How to Finish Redwood Outdoor Furniture?


Furniture is the main part of our home decoration, as well as our life. If you are a home decor lover and love to make furniture then redwood is your first choice. Redwood outdoor furniture is a popular choice for many homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts. Redwood is known for its natural beauty, durability, and resistance to most natural odds. This makes it an ideal choice for outdoor furniture that can withstand the elements. Now, you may think, how to finish redwood outdoor furniture?

To keep redwood furniture at its best, it is important to give a good finish after building the furniture. This includes applying a protective sealant, reapplying the finish periodically, covering the furniture, storing it during the winter months, and regularly cleaning it. With these precautions, redwood furniture can last for many decades and continue to provide a comfortable and inviting space for relaxation and entertainment.

This article will explore the step-by-step process for finishing redwood outdoor furniture, important tips for protecting it from the weather, and ensuring its longevity.

Key Takeaways

  • What is redwood and what makes it perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.
  • Tools that are needed before finishing up redwood furniture.
  • To keep your redwood furniture new, you need to finish it well by following a step-by-step process.
  • There are many finishers for redwood furniture. You need to choose the right finish for redwood furniture for outdoor use.
  • Several precautions you can take to protect your furniture outdoors.

Redwood Furniture

Redwood furniture

Redwood is a beautiful and durable wood species that are commonly used for outdoor furniture. It is naturally resistant to decay, insects, and rot. Redwood is also popular for its unique color and grain patterns which make it the best choice for furniture makers and homeowners.

Redwood furniture can come in many different styles and designs from the traditional Adirondack chairs to modern patio sets. The natural beauty of redwood makes it a popular choice for outdoor furniture, as it can add aesthetic character to any outdoor living space.

One of the key benefits of redwood furniture is its durability. As redwood is naturally resistant to decay and insects, it can last for many years with minimal maintenance. This makes it an ideal choice for outdoor furniture that is exposed to the elements.

Redwood furniture can be finished with a clear coat to enhance its natural beauty, or with a colored stain to give it a new look. The versatility of redwood makes it a popular choice for many different styles of outdoor furniture. Let’s see how to finish redwood furniture for outdoor use.

Essential Tools

To finish redwood outdoor furniture, you will need a few tools and equipment. Make sure you have all the necessary tools and equipment before starting the finishing process. This will ensure that the process goes smoothly and that the finished product looks beautiful and lasts for years. Here are the essential items you will need:

Essential tools

1. Sandpaper

You will need medium-grit and fine-grit sandpaper to prepare the furniture and smooth out the finish between coats.

2. Paint stripper

If the furniture has an existing finish, you’ll need a paint stripper to remove it before sanding.

3. Tack cloth or damp cloth

After sanding, you will need a tack cloth or a damp cloth to clean the furniture.

4. Brushes or sprayers

To apply the stain, sealer, and protective coat. A sprayer is faster and more efficient, but a brush can be more precise and give you more control over the application.

5. Rags

To wipe off excess stains or sealer after application.

6. Polyurethane or marine varnish

If you want extra protection, you will need clear polyurethane or a clear marine varnish.

7. Drop cloths

To protect your work surface from drips and spills, use a drop cloth or a plastic sheet.

8. Sanding pad

To make sanding more efficient and effective, use a sanding block or pad.

9. Safety equipment

Wear gloves, a dust mask, and safety goggles to protect yourself from the chemicals in the finish and the dust from sanding.

How to Finish Redwood Outdoor Furniture: Step By Step

Redwood furniture needs to be protected for outdoor use. This action needs to be perfected with good finishing. To do that, here is a step-by-step process that can help you.

How to finish redwood outdoor furniture step by step

Step 1: Choose the Right Finish

Select the type of finish that suits your needs, whether you prefer a clear natural look or a colored look, considering the amount of protection it provides.

Step 2: Prepare the Furniture

Remove any existing finish using a paint stripper, and sand the furniture with medium-grit sandpaper. After sanding, clean the furniture with a tack or a damp cloth, and let it dry completely.

Step 3: Apply the Sealer

If you want a stained finish, apply the stain using a brush or sprayer. If you want a natural finish, apply a clear sealer instead. Apply the stain/sealer in the direction of the grain, working in small sections, and avoid drips and runs. After application, use a rag to wipe off excess stain or sealer and allow it to dry completely.

Step 4: Sand the Furniture

After the sealer has dried completely, sand the furniture using fine-grit sandpaper. Sand in the direction of the grain to avoid damaging the finish.

Step 5: Apply a Second Coat

Apply a second coat of stain or sealer in the same manner as the first coat. Allow it to dry completely.

Step 6: Apply a Protective Coat

If you want extra protection, apply a coat of clear polyurethane or a clear marine varnish. Apply the protective coat using a brush or sprayer, working in small sections, and avoid drips and runs. Allow the protective coat to dry completely.

Step 7: Apply Additional Coats

After the protective coat has dried, sand the furniture again with a fine-grit sandpaper. If desired, apply additional coats of protective finish, allowing each coat to dry completely before sanding and applying the next coat.

Step 8: Maintain and Protect the Finish

After the finishing process is complete, maintain the furniture by regularly cleaning it and reapplying the finish as needed. Keep the furniture covered or protected from extreme weather conditions to ensure its longevity.

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9 Different Finishes for Redwood

Choosing the right finish for redwood furniture for outdoor use is important to protect the wood from weather and ensure its longevity. A good finish will not only add an appealing look to the furniture but also provide a protective layer that will prevent the wood from deteriorating over time. Let’s see what some good finishers for redwood furniture are.

1. Conversion Varnish

Conversion varnish

Conversion varnish is a popular finish for redwood furniture as it provides a hard, durable coating that is resistant to water, chemicals, and abrasions. It is also a popular choice for any kind of furniture that is exposed to heavy traffic or outdoor elements. Conversion varnish is often used by professional furniture makers because it requires specialized equipment and training to apply.

2. Tung Oil

Tung oil

Tung oil is a natural oil that is often used on redwood furniture to protect the wood from weather and enhance its natural color. It penetrates the wood to create a water-resistant finish that is easy to apply and maintain.

3. Linseed Oil

Linseed oil

Linseed oil is another natural oil that is commonly used on redwood furniture. It’s easy to apply and provides a natural-looking finish that enhances the wood’s natural beauty. However, it may take longer to dry than other finishes.

4. Teak Oil

Teak oil

Teak oil is a penetrating oil that is commonly used on redwood furniture to protect the wood from weather and enhance its natural color. It is easy to apply, dries quickly, and provides a natural-looking finish.

5. Beeswax


Beeswax is a natural wax that is often used as a topcoat on redwood furniture. It provides a protective layer that is resistant to water and scratches and also enhances the wood’s natural color and grain patterns.

6. Shellac


Shellac is a natural resin that is often used on redwood furniture to create a durable, high-gloss finish. It’s easy to apply and dries quickly, but may not be as durable as other finishes.

7. Envirotex


Envirotex is a high-gloss, two-part epoxy finish that can be used on redwood furniture to create a hard, durable surface. It is resistant to water, chemicals, and abrasions, and can be used on both indoor and outdoor furniture.

8. Clear Polyurethane

Clear polyurethane

Clear polyurethane is a popular finish for redwood furniture as it provides a hard, durable coating that enhances the natural beauty of the wood. This also makes your furniture water-resistant, UV-resistant, and easy to apply.

9. Paint


Paint is optional for those who want to change the color of their redwood furniture. It can be a great option for those who want a specific color or need to cover up any stains or damage. However, it is important to use high-quality outdoor paint that is suitable for redwood.


Redwood outdoor furniture is known for its natural beauty and durability. But exposure to harsh weather can take a toll on its appearance and longevity. To protect redwood furniture from weather, there are several precautions you can take.


Reapply the Finish

To maintain the protective layer, you will need to reapply the finish periodically. The frequency of application will depend on the weather conditions and the type of finish used. It’s recommended to reapply the finish every 1-2 years for optimal protection.

Cover the Furniture

When not in use, it’s a good idea to cover the furniture with a protective cover. This will help to keep the furniture clean and dry to protect it from harmful UV rays. When selecting a cover, choose a material that is breathable and waterproof.

Store the Furniture

If possible, store the furniture indoors during winter or when not used. This will provide the ultimate protection from weather and keep the furniture in top condition.

Clean regularly

Regularly clean the furniture with a mild soap and water solution to remove dirt and grime. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning products, as these can damage the finish.


1. Which color goes best with redwood?

The most popular pigments for redwood are Amaretto and Western Cedar. Timber Oil is also recommended as a product to use for a redwood deck stain as it is a deep penetrating finish. This matter depends on how you what your furniture looks like. Some people use golden on it.

2. What is the best way to seal redwood?

There are many options for sealing a redwood deck. An oil-based penetrating sealer is the best option for a new redwood deck. Penetrating sealers are better to protect the wood than film finishes like paint because they wear naturally instead of cracking. You can also use an alkyd-based tinted penetrating sealer.

3. What happens if redwood gets wet?

Some wood like redwood, cedar, and teak, contains varying degrees of natural wood preservatives. But the water that soaks into any of these woods will cause them to crack. The cracks start out as tiny checking cracks.

Final Thoughts

Redwood furniture is a great choice for home decoration, specially outdoors. This material needs to be finished in a good manner so that it can last longer. Protecting redwood outdoor furniture from weather requires regular maintenance and care. There are many effective finishers that suit your redwood furniture well.

Applying a finish, choosing the right type of finish, reapplying the finish, covering the furniture, storing the furniture, and cleaning the furniture are all important steps in ensuring that the furniture lasts for many years to come. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the natural beauty and durability of redwood outdoor furniture for many years to come.

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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.

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