Many people might be against sealing the wood, thinking it is time-consuming and expensive.
However, when you search for the best outdoor wood sealer, you are totally right!
The additional sealing layer enhances protection on your wood stuff furniture from moistures or so. This is especially important for outdoor stuff that is frequently exposed to rain, snow, fog, etc.
In this post, we reveal the top 10 best sealers for outdoor wood furniture products, as well as how to apply the sealer for the best results.
Finally, we will answer all the frequently asked questions that you might be also concerned about.
Recommend 10 Best Sealers for Outdoor Wooden Furniture:
Below are the top 10 best sealers for outdoor wooden furniture:
#1. Ready Seal 112 1-Gallon Can Exterior Stain and Sealer.
If you have stained or sealed wood before, you might already know Ready Seal – one of the leading manufacturers in the wood sealers industry.
And the Ready Seal 112 1-Gallon Can is the very first recommendation in our best sealer for painted outdoor wood furniture reviews.
Interestingly enough, this product is versatile as a wood stain and a wood sealer in one. This is thanks to its special formula of resins, paraffin oil, trans-oxide pigments, algaecides, etc.
Accordingly, the Ready Seal 112 1-Gallon can penetrate the wood and change its color as a stain, meanwhile, it can also seal and separate the wood surface from moisture and fungal growth.
In terms of sealing finish, Ready Seal Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer product provide a smooth coat. It is a bit oily for several days before it dries and reveals the true color.
What we like the most about the Ready Seal is its ease of application. There is no need to prim, apply wet-line painting or back-brush.
What’s more, you can use this sealer with a brush, roller, garden sprayer, or even an airless sprayer.
- A stain and sealer in one
- Various color options available
- Durable and even finish coat
- Versatile and effortless applications
- Oily residue right after the sealing
- Not effective stain coverage
#2. Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.A21711
Another best wood stain and sealer for outdoor furniture which is also very popular among wood carpenters is Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.A21711.
This sealer is supposed to protect the wood with only one coating. Meanwhile, it is resistant to UV and mildew to maintain the natural color of outdoor furniture.
Is this sealer that good?
First to mention, the water-based patented formula allows this sealer to be directly applied to wet furniture.
This is really helpful in case you are working on your sealing project when it suddenly rains.
Then, it takes around two hours for the Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.A21711 to dry. Two years later, water will not be able to absorb into the furniture.
Next, this sealer is very easy to use. You do not need to stir or back wipe the wood. Plus, it can be used with a brush, roller, or paint pad.
Besides excellent waterproof performance as above, there are still several problems left.
For example, there are several chemical ingredients that might not be completely safe for pets, plants, and children.
Moreover, heavy cleaning is required when it comes to reapplication of the stain or sealer.
- Excellent water-resistant sealer
- Economical seal coverage
- Easy application to outside furniture
- Direct application to dry and damp wood
- Minimal chemicals included
- Hard to clean and clear the sealing coats
#3. Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.041851
If you are interested in Thompson’s WaterSeal products as the TH.A21711, then, you might also like the TH.041851.
Truly told, the TH.041851 seal coat is not as quality as that of the earlier. To make up for, this sealer is more economically. To be specific, the TH.041851 is twice as large as the TH.A21711.
The TH.041851 shared all common features of the Thompson’s WaterSeal, including the completely waterproof, one-time application, ease of application, along with the direct application to both damp and dry wood pieces.
Please take notes that this is a transparent sealer, which is both good and bad to some extent.
One the one hand, Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.041851 will not affect the natural look of the furniture.
It means the sealer can bring out the deep beauty of the wood while preserving it from traffic, mold, and harsh weather. Excitingly, TH.041851 is the best clear sealer for outdoor wood furniture.
However, a transparent wood sealer seems not helpful to beat the UV rays rather than the semi-transparent models.
- Economical sealing capacity
- Waterproof formula
- Direct application to various projects
- Transparent sealer to show off your furniture
- Not durable under UV rays
- Required to sand the wood beforehand
#4. Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.042851
We cannot help enough of Thompson’s WaterSeal products because of their quality and price. Hence, we would like to review another product called Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.042851.
What makes it different from the two brothers as above?
The TH.A21711 and the TH.042851 have similar capacity and price category. They are also claimed to be the best wood sealer for outdoor wood furniture with only one coat.
However, the TH.042851 seems to be better at protecting the furniture. The sealer will stay effective for up to 4 to 6 years. Meanwhile, the TH.A21711 can only last for 2 years.
Now, in comparison to the TH.041851, Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.042851 is much more expensive – gallons per gallons. It makes sense, coming to think that this is a semi-transparent sealer.
Specifically, Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.042851 has a specific content of staining agent to medium change the color of the wood.
For that reason, you can consider the TH.042851 as a stain and sealer in one. Not to mention, the stain-based sealer can enhance the protection against UV rays.
Of all the three, Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.042851 is more suitable for outdoor furniture.
- Stain-based waterproof formula
- Semi-transparent sealer to beat UV rays
- Easy and direct application on outdoor wood pieces
- 1-coat seal coverage
- Durable protection capacity
- Minimal chemicals included
#5. Seal-Once MARINE Wood Sealer
In regard to water-based sealers, you can also go for Seal-Once products besides Thompson’s WaterSeal.
All Seal-Once sealers are built to be watery, deep-penetrating, and VOC-free. Thus, you can expect those products to be easily applied with some clean water.
Then, they will thoroughly penetrate into the wood pieces to create an effective barrier against the toughest water conditions like heavy rains or even snows.
Plus, there is a tinted formula that offers a nice coloration to your furniture and an excellent UV-protection.
On top of that, the Seal-Once claims to produce non-toxic sealers for your family’s health sakes.
Rather than use harmful chemicals like heavy metals, silica, or mercury, those sealers make use of the internal chemistry to bond to the wood surface.
Take Seal-Once MARINE Wood Sealer, for example. This sealer adopts all features as above.
Apart from that, the sealer supports an effortless application using rollers, brushes, or sprayers.
It also dries quickly without leaving obvious snake oil. Right after that, you can paint or stain another coat onto the dry sealing finish.
- Watery and deep-penetrating sealer
- VOC-free and health-friendly
- Quick application and drying time
- A small sealer can which turns out to be expensive
- Average seal coverage rate
#6. Seal-Once Nano Wood Sealer & Stain
We appreciate that Seal-One keeps introducing new technologies and products to make your woodworking easier and safer.
And, the next among the best wood sealant for outdoor furniture is Seal-Once Nano Wood Sealer & Stain.
First off, the NANO version also adopts common features of Seal-Once such as the eco-safe, quick-dry, and water-based formula, as well as the tinted ingredients to give off extra UV protection.
Furthermore, the product comes with the advanced nanotechnology formula. This NANO is helpful to create an enhanced protection finish so that the sealer can extend and go deep into the wood to prevent potential tears and wear.
As a result, the manufacturer promises that the Seal-Once Nano Wood Sealer & Stain can protect your wood up to 10 years.
- VOC-free and health-friendly formula
- Enhanced NANO deep penetration
- Quick application and drying time
- Long-lasting for 10 years
- Average seal coverage rate
- Expensive, considering pounds per pounds
#7. TriCoPolymer VOC Free Lumber-Seal
Many environment- and health-conscious carpenters have praised TriCoPolymer VOC Free Lumber-Seal as the best sealer for outdoor wooden furniture that is user-friendly.
As the name suggests, the TriCoPolymer sealer has no toxins or VOC compounds in its formula. It means you can use this sealer for both indoor and outdoor projects without worrying that your naughty kids happen to touch the wet sealer.
In addition, the sealer is quality enough to add extra protection to the wood for several years before you need to reseal it.
Even UV rays, hazardous weather patterns, or molds cannot beat the TriCoPolymer VOC Free Lumber-Seal.
In drawback, the sealer is quite thick, which can cause glossy finish if you overuse it or even slipping accidents when wet. For that reason, we do not recommend this sealer on the floor.
- Safe to consumers and the environment
- Compatible with water-based stains/paints
- For both indoor and outdoor furniture
- High protective performance
- Slippery surface when being wet
- Possibly sticky because of its thickness
#8. Minwax 630510444 Water Based Helmsman.
If you want to buy the best wood sealer for the outdoor table but do not want to break a bank for Seal-Once or Ready Seal, then we also suggest some affordable products, like Minwax 630510444 Water Based Helmsman.
Like other sealers on the list, this product is ready to use out of the box – simply with a brush, roller, or a sprayer to fasten the projects.
What we appreciate that the Minwax 630510444 is thick enough to protect the wood from direct sunlight, UV rays, and rain.
Whereas, the sealer is effortless to apply and it takes a really short time to dry. These features make the Minwax sealer also versatile for indoor wood parts like cabinets and counterparts.
The only issue – actually not a disadvantage, is the glass-like finish. Although it makes your wood table more bright, it limits the application of Minwax 630510444 Water Based Helmsman to light-colored materials.
- Quick-drying time
- Versatile applications to various tools and projects
- Protective coat against changing weather and UV
- Too yellowing brightness
- Ventilated fumes
#9. Rust-Oleum 250141H Ultimate Semi-Gloss Finish.
Honestly, Rust-Oleum 250141H is not outstanding from the other water-based outdoor wood sealers we mentioned above. However, this product has all you need for a polyurethane sealer.
In specific, the sealing material is durable enough to be applied to outdoor stuff like furniture, fences, windows, and trim, etc.
The water-based makes it easy to be added or cleaned with warm water and soap. The outer seal coat of the Rust-Oleum can protect the wood from UV rays, mildew, or mold.
The sealing finish is crystal-clear, smooth, and attractive.
Mentioning what we do not like about the Rust-Oleum 250141H is the drips and slow drying time.
It takes about a half-hour for the sealer to dry to the touch and another hour to recoat the sealer.
- Medium priced
- Thick sealing coat to protect the wood better
- Easy to apply and clean up later
- Possible drips
- Long drying time
#10. ANCHOR SEAL 2 Hybrid Log & Lumber Sealer.
You might have already heard about ANCHOR SEAL 2 Hybrid Log & Lumber Sealer as the best sealer for outdoor wood furniture voted by many professional carpenters.
In fact, this sealer has a high-performance in protecting hardwood pieces, especially the end grains of green wood and fresh-cut lumber.
How can it?
The sealer is made of the combination of wax and plant-based polymers. These two materials are proven to control the moisture in the wood and reducing the cracking.
Therefore, the product has relied for more than 30 years.
Another to praise is the variety of colors and formulas. There are up to 35 colors available to ensure you get a sealer that maintains the natural color of the wood.
In addition, a winterized option is also available.
- An enhanced hybrid of wax and plant-based polymers
- High protection performance
- Reliable brand and products
- Wide range of colors and formulas
- Ideal to protect connected wood
- Limited coverage rate
- Long drying time
How to Apply Water Sealer to Wood or Outdoor Furniture?
Overall, sealing is not as difficult as staining woods. However, you should spend some time learning proper tips for sealing to complete your wooding projects fast and effectively.
You can refer to the tutorial of Derek Helms, as well as checking ours.
Step 1: Picking up a suitable sealer
Get started with choosing the sealer based on the nature of the wood projects.
Traditionally, people often use a white shellac sealer. However, it is impossibly used with water so you need to seek other choices.
Now, polyurethane sealers are popular due to the multiple benefits. Accordingly, the material is excellently resistant to tears, abrasion, fair chemicals, and weather. Also, the polyurethane can be used for various joint sizes.
As a result, we recommend using a polyurethane water sealer to protect your outdoor wood furniture.
Step 2: Choosing a tool to apply the sealer
You can seal the wood with a brush, a paint roller, or even a sprayer.
- Sealing with a brush: You can completely control the amount of sealer to ensure an even application and to cover and in-between the boards of furniture. Nonetheless, it takes time.
- Sealing with a roller: A paint roller will fasten your work, but it reduces the control over the sealer. Normally, you have to go over the wood several times to have everything smoothly coated.
- Sealing with a sprayer: This the fastest and cleanest way to get the wood seal projects done. At the same time, you have the least control and even waste more sealer.
Step 3: Cleaning the wood surface beforehand
Before you start the sealing project, please ensure that your wood surface is clean and clear from dust, grains, or so.
If you stain the wood in advance, you must also wait for the stain to dry completely.
Step 4: Getting a suitable amount of sealer
Whatever tool you choose to seal the wood, you must clean it throughout.
For example, apply a thin sealer with a clean brush. Next, flow it along the grain of the wood – evenly and quickly so that all surfaces are covered. Especially, you must pay attention to the end grain which might absorb more stains than the rest. That grain should be applied more sealer, then.
Step 5: Covering the wood with several sealing coats, if needed
Wait one or two hours for the first sealing coat to dry completely. Then, apply other coats depending on the nature of the wood projects.
FAQs for The Best Outdoor Sealer for Wood Furniture
1. What is the best sealer for outdoor wood furniture?
Of all the best outdoor wood sealers as above, TriCoPolymer VOC Free Lumber-Seal is our selection because of its sealing quality and the eco-friendly effort.
2. How do you waterproof outdoor furniture?
Although most outdoor furniture is advertised to be completely waterproof, you still cannot rest assured.
The fact is, even the premium wood furniture will lose its water-resistant features over time. Thus, you need to seek additional protection.
Sealing – as we mentioned earlier, is one of the most common methods. What you need to do is:
- Picking up the best wood sealer for outdoor furniture
- Deciding on the sealing tool
- Cleaning the wood and the sealing tools
- Applying the sealer evenly and quickly, especially on the end grains
- Waiting for the first sealing coat to be dry before applying another coat.
3. What is the difference between wood stain and wood finish?
That some companies have mislabeled their stain as “finish” causes many consumers to mistake the two.
Simply put, the stain is a thin pigment to glue the colorant to the wood pieces. When being dried, it will change the wood’s color based on your purposes and more excitingly, protect the wood against outdoor damages.
Meanwhile, the finishing is to apply a very thick layer to the wood to deepen its true color and figure – making it more elegant. In addition, the wood finish will separate the wood surfaces from dirt and moisture.
In fact, the two methods are combined as you can see in the tutorial of Lowe’s Home Improvement.
4. Do you seal or stain the wood first?
Many consumers ask us whether they should apply the wood seal or the wood stain first. They say that some tutorials recommend sealing first, whereas others don’t.
Then, there is no right or wrong way here. Sealing or staining in advance depends on your purposes and methods.
For example, we often pre-treat the blotch-prone wood like cherry or maple with a very thin wipe-on oil sealer before we stain. This helps seal pores in the wood and makes the wood stain more even.
However, some wood pieces are more absorptive to a stain than others. At that time, we simply stain the wood first before sealing it to avoid moisture and mold.
5. Do I need to seal the wood after staining?
Yes, we just answer the question right above.
Sealing the wood after staining means adding another protection layer to lengthen the wood’s longevity and beauty.
6. How long after staining can I seal?
Always wait for the stain to be completely dry before you want to apply any polyurethane sealer.
Drying time varies according to the types of stain, the surrounding environment, the nature of wood pieces, as well as the stain thickness. The average time is between 12 to 48 hours.
7. Do you sand after staining wood?
No, we do not to that.
Staining itself will increase the grain of the wood. Then, if you sand it, the grains tend to be knocked down and the wood piece will look a bit blotchy or faded.
As we have already bright all the best outdoor wood sealer options under your fingertips, it is high time to make a decision.
Before you go and buy that product, remember to take away with you the detailed techniques of sealing the wood and external wood projects. Thus, feel free to make a question!