Best Outdoor Wood Furniture

Choosing the right paint for outdoor wood furniture is essential for withstanding the elements and maintaining its appearance. With so many options available, it’s important to find the perfect paint that not only looks great but also offers long-lasting protection.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 10-15 recommended products for painting outdoor wood furniture, catering to various needs and preferences. We’ll discuss durability, ease of application, and finish, ensuring you make an informed decision for your furniture painting project.

Understanding the Basics of Paint for Outdoor Wood Furniture

When choosing paint for outdoor wood furniture, it is essential to consider several factors to ensure the furniture’s longevity and appearance. In this section, we will discuss the importance of weather resistance, durability, ease of application, and maintenance.

Weather Resistance

Outdoor furniture is constantly exposed to various weather elements, such as rain, sun, and humidity. Therefore, it is crucial to select paints that can withstand these harsh conditions. High-quality exterior paints such as 100% acrylic, oil-based, and water-based options like acrylic latex offer excellent weather resistance. Brands like Valspar, Kilz, and Behr provide a range of weather-resistant paints ideal for outdoor wood furniture.


Durability is a key factor when selecting paint for outdoor wood furniture. The best paints should be able to resist peeling, fading, and chipping. Oil-based paints and 100% acrylic paints are known for their durability, as they form a strong bond with the wood surface. Primer should be used in combination with the paint, as it helps to enhance the durability and improve adhesion.

Ease of Application

Ease of application is another consideration when selecting paint for outdoor wood furniture. Acrylic latex and water-based paints are generally easier to apply than oil-based options. They dry quickly and have lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which make them less harmful to the environment and the applicator. Brands like Kilz and Behr offer low-VOC paints that are easy to apply and clean up.


Maintaining the appearance of your outdoor wood furniture is essential for its longevity. Opt for paints that are mildew-resistant and have low VOCs to minimize harmful emissions. When choosing a color, consider one that can hide dirt and stains effectively. High gloss and semi-gloss finishes offer better resistance to dirt and are easier to clean compared to matte finishes.

In summary, selecting the right paint for outdoor wood furniture involves considering factors like weather resistance, durability, ease of application, and maintenance. Opt for high-quality exterior paints, such as oil-based or acrylic latex options, to ensure the furniture’s longevity and appearance. Additionally, look for brands like Valspar, Kilz, and Behr that offer a range of paints suitable for outdoor wood furniture.

Choosing the Right Type of Paint

When it comes to painting outdoor wood furniture, choosing the right type of paint is crucial. The paint you select should be durable, able to withstand the elements, and provide a lasting, beautiful finish. There are several types of paint available that are suitable for outdoor furniture, including oil-based, water-based, and acrylic latex paint. In this section, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each type and help you make an informed decision on which paint to use for your project.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint is a popular choice for outdoor furniture because of its durability and resistance to wear and tear. This type of paint contains natural oils that penetrate the wood, providing a strong bond that protects the furniture from moisture and the effects of temperature fluctuations. Some advantages of oil-based paint include:

  • Long-lasting protection
  • Resistant to moisture and water damage
  • Smooth, glossy finish

However, oil-based paint does have some drawbacks. It takes longer to dry and releases higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be harmful if inhaled. Moreover, this paint requires a solvent such as mineral spirits for cleanup.

Water-Based Paint

Water-based paint is a more environmentally friendly option compared to oil-based paint. This type of paint uses water as its primary solvent and is typically easier to clean up. Some advantages of using water-based paint on outdoor furniture include:

  • Faster drying time
  • Low odor and fewer VOC emissions
  • Resistant to mildew and mold growth

On the downside, water-based paint may not be as durable as oil-based paint in highly humid and rainy climates. Additionally, multiple coats may be necessary to achieve a desired level of coverage and protection.

Acrylic Latex Paint

Acrylic latex paint is a versatile option that combines the benefits of both oil-based and water-based paints. It offers excellent adhesion and durability, making it suitable for outdoor furniture exposed to the elements. Some benefits of using acrylic latex paint on your furniture include:

  • Exceptional durability and resistance to chipping, cracking, and fading
  • Low odor and low VOC emissions
  • Flexible and expands with the wood, reducing the risk of cracking

Acrylic latex paint does require a primer, and some finishes may require a topcoat for added protection. Keep in mind that the finish, whether it be gloss, semi-gloss, or matte, can affect the paint’s overall performance and appearance.

Paint Finishes and Their Effects on Furniture

Choosing the right paint finish for outdoor wood furniture can significantly impact its appearance, longevity, and maintenance requirements. This section will discuss various paint finishes and their effects on furniture.


Flat finish paints have little to no sheen and are ideal for hiding surface imperfections. They provide a smooth, elegant look, but they are not as durable when it comes to resisting scratches and moisture. Flat finishes are best suited for furniture pieces with a prominent grain or texture that you wish to showcase.


Matte finishes are similar to flat finishes, with a slightly higher sheen level. This type of finish preserves the natural look of the wood while providing a better resistance to scratches and moisture. It’s an excellent choice for outdoor furniture used in areas with low traffic, as it requires little maintenance.


Eggshell finishes have a soft sheen that adds a subtle luster to the furniture. This finish is more durable than flat and matte finishes, making it suitable for outdoor use. Eggshell finishes are easy to clean and maintain, and they help to highlight the grain’s beauty and texture in the wood.


Satin finishes offer a beautiful balance of sheen and durability. They provide a silky, smooth appearance that enhances the wood’s natural colors and grain. Satin finishes are resistant to moisture and scratches, making them appropriate for outdoor furniture exposed to the elements or frequently used.


Semi-gloss finishes provide a higher level of sheen, giving outdoor wood furniture a polished and sophisticated look. These finishes are easier to clean and have increased resistance to moisture and scratches, making them suitable for a variety of outdoor conditions. The reflective surface can occasionally highlight imperfections in the wood, so it’s essential to carefully prep and sand the furniture before applying a semi-gloss finish.


High-gloss finishes deliver a luxurious, mirror-like sheen that enhances the furniture’s appearance. These finishes are not only highly durable and easy to clean but also provide excellent protection against moisture and UV rays. High-gloss finishes are best suited for high-quality outdoor wood furniture that requires a touch of elegance and sophistication.

Preparing Your Outdoor Wood Furniture for Painting

Before applying paint to your outdoor wood furniture, it’s essential to properly prepare the surface. This preparation process will help ensure a high-quality and long-lasting finish. Follow these steps to prepare your wooden furniture for painting.

Sanding and Scraping

Begin by sanding your furniture to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere. You may need various grits of sandpaper, typically starting with a coarser grit (such as 80-grit) and working your way up to a finer grit (such as 220-grit). Focus on removing any loose or peeling paint, as well as any rough patches or splinters. This step will also help open the wood grain to allow better penetration of the primer and paint.

After sanding, use a scraper to remove any remaining loose or peeling paint. Be sure to clean the furniture thoroughly to remove any dust, dirt, and debris before moving on to the next step.

Priming and Painting

Applying a primer to your outdoor wood furniture is crucial to achieving a professional-looking paint job. Primer creates a base that promotes better adhesion of paint and helps prevent the wood from absorbing too much paint. Choose a high-quality oil-based primer specifically designed for wood surfaces.

Using a brush, apply a thin and even coat of primer to the entire surface, allowing it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the primer is dry, you can apply the paint. It’s essential to use a paint that’s suitable for outdoor wood furniture, such as a flat, matte, or semi-gloss exterior paint. Apply the paint in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Depending on the desired color and coverage, you may need two or three coats of paint.

Applying a Protective Finish

After your paint has dried, you’ll want to protect your newly painted furniture from the elements. Apply a protective finish, such as a clear polyurethane or a furniture-specific sealant, using a brush or clean cloth. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times.

Applying a protective finish will not only help maintain the new paint job but also prolong the life of your outdoor wooden furniture, keeping it looking great for years to come.

Top Recommended Paint Products for Outdoor Wood Furniture

When looking for the best paint for outdoor wood furniture, it is essential to consider factors such as coverage, durability, weather resistance, and ease of application. This section discusses some top brands and their offerings that meet these criteria.


Rust-Oleum offers a wide range of paints suitable for outdoor wood furniture. Their latex-based paints provide excellent coverage and durability, ensuring your furniture remains protected in various weather conditions. With quick drying times, their paints are easy to apply and come in various finishes, such as satin and high-gloss, making them suitable for different preferences.

One notable product is the Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Paint, which offers excellent adhesion to not only wood but also metal and plastic, thanks to its acrylic formulation.


Valspar offers a variety of high-quality paints for outdoor wood furniture as well. Their paints are known for their excellent coverage and weather-resistant properties, making them a reliable choice for outdoor projects. Additionally, Valspar’s offerings come in various finish options such as satin, eggshell, and high-gloss.

Kilz Exterior Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint

Kilz offers a specialized paint specifically designed for siding, fences, and barns. This paint is perfect for outdoor wood furniture due to its outstanding durability, weather resistance, and excellent coverage. The acrylic formulation ensures the paint adheres well to various surfaces, making it easy to apply and maintain over time.


Behr’s line of outdoor wood furniture paint products showcases excellent durability and weather resistance. Their latex-based paints are easy to apply, providing uniform coverage and protection against the elements. With various finish options, you can choose the perfect sheen for your outdoor furniture, ensuring a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing result.

Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore is another brand known for its high-quality outdoor wood furniture paint. Their products provide reliable coverage and durability, ensuring your furniture stays protected in any weather. Benjamin Moore’s range of finishes, including satin, eggshell, and high-gloss, allows you to select the perfect look for your outdoor space.

In summary, when choosing the best paint for outdoor wood furniture, consider brands such as Rust-Oleum, Valspar, Kilz Exterior Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint, Behr, and Benjamin Moore. Each brand offers high-quality, weather-resistant products with various finish options to suit your needs.

Application Techniques for Outdoor Wood Furniture

Choosing the best paint for your outdoor wood furniture is only half the battle; the other half is applying the paint effectively to ensure a long-lasting and beautiful finish. There are three main techniques for paint application: brush, roller, and spray.

Brush Application

Brush application is a popular and traditional method for painting wood furniture. Using a high-quality brush is essential to achieve a smooth and even finish. Brushes can be used with both water-based and oil-based paints, as well as acrylic latex varieties. The flexibility of a brush allows it to reach small crevices and intricate design elements on furniture.

When using a brush, always choose synthetic bristles for water-based paints and natural bristles for oil-based paints. Follow these steps for an optimal brush application:

  • Prep the wood surface by sanding and cleaning to remove any dirt, mold, or contaminants.
  • Apply a primer if necessary for optimal pigment adhesion and to prevent wood tannins from bleeding through.
  • Dip the brush into the paint and remove excess on the side of the container.
  • Use long, even strokes in the direction of the wood grain to create a smooth, consistent finish.
  • Allow to dry according to the manufacturer’s recommendations before applying additional coats, if required.

Roller Application

Roller application is another common technique for painting outdoor wood furniture, particularly for larger, flatter surfaces. Rollers offer a faster and more efficient paint application than brushes. However, they are not as suitable for intricate designs that require more detailed work. Rollers work well with water-based, oil-based, and acrylic latex paints.

To use a roller, follow these steps:

  • Begin by prepping the wood surface, just as you would for brush application.
  • Choose a roller with an appropriate nap size for the paint and surface you are working with.
  • Load the roller with paint and remove excess by rolling it on the paint tray.
  • Apply the paint in a smooth and consistent manner, moving in the direction of the wood grain.
  • Allow the paint to dry as recommended and apply additional coats if needed.

Spray Application

Spray application is the fastest and most efficient way to paint outdoor wood furniture, especially if you are working with multiple pieces. It offers a smooth, even finish free of brush or roller marks when done correctly. Spray systems, such as paint sprayers, can be used with water-based, oil-based, and acrylic latex paints. Be aware, however, that over-spraying may lead to paint wastage, so take measures to minimize it. Additionally, ensure proper ventilation and wear appropriate protective gear when working with a sprayer.

To successfully use a spray application:

  • Prep the wood surface as previously described for brush and roller applications.
  • Choose the correct nozzle size and spray pattern for your paint and project.
  • Keep the spray gun at a consistent distance from the furniture, maintaining a perpendicular angle.
  • Apply even, overlapping strokes in a side-to-side motion, while continuously releasing the paint trigger.
  • Allow paint to dry and apply further coats if needed, following the paint manufacturer’s instructions.

Care and Maintenance Tips for Painted Outdoor Wood Furniture

Proper care and maintenance of your painted outdoor wood furniture are essential to ensure its longevity and appearance. This section provides helpful tips on how to clean, touch up, and weatherproof your painted furniture, as well as considerations for specific paint types and finishes.


Regular cleaning of your outdoor furniture is crucial to protect the paint and prevent mildew growth. Take the following steps for effective cleaning:

  • Use a gentle, non-abrasive cloth or soft brush to remove dust, dirt, and debris from the furniture.
  • For more thorough cleaning, mix a mild soap solution and gently scrub the furniture with a soft brush, ensuring not to damage the paint finish.
  • Rinse with clean water and allow the furniture to air-dry completely before using it.

For matte, semi-gloss, and spray paint finishes, be extra cautious not to use harsh chemicals or abrasive tools as they can damage the paint surface.


Over time, painted outdoor furniture may experience paint chipping, scratches, or fading. To touch up these areas, follow these steps:

  • Select the appropriate paint for your furniture, such as a matte, semi-gloss or spray paint, matching the existing paint finish and color.
  • Lightly sand the area with fine sandpaper to ensure proper paint adhesion and remove any loose paint or debris.
  • Apply the paint with a paintbrush or spray can, as appropriate, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Allow the paint to dry completely before using the furniture.


Weather resistance is a critical factor for outdoor furniture, as it is constantly exposed to various elements like UV rays, humidity, and rain. To enhance your furniture’s weatherproofing capabilities, consider these tips:

  • Choose furniture paint that contains UV inhibitors and mildew-resistant additives to protect against sun exposure and damp environments.
  • Apply a clear, weather-resistant sealer to the finished furniture, especially if the paint is not specifically designed for outdoor use.
  • For wicker furniture or surfaces with intricate details, opt for spray paint as it can provide better coverage and protection than using a paintbrush.
  • Regularly inspect your furniture for any damage or signs of wear and address them promptly to prolong its lifespan.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can help preserve the beauty and durability of your painted outdoor wood furniture, ensuring it remains a cherished addition to your outdoor living space.

Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider When Choosing Outdoor Wood Furniture Paint

When looking for the best paint for your outdoor wood furniture, it’s important to consider several factors that influence the final outcome. This buyer’s guide will explore the main aspects, such as cost, available colors, paint quality and brand reputation.


Paint costs can vary significantly, depending on factors such as brand, type, and quality. Prices may range from budget-friendly options to premium products. Balance the desired quality with your budget to make an informed decision. Some paints may also require a separate primer, which adds to the overall cost. Nonetheless, investing in a high-quality paint may result in better durability and weather resistance in the long run.

Available Colors

Outdoor paints come in a variety of colors, allowing you to pick the ideal shade for your furniture. Some brands offer a limited color palette, while others provide a broader range. Consider the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space and make sure the chosen color complements the existing elements. Remember that lighter colors may require more coats for full coverage, while darker shades might have quicker dry times.

Paint Quality

The quality of paint is a crucial factor in determining its performance on outdoor wood furniture. High-quality paints, such as those with a 100% acrylic or latex formulation, offer better adhesion, moisture resistance and durability. Look for features like quick-dry and self-priming to save time and effort. Further, consider the finish, such as flat or glossy, to match your preference and the existing décor.

Weather resistance is essential for outdoor paints, as they need to withstand various climate conditions, including rain, sunlight, and fluctuating temperatures. Opt for paints with UV protection and water resistance properties to ensure that your furniture maintains its appearance over time.

Brand Reputation

When choosing a paint, research the reputation of the brand to gauge the quality of their products. Check customer reviews and professional recommendations to obtain an accurate assessment of their offerings. Reliable brands often produce consistent results and have a history of customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, when selecting paint for outdoor wood furniture, consider factors such as cost, available colors, paint quality, and brand reputation. A well-informed decision will help you find the right paint to achieve a durable, weather-resistant finish for your furniture.

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