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Close up of snow on the floor of a wooden patio

Outdoor Furniture Covers and Furniture Care Can Keep Your Patio Furniture in Top Condition for Longer

With summer drawing to a close, it will soon be time to put away your patio furniture for the off-season. If you don’t store your furniture in a dry, sheltered area, consider using outdoor furniture covers to protect your patio furniture from the elements.

Extended exposure to rain, sleet, ice, and snow can wreak havoc on your patio furniture. Not to mention the constant moisture can lead to rust and mildew. As these elements cause damage, come spring, your furniture may not look (or smell) as good as when you last used it.

Use this guide to help you take care of your patio furniture during the off-season.

How Can I Prevent My Patio Furniture from Rusting?

To prevent rust on your metal patio furniture, apply wax to your furniture as soon as you buy it and get it home. Also, apply this wax after you’ve washed your furniture.

If rust has already developed on your patio furniture, you can prevent it from spreading and getting worse by cleaning off the rust. Simply scrub the rust off with a wire brush. And make sure you’ve removed every last speck of rust.

Tip: Only scrub at the rust and be careful not to remove any paint or finish on your furniture. Once you’ve cleaned off all the rust, wipe your furniture and apply the paste wax.

When you’re not using your patio furniture, cover it with custom furniture covers to keep moisture and rust away. Custom fitted covers will stay on your furniture, even on windy days, and will protect your furniture from dust, debris, and the elements.

Is My Patio Furniture Waterproof?

Patio furniture can be water resistant, but most types are not waterproof. And if you have fabric patio furniture, you’ll need to ensure it stays water resistant to avoid mould and mildew growth.

Waterproofing fabric sprays are available to keep your fabric patio furniture water resistant for longer. These sprays help the fabric repel water and moisture. But be careful when choosing a product. Some waterproofing sprays are best used on some fabrics and not others, so always read the label first.

Tip: Before waterproofing patio furniture, clean it thoroughly so you don’t seal in any dirt with the waterproofing spray. Use a brush or a hand vacuum to clean lightly soiled fabrics. For heavily soiled fabrics, use an outdoor fabric cleaner as well.

Look for any rips or tears in the fabric and repair if necessary. Even the smallest holes will make waterproofing less effective.

Once the furniture is clean, dry, and repaired, and the weather forecast doesn’t call for rain, move the patio furniture away from plants and animals. Then spray your furniture with a waterproofing fabric spray, making sure to spray the seams well.

If it is a windy day, wear safety goggles, gloves, and long sleeves to avoid getting the spray on your skin.

Allow the furniture to completely dry before using it or leaving it outside. And cover it with outdoor furniture covers when not in use.

What Type of Metal Is Best for Outdoor Use?

Since metal patio furniture is exposed to the outdoor elements, it can be prone to corrosion—i.e. rusting. But some metals are more durable and less likely to corrode than others.

Here are the most corrosion-resistant metals that are best for outdoor use:

Galvanized Steel

Made of carbon steel coated in liquid zinc, this is an affordable metal option. However, galvanized steel is the least corrosion-resistant of these top metals.


Aluminum protects itself from corrosion through oxidization. Through this process, it creates a durable, protective layer.

Red Metals

Brass, copper, and bronze are both luxurious and durable metals. But since they are rarer, they come at a higher cost than other metals. Once these metals oxidize—and eventually turn green— they are completely protected from the outdoor elements.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is just as durable as the previously mentioned red metals, but often much more affordable, making this the best metal for outdoor use.

What About Durable Outdoor Fabrics?

Acrylic fabric is one of the best materials for outdoor furniture pillows, cushions, and upholstery. Solution-dyed acrylic and Sunbrella acrylic won’t fade after sun exposure and wear and tear. This fabric is also soft and very breathable to avoid mildew growth.

Other durable outdoor fabrics include:

  • Marine-grade vinyl;
  • PVC (or vinyl-coated synthetic fibre) mesh;
  • Olefin;
  • Spun polyester; and,
  • Canvas.

Can I Make My Wicker Furniture Waterproof?

Yes! You can apply a polyurethane finish to wicker furniture to protect it from sunlight, moisture, and fluctuating temperatures.

For outdoor wicker furniture, use an outdoor-grade, brush-on polyurethane product. Due to the toxic fumes of polyurethane, only apply this to your furniture in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors.

Tip: While this varnish can protect your wicker furniture from moisture, you should always cover your wicker furniture securely when not in use.

Whether you splurged on luxury outdoor furniture, or you found a more affordable option, protect your investment with outdoor furniture covers this fall. These covers will keep your outdoor furniture looking great and lasting longer so you can enjoy your patio set for many summers to come.