Outdoor Sectional – Part V – Stain

Outdoor Sectional – Part V – Stain

Some people love the color of old cedar. Gray and weather worn. I am not one of those people. It is nice that cedar doesn’t need any stain to last a really long time outside. But I want it to both survive a long time and look like fresh cedar for as long as possible. That means I need to protect the outdoor sectional with a coat of stain. 

Not all types of stain are made the same. In order to understand the important part of each stain, you have to first understand that the thing that makes cedar age is sunlight. More specifically, the UV rays. With that in mind, it makes sense that the best protection against sunlight would be a tinted stain, and a dark one at that. The worst protection then would be a clear stain. It’s like wearing a long sleeve shirt vs sunscreen at the beach. But, like a long sleeve shirt and sunscreen, tinted and clear stains are very different looks. Both have their pros and cons, it’s all dependent on your personal needs and preferences. For this build, we wanted a clear stain to retain the natural look as long as possible.

After researching our options, we chose to use SuperDeck Exterior Oil-Based Transparent Stain with the SuperDeck Deck Wash before staining. Not an affiliate link. While the transparent stain won’t protect as long as a tinted stain, it will give us the look that we want. We’ll probably have to reapply the stain every 1 to 2 years to keep the cedar from graying too quickly.

First step in the process, washing the sectional. We actually stained parts of the sectional before assembling it, so it’s like we’re going back in time with this post. Washing was easy enough, first wet the wood, then add the SuperDeck Deck Wash, scrub and let sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse. Like taking a shower (mind out of the gutter people).

We chose a very cold day to do this, cause we’re smart. Also, hi Mr. Hearse

Time to stain. And no we did not listen to Staind while staining. Because they are terrible. Except for “It’s Been Awhile” obviously. Anyways, we stained everything except the faces of the slats before assembly, since access would be limited after putting it all together. We didn’t want to stain the faces of the slats until after patching the nail holes used to attach them to the sectional base.

Staining 3 sides of the slats before assembly
Everything but the slats stained.
Sun-kissed photo of the final result. Our dining room coffee table standing in as an example table for me to build.

Just beautiful if I do say so myself! I’m really proud of how this project turned out. Allyson is in the process of sewing the cushions and pillows, so I’ll write another post when that is all done. For now, that’s the end of the outdoor sectional project. I hope you enjoyed it!

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