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How To Refinish Outdoor Wood Furniture

I brought life to my outdoor furniture by stripping it and adding new stain. Here is an easy tutorial on how to refinish outdoor wood furniture.

How To Refinish Outdoor Wood Furniture

Easy Steps On How To Refinish Outdoor Wood Furniture

I love helping my kids by restoring old furniture and giving it to them. Outdoor furniture can get pretty beat up from the outside elements, therefore refinishing is the answer. For example I have this small outdoor table and chairs that needed overhaul. I decided to use the same color stain from my recent refinished project. This set will eventually be going to my son.

Although you can use any stain for this project, you want to make sure the stain is dark enough to cover imperfections. Since the table is old a darker stain will work great to cover any stains that are permanent. I bought a book on refinishing furniture and it said darker stain are great for covering up.

The Best Outdoor Stains For Furniture

I have tried many outdoor stains for outdoor furniture and the one I love the best is MINWAX. It is budget friendly and love the coverage. Here are a few others that seem to work well but are higher in price. With MinWax you do need a sealer, even if you purchase a sealer separate it’s still cheaper.

Olympic Stain Maximun Wood Stain: Great coverage but high sticker price.

Thompson Waterseal stain. This one you don’t need a sealer, it has both stain and sealer in one. It seems to sold the stain longer than most.

Ready Seal Exterior Stain and sealer.: It’s pricey but covers beautifully.


Disclosure: Some of these materials contain affiliate links that I make a small commission.

  • Rubber glove: I decided to use surgical gloves and it wasn’t as durable as rubber gloves
  • Stain: I love Minwax its the best
  • Cloth: I used cut up tee shirts, the best part it was free.

How To Refinish The Outdoor Furniture

Before I started staining, I cleaned up my garage. I had all my lawn equipment everywhere. Make sure your space you are working is clean and free from dirt.

  1. Wash the table set with a hose and use steel wool to get any dirt off.

2. I sanded my table and chair as smooth as I could. There were still a bunch of stains that would not be removed. Thats why I used a darker stain.

sanding outdoor table:

3. After sanding the table as smoothly as I could. I hosed quickly and removed all loose debris. I used steel wool as an extra tool.

cleaning outdoor table with hose before refinishing it

4. Once the furniture is dried. Start applying the stain. I am not fond of using brushes for staining, however I love cotton cloth. The cotton cloth absorb the stain quicker, for instance I was able to use the cloth over and over in areas that needed more stain. Make sure you use gloves, other wise you will need a manicure. I applied two coats. The second coat was lighter.

staining outdoor table with min wax:how to refinish outdoor wood furniture

4. After you apply the stain, let it dry for a day. The next day I applied some polyurethane in satin finish. There are many reason why I use polyurethane, above all its keeps the furniture sealed from outdoor elements.

Let it try for 24 hours before you use.

how to refinish outdoor wood furniture

It tuned out beautiful and here how it looks all pretty up. My son really loved it for his back yard

outdoor table refinished with stain

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How To Refinish Outdoor Wood Furniture


  1. Looks good as new again; great update Maria!

  2. Our outdoor furniture looks a little worse for wear after all these years, so your tutorial couldn’t have come at a better time. I was dreading staining them, but it doesn’t sound hard at all.

  3. Libbie@alifeunfolding says:

    Looks beautiful! A timely post for me to see. Now I will have to quit procrastinating! 🙂

  4. Maria, great job. I needed this! I’ about to refinish my Adirondack chairs. Thanks?

  5. Oh that furniture looks so good with the new darker stain! This is a great project for any wood outdoor furniture!

  6. Beautiful job, Maria! I like how you took your time and it came out like new. It’s ready for Summer entertaining-love it!

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