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Getting Ready for Fall: Discover 5 Ways to Protect Your Outdoor Furniture [+1 Bonus!]

by Ann Ferguson

Finally have your back patio set up just the way you like it? Keep it that way by protecting your outdoor furniture and preparing everything for the upcoming fall!

Most patio furniture can be left outside, but even the highest quality furniture needs extra care to help withstand harsher weather and stay in top condition. But don't feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how to protect your outdoor furniture; just follow our checklist, and you'll be set for the coming months!

1. Keep it Sheltered

Outdoor furniture under extended eaves

The easiest way to protect your patio furniture is to keep it under a roof or covered area when possible. If you have a porch, deck, or some other type of overhang, take advantage of it! A shelter will help shield your furniture from sun damage, rain, and debris that can cause wear and tear.

Any safe shelter from the elements will work, including a storage shed or even the garage. And if you have room, you can always bring a few items inside.

Pro Tip: If you don't have any built-in storage or protection, consider investing in a quality patio awning or tarp.

2. Regular Cleaning

Man cleaning outdoor patio, scrubbing the floor

Like any other furniture, your outdoor furniture needs regular cleaning to stay in tip-top shape! At least once a week or once a quarter (we won't judge), give them a good spraying with your garden hose to avoid a buildup of dirt, grime, pollen, leaves, and twigs. But if you're furniture needs a deeper clean, make sure to use material-safe cleaning products and follow these instructions:

  • Fabric Cushions: Wash with mild detergent and air dry in the sun.
  • Wicker: Brush a solution of bleach and water to remove mildew, then rinse off and let air dry.
  • Wood: Use a mildly abrasive sponge and gently wipe with a water and detergent solution.
  • Metal: Scrub down with water and detergent, then add a protective coat of car wax.

Be sure to give lounge chairs and daybeds a thorough rinsing to remove sweat and sunscreen residue and wipe down chairs and table tops. Also, check that all your outdoor furniture is thoroughly dried before storing them.

Pro Tip: You should also sweep or vacuum up any debris accumulated on or around your furniture.

3. Protecting Cushions

One of the ways to prolong the life of your outdoor lounge furniture is by protecting the cushions. If left to the elements, the sun can bleach the fabric, while water can create a breeding ground for mildew. So, to avoid that, store your cushions somewhere cool and dry when they're not in use. Look for outdoor storage boxes to keep everything in one place and protected from the elements.

You can also spray them with fabric protector spray, which creates a water- and stain-resistant barrier that protects against spills, stains, odors, and sun fading.

Pro Tip: To keep your cushions from flying away during heavy wind, use strips of velcro underneath the cushions to keep them in place.

4. Outdoor Furniture Covers

Outdoor furniture covered during rainy day

Another great way to protect your outdoor furniture and keep it looking like new is to invest in outdoor furniture covers for when it's not in use. These weatherproof covers help protect against sun damage, stains, and other harsh weather elements. They're also great for keeping your furniture clean in between deep cleanings, which helps your furniture last even longer. Be sure to measure your furniture before purchasing covers to get the perfect fit.

Pro Tip: Look for covers made of heavy-duty fabrics like Oxford polyester for even more protection.

5. Coating & Treating

Man adding coat of sealant to wood furniture

What makes patio furniture so perfect for the outside is that they're naturally weather- and water-resistant. But even the best materials need an extra coating or treatment to help maintain their resistance.

  • Wood Furniture: Treat with a layer of waterproof sealant or paint once a year to prevent warping and decay. Sand and finish the wood regularly.
  • Plastic & Metal Furniture: Add a coat of outdoor furniture protector (or wax) with a paintbrush to protect from the sun.

Doing these steps will help prolong the life of your furniture by protecting it from water damage, rot, and pests.

Pro Tip: You can also buy treated wood furniture, which has been coated at the factory and typically doesn't require any additional treatment.

6. Make Necessary Repairs

Man repairing outdoor chair

See something on your patio furniture that needs to be repaired? Don't wait; Fix it right away! Immediately attending to any problem like dents, rips, or rot will help keep your furniture looking its best. If you wait until right before you need to store your furniture or even after winter, you risk worsening the issue.

Get Started

There you have it: how to protect your outdoor furniture with a simple checklist. By following these steps, you can keep your outdoor furniture looking great all season long! This means when spring and summer come around again, your outdoor oasis will be ready and waiting. But if your current outdoor furniture looks tired or needs extensive repair, upgrade to something new from Westco Home Furnishings!

And if you have any questions, please give us a call or stop by! Our team will help you find what you need to keep the good times rolling.