How to Use Indoor Furniture Outside

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint and varnish stripper

  • Safety goggles

  • Chemical resistant gloves

  • Paintbrushes

  • Plastic or metal scrapers

  • Stiff brush

  • Sandpaper

  • Tack cloth

  • Primer

  • Exterior paint

  • Sealant

  • Fabric waterproofer/water repellent spray

  • Waterproof lacquer


Some cities have ordinances against using upholstered indoor furniture outside or on porches. Check with your city office before starting your project.


Stripping paint off of furniture is messy and requires working with toxic chemicals. Use proper eye and skin protection and work outside or in a well ventilated area. Do not let stripper or old paint leach into the ground.

Bring the indoors outdoors with fabric water repellent spray.
Image Credit: bbtomas/iStock/Getty Images
See More Photos

Outdoor living spaces don't have to filled with boring, ordinary patio furniture. Almost any furniture can be used outside, provided it is protected from the elements. A covered patio or porch, safe from the harshest weather conditions, is a great place to arrange a stylish sitting area. Indoor furniture can be used on open lawns and other weather vulnerable areas, too, if it is treated properly beforehand. With just a little work, you can a have a new outdoor living area with all the comfort of the indoors.


Video of the Day

Step 1

Use a paintbrush to apply a generous layer of paint stripper to the furniture. Allow the stripper to sit for about 10 minutes. Scrape the finish off with a scraper and a stiff bristled brush. Sand the entire surface with fine grit sandpaper. Wipe down with tack cloth. Brush on one coat of primer and allow it to dry. Finish with exterior paint and a coat of sealant after the paint is dry.


Step 2

Use a sealant on bare wood to prevent rot and mildew. Sealant creates a waterproof barrier that protects wood. It can be sprayed or painted on with a brush, and dries in about eight hours. Apply two coats or more to ensure the wood is sealed.

Step 3

Waterproof any fabric or replace it with an outdoor safe material. Waterproofer is available in the laundry aisle, used in the washing machine, and set in the dryer. Spray a stain repellent on the cushion for added protection before recovering with treated fabric.


Step 4

Use a waterproof lacquer to protect steel, copper, wood, or aluminum. It not only protects against rainfall, but also wind, salt and UV rays. Sealing your furniture--even if it seems to be water resistant--can keep it from rusting, rotting, peeling and flaking, so don't miss this step.