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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

5 Tips for Refinishing Outdoor Furniture

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

(guest post by Sjoerd Bos)

Nothing brings your outdoor living room to life like beautifully finished furniture, but it takes a beating from the elements and can look tired after a long winter. Instead of replacing your old wooden furniture with something new, why not take the more affordable – not to mention sustainable – route and refinish it instead? This option is not only better for the environment, it also preserves the value of your initial investment in high-quality pieces.

Here are 5 tips and best practices for refinishing your wooden furniture for summer fun.

Select a penetrating formula. Choose a penetrating wood protection formula that will help shield the wood from weather and biological elements, while at the same time allowing it to “breathe”, preventing wood rot. Another benefit is that penetrating products don’t peel and flake off like those that sit on the surface.

Choose your color. Penetrating formulas come in a wide range of colors, and what you choose can either hide or amplify the grain of the wood, depending on whether you prefer a transparent or solid-hide system. It is important to note that higher sheens will typically perform better on outdoor furniture.

Prepare the wood surface. Depending on the condition of your wood and the type of protection selected, you may be able to get away with a simple wash of the surface and a light scuff-sand to prepare the wood for the finish. In other cases, you will need to sand down to bare wood to allow the penetrating coating to dive deep into the wood, providing protection from within. If you’re sanding back to bare wood, start with 80 grit paper to make the sanding job go more quickly, then finish with 180 grit.

Apply the product according to manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturers have Product Data Sheets that provide exacting standards and instructions for the application for each of their products. Carefully read these instructions prior to starting your refinishing project and then follow the instructions precisely to ensure a successful outcome. If you have questions about the instructions, contact the manufacturer directly or consult with your local retailer where you purchased the product.

Maintain properly. Finally, remember that maintaining your wooden furniture is less costly and time-consuming than starting from scratch. Inspect your wooden furniture carefully each season and look for even the smallest signs that maintenance is needed.

To learn more, visit

Sansin Wood Protection

This article appears courtesy of Sansin Corporation, which is focused exclusively on researching and developing environmentally-friendly, water-borne interior and exterior wood products and technologies that deliver outstanding color, durability and performance without the toxicity found in conventional stains. Sansin wood treatments, finishes and preservatives use water, not petroleum solvents, to deeply penetrate and protect wood naturally, from within. Headquartered in Ontario, Canada, Sansin has offices in the Netherlands and Rhode Island and dealer locations in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australasia. To learn more about The Sansin Corporation, or how to become a Sansin preferred dealer, Visit

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