Maintaining Your Outdoor Wood Furniture

Your beautiful wooden pieces face numerous challenges, from the scorching sun to high humidity and salty ocean air. However, with proper care and maintenance, you can significantly prolong their lifespan and keep them looking beautiful for years.

Before discussing maintenance tips, it’s crucial to consider the type of wood used in your outdoor furniture. Hardwoods like teak, tzalam, and parota are naturally more resistant to decay and insects, making them ideal choices for outdoor use. Investing in the best wood for outdoor furniture will cost more upfront but will give you better value in the long haul.

Keep your beautiful outdoor wood furniture clean, seal, and apply a protective finish.

  1. Cleaning: Clean your wood furniture thoroughly to remove dirt, dust, and mildew. Use a mild detergent or specially formulated wood cleaner and a soft brush or sponge. Rinse with water and allow it to dry completely.
  2. Sealing and Staining: Apply a high-quality wood sealer or stain to protect the surface from moisture, UV rays, and mildew. Select products with UV inhibitors for added sun protection. Brands like Thompson’s Water Seal and Cabot are available in Mexico.
  3. Applying Protective Finish: Finish with a protective topcoat to enhance durability and resist scratches and stains. Polyurethane or marine varnish works well for outdoor furniture. Apply multiple thin coats, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and sand lightly between coats for a smooth finish. It is important to note that lacquers and varnishes, no matter how resistant, will not wholly withstand the sun’s rays and humidity. Some manufacturers do not use lacquer or varnish, opting instead for natural oils. Always check with your retailer or manufacturer for their specific maintenance instructions.

In a climate like Puerto Vallarta, with harsh elements, there are other tips for your outdoor wood furniture to keep it looking new.

To guard against ultra-violet (UV) rays, position your furniture in shaded areas whenever possible to minimize direct exposure to sunlight.

Regularly apply a UV-protective sealant to maintain the wood’s natural color and prevent fading.

Mold and mildew can thrive on wood surfaces in our humid climate. Keep your furniture clean and dry, and consider using a breathable furniture cover during extended periods of rain or humidity.

Being near the ocean has benefits—unfortunately, not so much for our furniture. Coastal areas pose additional challenges due to salt corrosion. Rinse your furniture with fresh water regularly to remove salt residue, and apply a corrosion-resistant coating if necessary.

Termites and other wood-eating bugs can wreak havoc on wooden furniture, especially in tropical regions. Whenever possible, use woods that are more termite-resistant, like teak, tzalam, or parota. Treat your furniture with a termite repellent or apply a borate-based wood preservative to deter infestations.

Regular maintenance is vital to preserving the beauty and integrity of your outdoor wood furniture. Aim to clean, seal, and protect your furniture at least once a year.

If you’re leaving your home for an extended period, take proactive measures to protect your outdoor furniture. Store it in a covered area or invest in weatherproof furniture covers to shield it from the elements.

Alternatively, enlist your property manager to perform routine maintenance in your absence.

By following these tips and investing a little time and effort into maintenance, you can ensure that your outdoor wood furniture remains a cherished part of your outdoor space for years to come.

With the proper care, even in harsh conditions, your wooden pieces can continue to bring joy and relaxation to your outdoor oasis in Vallarta.

Need furniture? Whether you need a new comfy sectional or couch or a whole condo of furniture, we help you easily furnish your home in Vallarta. Visit us at our Puerto Vallarta store at 363A Constitucion or Bucerias store at Heroes de Nacozari 126. If you are not currently in Mexico, email us at or text us on WhatsApp at +52 322 136 5156. And remember, you can always reach us through our website:


    • Sheryl Novak

      Originally from Canada, Sheryl started SOLutions Mexico in 2010 after experiencing firsthand the difficulties of furnishing a home when you are new to the country. She is recognized as the leading expert in Mexico regarding furniture and is regularly featured on blogs, social media, podcasts, and speaking engagements.

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