Can you leave wooden furniture outside?

Lazy Susan is taking a complete look at the effect the weather has on timber and asking if you can leave wooden furniture outside...

If you’ve invested or you’re thinking of investing in wooden outdoor furniture, you’ll naturally want to protect your investment.

And this is especially the case if you’re wondering whether or not you can leave it outdoors at the mercy of the British weather — or whether you should keep taking it indoors when it’s not in use.

Because the British weather has literally everything, from rain, sleet, snow, ice, and bright sunshine, it’s important to understand how it can affect your wooden furniture.

In this article, Lazy Susan takes a complete look at the effect the weather has on wooden furniture, as well as any alternatives that might be better suited to your needs. 

Types Of Wooden Furniture

Wooden furniture is available in two types: 

  1. Hardwood
  2. Softwood 

Hardwood furniture, which includes teak and oak, is renowned for its durability, strength, and its ability to resist most types of weather.

It’s a popular choice for patio furniture but it can be expensive and it’s also fairly heavy to lift (which makes it wind-resistant at least).

Softwood furniture, on the other hand, generally needs much more maintenance if you’re to get as much usage out of it as possible. 

To protect it from inclement weather, you’ll likely need to invest in weatherproof coverings as well as take it indoors when you can. Because softwood furniture is typically less heavy than hardwood furniture, it has the advantage of being easy to lift and move around.

If you regularly treat and maintain your softwood furniture, you can get a good few years out of it — but hardwood can last even longer despite requiring less maintenance. 

Is Wooden Furniture Weather-Resistant? 

For the most part, high-quality wooden furniture is largely weather-resistant and can be left outside — but there are a few caveats.

As we’ve seen, hardwood furniture will last longer than softwood furniture and can withstand bad weather better.

On the flip side, all wooden furniture is susceptible to the sun’s UV rays which, over time, will drain your furniture of colour unless you regularly apply varnish and weather sealant. This will help to protect it from the rays and keep it looking vibrant. 

And while hardwood furniture can stand up to gusts of wind due to its heaviness, softwood furniture will find it harder and may need to be taken indoors.

Rain, snow, and ice can severely damage wooden furniture. This means it’s a smart idea to regularly treat it so that you preserve as much longevity as possible.

This means performing regular checks and brushing away any gripe and dirt. It also means using a wood cleaner to wipe the timbre down, as well as using a wood preservative.

I suggest that you apply insect repellent regularly, too, as the last thing you want is for insects like woodworm to cause rot, which itself can make your furniture vulnerable to the weather. 

Weather-Resistant Alternatives 

Metal Furniture

Metal outdoor furniture is the most weather-resistant furniture of all that you can leave outside in all conditions with minimal maintenance.

This includes the high-grade cast aluminium furniture made by and sold by Lazy Susan, which won’t rot, rust or warp, and which also won’t blow away in the wind despite its lightweight frames. 

Rattan Furniture

You can buy both synthetic and natural rattan furniture in the UK, with synthetic being the more affordable option of the two.

Synthetic rattan is UV-resistant and can therefore be left outdoors in the sunshine. And if you purchase rattan furniture with aluminium frames, you’ll have the added benefit of furniture that won’t rust in the rain. 

Keep in mind that natural rattan is not very UV-resistant. 

Wrought Iron Furniture

Wrought iron furniture is durable and weather-resistant — and it’s also so strong that it can withstand gusts of wind.

Wrought iron is easy to maintain, too, but the paint can chip over time.

Wrought iron is also one of the most expensive types of outdoor furniture you can buy but it does have the benefit of being able to be left outdoors in bad weather (which is especially helpful when you consider how heavy it is to move around!). 

Lazy Susan's Final Thoughts
Final Thoughts

Good quality wooden furniture, such as hardwood like teak, can be left outside in various types of weather — but over time, the sun’s rays will eventually drain it of its original colour.

What’s more, wooden furniture will require regular cleaning and checking so that you can ward off gripe and dirt from setting in and causing rot.

On the other hand, you could invest in metal furniture like aluminium tables and chairs that are maintenance-free, UV-resistant and won’t rust when you leave them outside.

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