A lot of people think protecting a piece of wood furniture is just a matter of cleaning, but that is not the case. Here’s a thing you should know about wood furniture; it’s vulnerable to water damage, decay, and even fire.

Wood is not indestructible and like most materials, it is susceptible to succumbing to wear and tear if not properly protected.

In this article, we’re going to look at how you can better protect wood furniture from bugs, sunlight, rain, winter, & problems like fading and warping.

Also, I will share some preventative tips that you can use to avoid these issues entirely.

What to Consider When Protecting Your Wood Furniture?

Wood furniture is often exposed to many environmental factors that can damage it over time. It can be affected by direct sunlight, rainfall, snow, high heat, etc.

The wood may be able to withstand some of the weather conditions for some time, but in the long run, it’s going to come out damaged. That’s why you must shield furniture from these factors.

Each type of furniture requires a unique set of protection methods to ensure that it maintains its value depending on the environment where it is kept or stored.

Different Ways To Protect Your Indoor Furniture

protect wood furniture (indoor)

Indoor wood furniture can be damaged by water, heat, sunlight, insects, spillage, and the accumulation of dirt.

Water damage can be caused by any type of liquid that spills on the surface of the wood. Moisture can cause swelling and warping to occur on the surface of the wood. It can also cause bacteria growth in the wood.

Wood starts to dry out when subjected to too much heat and this causes cracks in the surface layers of wood or even warping on some pieces. Thermal expansion happens when wood furniture is exposed to heat and can cause swelling or shrinkage.

In addition to that, certain types of insects can infest wood, chew through a piece of furniture, and cause structural damage to the item.

How To Waterproof Indoor furniture?

Keeping wood exposed to high humidity or moisture has a significant effect on how long it lasts. Wood is something that breathes; it possesses a natural tendency toward expansion and contraction with exposure to moisture which can result in swelling or rotting. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to protect furniture from water. Some of them are:

1. By Using Tung Oil or Linseed Oil

Tung and linseed oil are natural oils derived from plants. They penetrate the surface of the wood to make your furniture piece much more moisture-resistant. These oils are used to give wood a polished finish as they help shield it against mild or minor scratches.

2. By Using Sealants

Waterproofing sealants like varnish, lacquer, or polyurethane can be applied to the furniture to create a protective layer that prevents water from seeping in. They are typically applied with a brush or roller; multiple coats may be needed for maximum protection.

3. Using Stain & Sealer

A stain-sealer combines a wood stain with a sealer in one application. The product enhances the aesthetics of your wooden furniture item while protecting it from moisture and other forms of damage. Ensure you apply an even coat and allow the product to dry completely before using the furniture.

You may also want to consider using a dehumidifier to help remove excess moisture from the air as high humidity levels can damage your furniture.

To further protect your items from moisture, take steps to protect them from spills and leaks. Ensure you keep your furniture away from sources of water. 

  • Use coasters: Avoid placing liquids directly on surfaces. If you must set a drink down, use a coaster or a placemat to protect the surface.  Coasters protect the furniture surface by preventing water from coming into direct contact with it.
  • Use a placemat or tablecloth: Placemats can be especially useful for protecting furniture from spills and stains and can be easily replaced when needed.
  • Clean spills immediately: If you do happen to spill liquid on your wood furniture, clean it up as soon as you can. Use a damp clean cloth to clean the spill and then follow up with a dry cloth to absorb any remaining moisture.

How To Protect Indoor Furniture From Sunlight?

Sunlight has several effects on indoor furniture depending on the type of material the furniture is made of and the intensity of the radiation. Some possible effects of sunlight on wood include fading and discoloration. 

If you want to keep your furniture looking fresh, there are a few steps you can take.

1. Keep Your Furniture Out of Direct Sunlight

The best way to protect furniture is to keep it out of direct sunlight. If possible, move your furniture away from any source of UV rays like windows and doors that allow direct sunlight to enter the room.

2. Rotate Your Furniture

If you can’t keep your furniture out of direct sunlight, try rotating it periodically so it doesn’t receive consistent exposure to the sun. This will help prevent fading and discoloration on one side of the furniture. 

3. Use Window Treatments

Window treatments such as blinds, shades, or curtains can help block out direct sunlight and reduce the amount of UV radiation that reaches your furniture.

Choose window treatments that have a high UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating to block out the most UV radiation. UPF 50 fabric blocks almost 98% of the sun’s rays.

4. Use Furniture Covers or Slipcovers

Sometimes, the easiest and most affordable way to protect furniture from sun damage is to simply buy some slipcovers or covers.

They are available in a variety of styles and materials so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and decor. Some covers are made of lightweight, breathable materials while others are heavier.

5. Use a UV Protectant Spray

UV sprays work by creating a barrier and reducing the amount of UV radiation that reaches the furniture’s surface. Be sure to read the instructions on the product carefully before applying it to your furniture.

Tips To Protect Indoor Furniture From Heat

Here are some tips to help protect your indoor furniture from heat:

1. Use an Air Conditioner

If your home or room gets very hot, consider using an air conditioner to help keep the temperature cool. The cooling system absorbs the heat in the room to create cooler temperatures.

The air conditioning unit also has a system of ducts and vents that circulate the cooled air throughout the room or home. This helps to evenly distribute the cooled air and maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the space.

2. Apply a Coat of Varnish

Varnishing your furniture protects it from heat but it is still essential to still take steps to protect wood items from direct heat sources. Make sure you use a good brand of varnish for full protection. Apply it evenly so that no area is left uncovered.

3. Use a Light-Colored Cover

Light-colored materials such as white are more reflective than darker colors; they help keep furniture cooler. Using light-colored covers on furniture can help protect it from heat exposure by reflecting sunlight and other sources of heat away from the surface of the furniture.

4. Use a Fan

There are many benefits of using a fan. The first and most obvious is that it can help circulate air around your furniture and keep the room cooler. It will also prevent dust from accumulating on surfaces.

How To Protect Indoor Furniture From Temperature Fluctuations?

Wood expands and contracts as the humidity and temperature change. If the humidity is too high, the wood may absorb moisture and become swollen, causing it to warp. Conversely, if the humidity is too low, the wood may dry out and become brittle.

To protect wood furniture: 

1. Keep Indoor Temperature Regulated

Insulate your home or workspace to help regulate the temperature. This can include adding insulation to the walls, attic, and floors, as well as sealing any gaps or cracks around windows and doors.

2. Use a Dehumidifier

Insulate your home or workspace to help regulate the temperature. This can include adding insulation to the walls, attic, roof, and floors, as well as sealing any gaps or cracks around windows and doors.

3. Use Furniture Wax or Polish

A layer of furniture wax or polish can help protect the wood from drying out or absorbing moisture.

4. Don’t Use Plastic Covers

While plastic covers may offer protection from dust and other contaminants, they also trap moisture and make it harder for the wood to breathe. Instead of plastic covers, use furniture covers made from breathable materials.

How To Protect Indoor Furniture From Bugs?

Insects may find their way into your furniture. They can be a major problem if they manage to take up residence there. Since your indoor furniture is likely to be exposed to these bugs, it needs special protection. To protect indoor wood furniture from insects, there are a few things you can do:

1. Store Your Furniture in a Dry Place

Pests like termites, ants, and beetles can all damage wood furniture, and a damp environment can accelerate this process. Insects are attracted to damp or humid conditions because they need water to keep their bodies from drying, so it’s important to keep your furniture in a dry area.

Inspect your furniture regularly for signs of pests and take steps to address any issues you find.

2. Keep Your Home Clean

Regular cleaning can help to remove any food or debris that may attract insects. Vacuuming regularly will take out these particles and reduce the risk of bug infestations.

3. Store Food Properly

Make sure to store food in airtight containers and keep it off the floor. Insects are attracted to the smell of food so storing food in airtight containers can help keep them out. Use containers made of glass or plastic with tight-fitting lids.

4. Use Insecticides

If you suspect that your furniture has been infested with insects, you may need to use an insecticide to kill the insects and prevent further damage. Insecticides can be toxic to humans and pets, so follow the instructions on the label carefully to ensure safe and effective use.

It’s also a good idea to regularly inspect your furniture for signs of insect activity, such as small holes or sawdust, and take action if necessary.

Different Ways To Protect Outdoor Furniture

protect outdoor furniture

If the piece of furniture is outdoors, then you have a completely different set of factors to consider.

How To Protect Outdoor Furniture From Rain?

Rainwater can damage the materials used to make your outdoor furniture. Wood for example can become swollen or rot when exposed to prolonged periods of rain. When furniture is exposed to the elements, it can deteriorate faster and need to be replaced sooner.

Use any of the following to keep your outdoor furniture totally protected from rain:

1. Apply Water Repellent

If you’re looking to protect outdoor furniture from the rain, there are a few simple steps you can take. First, apply a water-repellent finish to the surface of your furniture. This will help keep it dry, even in heavy downpours.

They prevent water from sticking to or soaking into your furniture. Protective coatings are available in many colors so you can find one that matches your style.

However, it’s a good idea to store outdoor furniture in a covered area when not in use to provide additional protection. 

2. Use Outdoor Furniture Tarpaulin

You can use furniture covers specifically designed for outdoor use to protect furniture from rain and other weather conditions.

These covers are typically made from waterproof materials, such as polyester or PVC, and can be easily placed over your furniture when not in use.

These types of covers provide shade and shelter, which can help to prevent discoloration and warping of furniture materials.

3. Move The Furniture To a Garden Shed

You can simply move the furniture to a shed when it is not in use. Before moving the furniture, make sure that the garden shed is clean and dry and that there is enough room inside. Arrange the furniture in a way that allows for easy access and ventilation. Also, avoid stacking furniture on top of each other as this can damage the pieces.

How To Protect Outdoor Furniture from Sunlight?

Sunlight can be harmful to outdoor furniture especially if the furniture is made of materials that are not resistant to UV radiation. To protect your outdoor furniture from the effects of sunlight, you can try a few different strategies:

1. Use an Umbrella or Awning

Place your furniture in an area that is shaded from direct sunlight. This helps to reduce the number of UV rays that the furniture gets exposed to. 

An umbrella provides shade for your furniture items and helps to keep them cool or protected from the sun. Consider installing a permanent umbrella or awning or use a portable one that can be easily moved as needed.

2. Store Your Furniture Indoors When Not in Use

While patio furniture is designed to be used outdoors, it is still susceptible to damage from the sun’s UV rays. To help preserve the beauty and longevity of your patio furniture, reduce its exposure to UV radiation as much as possible.

Store your items indoors when they’re not being used to ensure that your furniture stays protected from the sun and does not degrade over time.

3. Use Furniture Sunscreen

UV protectant products are designed to protect your furniture from the damaging effects of sunlight. These products are applied to the surface of the furniture and work by blocking or reflecting the sun’s UVA or UVB rays which can cause fading and discoloration.

How To Protect Outdoor Furniture From Bugs?

Insects can damage outdoor furniture in many ways. Some insects, such as termites and carpenter ants, can tunnel into wood and cause structural damage.

Some insects such as bees can build nests on or near outdoor furniture, which can be a nuisance and potentially dangerous for people using the furniture.

Here are some steps you can take to protect your outdoor furniture from bugs:

1. Use Insect Repellents

Consider using insect repellents or insecticides to help prevent insects from accessing your furniture. Look for products that are specifically formulated for outdoor use and follow the instructions carefully.

2. Plant Insect-Repelling Plants

Some plants that are known to repel insects include:

  • Lavender: Lavender has a strong, fragrant scent that is known to repel a variety of insects, including moths, mosquitoes, and flies.
  • Marigold: Marigolds produce a chemical called thiophenes that is known to repel a variety of insects, including mosquitoes and aphids.
  • Lemon balm: It contains a ton of citronellal, the same chemical compound that gives it its signature scent. Insects find it very irksome.
  • Basil: Basil has a strong scent that repels mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, and weevils.
  • Spearmint and peppermint: They are both plants that are known to have insect-repelling properties. Both plants have a strong, refreshing scent that is known to repel a variety of insects.

3. Spray Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

To use hydrogen peroxide to protect your furniture from insects, mix hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle and apply it to surfaces. Use caution when using the mixture as a pest control solution.

Tips To Protect Outdoor Furniture During Winter

Winter can be harsh with freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, and strong winds. Without proper protection, outdoor furniture can be damaged by these elements, leading to costly repairs or replacement.

Properly protecting outdoor furniture during the winter extends its lifespan by preventing wear and tear.

1. Bring it Indoors

Just like with any other piece of equipment or material, if you store your outdoor furniture properly during winter and keep it dry, it will last much longer than if you leave it outside unprotected. That means it’s vital to move your outdoor furniture indoors before the first frost hits!

Simply move your furniture into a shed or garage. It’s best to bring them inside as extreme cold temperatures and moisture can cause damage to wood surfaces.

If you don’t have enough space for that, consider renting a storage unit.

2. Invest in Outdoor Furniture Covers

Outdoor furniture covers are a must-have for protecting your wood item from the elements. A good cover protects your furniture from rain and snow and also helps to insulate it against the cold.

It will also prevent any dirt or grime from getting on your furniture during those cold months when it’s not being used often enough to get cleaned.

Keep an eye out to make sure your cover is still close-fitting and your item is well-protected.


Protecting your furniture is crucial to ensure its longevity. While there are general precautions you can take for both indoor and outdoor furniture, note that the specific protective measures for furniture will vary depending on the elements it is exposed to.

For instance, outdoor furniture may need to be treated with a waterproof sealant to protect it from rain and moisture, while indoor wooden furniture may only require regular dusting and cleaning. 

Always take the necessary steps to protect furniture from damage. By taking the time to care for your pieces of furniture, you get to enjoy them for many years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sealing indoor wood furniture is not required. It is however recommended to protect the wood from dust and spills and to help preserve the wood. Sealing the wood can also enhance its natural color and beauty.

Thompson’s WaterSeal Clear Wood Protector is a popular brand designed to protect wood structures from water and UV light. It is commonly used on outdoor wood surfaces such as decks, fences, and patio furniture.

It depends on your preference. Both staining and sealing can be beneficial but they serve different purposes. If you want to change the color of your wood furniture or highlight its natural grain, you may want to consider staining it.

To protect wood furniture from wear and tear and preserve it for a longer period, consider sealing it.

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