Acacia wood is a good choice for outdoor furniture because it is durable and weather-resistant. It’s also more sustainable than other types of wood and it’s a cheaper option than teak. You can get all of the great benefits without the same price tag. However, if you want Acacia wood furniture to stay in good condition, you need to protect it properly.
The best way to protect Acacia wood furniture is to seal it with a finish. There are a variety of finishes available and this article will take you through some of the best. We will also give you a step-by-step guide to help you seal your furniture.
Do You Need to Seal Acacia Wood for Outdoor use?
The short answer is yes. Acacia wood is a durable, weather-resistant wood, but it will still need to be sealed in order to protect it from the elements. Although its natural robustness will protect against some moisture, it won’t hold up to the rain or excess moisture in the air. Eventually, it will start rotting, and mold and mildew will spread.
It’s not just moisture that you need to worry about either. Exposure to UV rays from the sun will cause Acacia to fade and turn gray over time, so you lose the beautiful natural wood finish. The sun can also dry the wood out and cause cracks. Luckily, many sealers and protective products offer protection from UV as well as moisture, so you can avoid these issues.
What is the Best Sealer for Acacia Wood?
There are two main options for sealing Acacia wood; wood oil or a spar urethane clear coat.
Wood oils are a popular choice because they soak into the wood and protect it from the inside. They also have a natural look and feel that many people prefer. Tung oil is the best oil for Acacia wood and is a great alternative to teak oil.
The downside of oil is that it takes longer to dry than other types of sealers and can be difficult to apply correctly. If you don’t get an even coat, the oil may leave a sticky residue that is difficult to remove. However, as long as you take your time and wipe off any excess right away, you will get a nice finish.
Spar urethane clear coats are an easier sealer to use. They provide a durable, protective layer on the surface of the wood and they’re easy to apply. They are available in matte or gloss finishes, and they are clear, so you still get the natural wood look. You can find more information about spar urethane in our guide about the best clear coats for wood here.
In most cases, I would advise using spar urethane because you get a stronger protective coating and it lasts longer. Wood oil does look great, but you will have to apply it more often to maintain the protection.
How to Protect Acacia Wood Outdoor Furniture (Step-by-Step)
Explain how to protect it using a wood sealer/oil…
1. Clean the Furniture Thoroughly
You can do this with a damp cloth and some warm soapy water. Just be sure not to use any harsh cleaning chemicals that will damage the wood. It’s important to remove any dirt, dust, or debris, and any layers of grease. This is important because it will ensure that the sealer or oil penetrates the wood properly.
During the cleaning, you may need to remove old oil from the wood. If you are using the same type of oil and simply topping up the layer, this isn’t a problem. But if you want to use a different finish, like a sealer, you should remove old oil first. You can do this by soaking a rag in some turpentine and wiping down the wood.
Once you have cleaned it, make sure that you give it plenty of time to dry. Any excess moisture will prevent the oil or sealer from bonding with the wood properly.
2. Sand the Furniture
Sanding is necessary to open up the pores of the wood so it is ready to receive the oil. You can use medium or fine sandpaper, depending on the finish you are using. If you are using wood oil, I would recommend using fine sandpaper so that you don’t leave any scratches on the surface.
3. Apply a Coat of Sealer or Oil
Once the wood is completely dry, you can start applying the sealer or oil. If you are using oil, apply it evenly with a rag and make sure to wipe away any excess. Work it into the grain of the wood until it soaks right in, this can take around 15 minutes so be patient and keep rubbing it in.
You can then leave it to absorb, and wipe off the excess. Most oils need 12 to 24 hours to dry before another coat can be applied. Give the furniture a light sand with some fine sandpaper between coats.
If you are using spar urethane, you can apply it with a brush or a roller. Be sure to get an even coat and avoid any drips or puddles. You will need to wait for it to dry completely before applying another coat, usually around 4 hours.
Read Related: 10 Best Clear Coats for Outdoor Wood
4. Apply Further Coats as Necessary
Sealers and oils usually need to be applied at least once a year, depending on how often you use the furniture. Make sure that you recoat when necessary so your furniture remains protected.
If you follow these basic steps, you can prevent damage to Acacia furniture caused by moisture and UV rays.
Does Acacia Wood Require Much Maintenance as Outdoor Furniture?
Acacia wood requires some maintenance as outdoor furniture, but no more than other types of wood. You will just need to clean it regularly, sand it down every so often, and apply a coat of sealer or oil once in a while. This will protect the wood from moisture and UV rays, and it will last for many years.
Should You Cover or Store Acacia Wood Furniture in the Winter?
Covering or storing Acacia wood furniture in the winter is a good way to protect it and cut down on the amount of maintenance it needs. You can either use a furniture cover or put it in a dry place like a garage.
Acacia is a great choice for outdoor furniture because it has all of the benefits you get from teak, without the expense. But if you want it to last, make sure that you seal it. Wood oil does look good and it will give you protection, but if you want to cut back on the maintenance, spar urethane is the better option.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.