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Paint Experts Guide to Staining Your Old Garden Furniture 

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Staining outdoor furniture can offer various benefits, such as the potential to bring new life to weathered and

worn pieces.

Michael Rolland, a DIY expert from The Paint Shed has compiled a guide on how to stain your garden furniture together with the best wood stains for your garden furniture. To help bring a new lease of life to your garden furniture this summer.


Jotun Demidekk Ultimate Tinted Colours

Jotun Demidekk Ultimate has a high longevity, with the average paint job lasting 12 years. Visir primer should be applied first, which will aid protection and allow your finish to last longer. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run, repainting your garden furniture and differentiating it from competitors, which will require a lot of extra work over the years.

Being an outdoor wood stain, it also dries very quickly, perfect for the unpredictable British weather. In just as little as two hours, your garden furniture can be dry and ready to use. It not only dries but also becomes water-resistant, so there’s no need to worry if there is a sudden shower.

Sadolin Beautiflex Solvent Opaque Wood Stain Tinted Colours

This wood stain is suitable for all outdoor wooden paint jobs, meaning that you won’t have to buy multiple different paints for each element of your garden. It doesn’t offer as long protection as the Jotun Demidekk Ultimate but still lasts around seven years, much longer than many other wood stains.

With Sadolin Beautiflex is highly resistant to cracks, peeling, or flaking. Unlike other paints that may develop annoying cracks, fixing these issues can be time-consuming and costly. However, with Sadolin Beautiflex, your finish will maintain its beauty and durability, saving you valuable time and money in the long run.

Osmo Country Shades Tinted Yellow

Osmo Country Shades is made with natural and plant oils making it a more eco-friendly alternative. This also means it creates a lot fewer paint fumes causing less of a smell and making it easier to breathe.


A real plus with this wood stain is its extremely durable and UV resistant, which is ideal for the outdoors, especially in the summer. It also comes in 121 different shades, meaning there’s bound to be at least one that you will like.

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Expert tips for staining your garden furniture

Make sure you apply with the right brush.

For oil stains, a natural-bristle brush is the recommended choice, whereas a synthetic-bristle brush is ideal for water-based stains. Using the appropriate brush type ensures a smooth and even stain application.

Prepare the wood 

The preparation stage in staining is of utmost importance, and although it may require some time, it significantly impacts the outcome. Rushing through this process can lead to noticeable imperfections when staining your furniture. 

Strip the stain

Once you have prepared the wood and allowed it to dry thoroughly, it is now time to strip any existing stain. Ensure the area you are working in is well-ventilated; we’d advise doing this outside. 

Before beginning the staining process, prepare the surface by setting up a drop cloth to catch any debris. If there's an old stain to remove, you can use either a sander or a chemical stripping solution. For delicate or curved areas of the wood, opt for a fine-grit sanding sponge. 

If you choose the stripping solution, allow it to soak for approximately 20 minutes before gently removing the old finish using a scraper tool. These steps will help create a smooth and clean surface, ready for the new stain application.

Sand down the furniture 

Sanding is a crucial step to remove any residual stain and to achieve a smooth surface for the new stain application. When sanding, always follow the direction of the wood grain to avoid damaging the surface. After sanding, use a dry rag to clean the wood thoroughly, ensuring all the sanding dust is removed before moving forward with the staining process. This will help create an ideal canvas for the new stain to adhere to and result in a beautiful and even finish.

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istockphoto by Marta Llopart

Now it’s time for the staining

With the preparation complete, it's time to apply the new stain to your furniture. Begin using the suggested brush and a rag to blend each section smoothly. 

Always start from the top of the furniture piece and gradually work your way down. This method ensures an even and consistent stain application, producing a beautiful and professional finish.

Ensure optimal weather conditions when staining

When preparing to stain your outdoor furniture, it's essential to choose a day with a minimal chance of rain. For the best results, it's even better to plan the staining during a period of consecutive dry days. This precaution ensures that the finish on your furniture doesn't degrade shortly after you've painted it, allowing the paint to be properly set and providing long-lasting protection. 


Although good weather is best, ensure you avoid applying the product in direct sunlight since this can lead to the formation of skin on the top layer while the underlying product remains wet. As a result, the vapours may face difficulties in being released effectively. 

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