Refinish Outdoor Wood Furniture (in One Afternoon!)

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When setting up our backyard this Spring, I realized pretty quickly that it was time to refinish our outdoor patio furniture. The stain had faded and the protective coat was peeling off. In short, it wasn’t looking so great! We purchased our patio set on sale 3 years ago from Joss & Main for a great price, but 2 summers of blazing sun have really worn the finish quickly. Our exact set is no longer sold, but here’s a similar one from Target.

So let’s talk about how to easily refinish outdoor wood furniture and have it looking brand new again!

refinish outdoor wood furniture


This is how our furniture was looking when I pulled it out. I thought about simply staining them, but I knew we would end up right back where we were very quickly. I am glad I just went ahead and completed these few steps. It process was honestly so easy and done in one afternoon. I have no idea why I waited so long to do it!

refinish outdoor wooden furniture

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Supplies Needed:

Steps to Refinish Outdoor Wooden Furniture:

1) Sand down furniture with handheld sander or sandpaper.

Our backyard gets so much sun, so the stain and sealant on our chairs had begun to peel and fade. Because of this, sanding was honestly very easy. I gave each chair a quick sanding, focusing mostly on the arms and parts of the chair that would show most. I did not worry about sanding every speck of stain and sealant off. I knew the dark stain would hide a lot.

In the photo below, you can see where some of the back and the right arm of the chair has been sanded. Already so much better!

refinish patio furniture

2) Clean furniture.

I used a leaf blower to remove the remaining dust, and then wiped each chair down really well with a wet microfiber cloth.

3) Apply wood conditioner.

For application, I love using these staining cloths. I do not usually use wood conditioner when staining. HOWEVER, for this project, I knew that I wouldn’t be sanding the chairs down completely. I also knew that this wood has been sitting in the sun for a long time and was dried out to the max. The conditioner helps to soften/condition the wood so that the stain soaks in evenly. I think by doing this, I was able to skip out on all the sanding of every nook and cranny.

In the photos below, the chair on the right has been sanded and wood conditioner has been applied. The right has been sanded, no wood conditioner.

Look how much better already?! Who knew it was this simple to make outdoor furniture look brand new!

refinish outdoor wooden furniture
refinish outdoor wooden furniture

4) Wipe of excess wood conditioner and let dry for a bit.

I think I gave it around 30 minutes before applying stain. Just make sure it’s dry to the touch before moving on.

4) Apply stain color of choice.

We chose to stain our chairs in Special Walnut. To me, this is a classic color and deep enough not to be faded easily by the sun. Again, I used these simple stain cloths to apply. I am not opposed to using a scrap cloth or paper towels though if I don’t have these on hand 🙂

5) Apply sealant.

After stain has fully dried, you’ll want to use a outdoor poly to protect your chairs from sun and moisture damage. This is what I used.

refinish outdoor wooden furniture
refinish outdoor wooden furniture

Talk about a difference! This process brought our outdoor furniture back to life.

I had zero idea that it was this simple to refinish outdoor wood furniture before this. I hope it’s been helpful for you as well!

Until next time friends,

refinish outdoor wooden furniture

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