How to Protect Your Patio Furniture Throughout the Year

Scott Dylan Westerlund
Updated December 20, 2021
Group of friends having a reunion on the patio
Photo: BGStock72 / Adobe Stock

Protect patio furniture with these seven tips

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Your patio is a place for lounging, entertaining, and living your best life without a care in the world. However, Mother Nature makes it necessary to protect your patio furniture. Follow these seven tips for protecting your furniture all year long.

1. Keep Everything Secured

Nothing is worse than finding your highly-prized, highly-priced cushions strewn across the neighbor's lawn after a big storm. The same goes for everything from patio chairs to flower pots. Keep your patio intact by tying things down!

Here are some hacks for holding things in place on your patio:

  • Velcro down loose cushions

  • Weigh down your best patio plants with bricks or rocks

  • Weigh down furniture with sandbags

  • Buy furniture anchors

  • Use O-ring anchors for grills

2. Store Pillows and Cushions When You're Not Using Them

Concrete patio with patio furniture and grill
Photo: Tom / Adobe Stock

You can prolong the life of a pillow or cushion by reducing its exposure to dirt, pollen, mildew, moisture, and sun bleaching. Consider a deck storage box that can hold pillows, cushions, candles, torches, lanterns, and other items you'd like to tuck away after relaxing on the patio.

3. Use a Fabric Protector

Those colors and patterns that make your patio furniture so vibrant and inviting won't last forever in the sun if you don't protect them. Even "outdoor" fabrics will fade and "yellow" from UV exposure. Luckily, you can use a sun-shield spray to stop fading by blocking UVA/UVB rays. Don't forget to also spray your sun umbrella.

Many fabric protectors blend UV protection and water protection in one. Yes, you can actually use a spray to add water repellency to your outdoor fabrics. You can often use these sprays on cushions, pillows, and patio rugs.

4. Routinely Clean Patio Furniture

wiping glass patio table
Photo: faithie / Adobe Stock

Unfortunately, fresh air, rain, and sunlight aren't actually enough to keep patio furniture clean. Dirt, pollen, and mold can all do a number on your patio furniture. Here are some hacks for how to clean different types of patio furniture:

  • Wood and Wicker: Oil soap/wood cleaner and warm water

  • Glass: White vinegar or glass cleaner with a microfibre towel

  • Metal: Water and detergent

  • Cushions: Mild detergent in the washer with "sun drying"

Need a deeper clean? Spring cleaning patio furniture (especially wicker furniture) can include brushing with a solution of bleach and water to remove mildew buildup. Hose it down to rinse. You can gently clean outdoor wood furniture with water and detergent to lift grime.

Pick a dry, sunny day to wash outdoor furniture. This allows furniture to dry quickly without risk for mold. If you clean your patio, wait until everything dries to put the furniture back in place.

5. Paint and Seal Wood Furniture

Applying varnish to a table with a brush
Photo: bubutu / Adobe Stock

The easiest way to protect wood patio furniture from UV fading is to paint it using an exterior primer topped off with exterior paint. This should seal your furniture nicely.

All paint used on outdoor wood furniture should be latex or oil-based paint. You should use only oil-based paint when sealing wicker.

6. Store Your Patio Furniture Indoors During Winter

Store patio furniture in your basement or garage during winter if you live in a spot with harsh winters. You can even consider building a shed to store your furniture if space is tight.

There are some tips to follow for proper outdoor patio furniture storage. First, give your furniture a good cleaning to ensure that you're not packing it away for the year covered in mildew and dirt.

Next, put some wood boards down where you'll store your patio furniture. This will help keep feet and edges free from dirt and moisture that can form mold.

7. Cover Your Patio Furniture

Cover protecting patio furniture from snow
Photo: ausra / Adobe Stock

What if you can't bring your patio furniture indoors for the winter? The next best thing is to cover it.

Choose furniture covers made from durable materials like canvas and vinyl. Be sure to only spend money on waterproof and UV-resistant covers. It's also a plus if you can find covers with buckles that keep your covers in place.

Consider using bungee cords to keep covers secure and fitted if you can't find covers that come with buckles. If you're in a pinch, you can use ordinary tarps with bungee cords to cover patio items. You can even consider adding a top layer of plastic wrap for an insulated fit.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.