, the fact is our outdoor furniture and decor can only take so much sun and rain. How do you protect and preserve it for life outdoors? Here are a few tips and products that can help.
Water-proof vs. water-resistant: most of us know the difference when it comes to our watches and other electronic devices, but there is a big difference between water-proof and water-resistant. And it's equally true when it comes to sealing furniture and other materials for outdoor use. As with other items, it's reasonable to expect your furniture and decor to be water-resistant, but that doesn't mean it's completely water-proof and can withstand constant exposure to moisture or standing in water.
We carry two sealers that are rated specifically for outdoor use and will seal up wood and other materials to be water-resistant: General Finishes Exterior 450 is available in quarts, and comes in both flat and satin finishes. Dixie Belle's Gator Hide has a satin finish and comes in 32 oz, 16 oz and 8 oz sizes. We carry both of these products in-store and online.
It's important to keep in mind that even if you reapply a sealer faithfully every year, you should still follow the furniture manufacturer's recommendations (and your own expertise) for choosing the placement of wood items outside. Some pieces may be fine out in the middle of an uncovered deck or patio, but most wood should not be set in the lawn or placed in direct contact with soil, as the moisture and critters will eventually lead to rot. And not all wood furniture will stand up to torrential downpours all season long, even if they are sealed.
These two products are also UV-resistant. And just like the best sunscreen, they protect against harmful UV rays, but nothing is completely sun-proof, so that's another reason to try to keep your wood furniture and decor out of direct sunlight if possible. Covered porches offer protection, especially if you have a southern and/or western exposure. And after the season is over, give them a break by covering them or placing them in a storage shed for the winter.
Apply your product according to the label directions and allow them to fully dry before using. Ready for summer? So are we! Now let's get our furniture geared up, sealed up, and ready to use all summer long!
WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?
I'm Terry Lea, owner of Re-Invintage Home, a vintage home goods shop just south of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN. A lifelong passion for vintage picking led me to open a shop with my picking pal, Sherri in 2017. Come see us!