How to Protect Your Outdoor Living Space From Sun Bleaching

With the sun and heat in full swing in the summer months, many take to soaking up the sun before fall approaches. What you don’t want soaking up the sun is your outdoor living space. Fortunately, we’ve got tips to keep your outdoor living space in tip-top shape for years.

What Does Sun Bleaching do to Outdoor Furniture?

Sun bleaching is the damage that is done to wood from significant UV exposure. It affects the quality and appearance of your outdoor living space and is essentially irreversible. Damages can consist of cracks, discoloration, roughened texture, and more. All of which results in a reduction in the value of the wood you’re using outdoors.

How to Prevent Sun Bleaching

1. Sunlight-resistant wood

In some cases, it may be too late to implement sunlight-resistant wood into your outdoor constructions and accessories because you began your project already. However, if you are at the onset of your outdoor project, you must use sunlight-resistant wood to preserve your finished product’s quality and protect against sun bleaching.

It is also important to note that no wood is 100% UV resistant, so we recommend additional protective measures.

A few sunlight-resistant wood options:

  • Redwood
  • Cypress
  • Yellow cedar, red cedar, or pencil cedar

2. Paints, stains, and finishing coats for protection.

Paint can be an ideal protectant for outdoor wood. However, many homeowners see the natural beauty in the wood and would rather highlight its natural attractions than cover it.

If you go the painting route, use exterior paint—ideally, oil-based or latex, as recommended by DIY Network. Oil-based are durable and water-resistant, while latex is easier to work with and protects against direct sunlight.

Bob Vila, a home improvement professional, explains that paint can last up to 10 years before needing reapplication, while stain can only go from 1-8 years. On the other hand, a stain is much easier to apply despite needing to be applied more often and will give your exterior project a more natural wood look. A stain is also your budget-friendly option in exterior wood projects, as it costs less than paint.

Your clear finishing coat’s three basic options are exterior oil, exterior varnish, and an epoxy sealer with an exterior varnish topcoat. Spar varnish comes highly recommended because it can withstand harsh elements against boats, so it’ll undoubtedly have no trouble when it comes to sun bleaching in your backyard.

3. Move mobile objects when they’re not in use.

It’s not always applicable, but an effective way to avoid sun damage can be as simple as moving mobile objects out of the sun when they’re not in use.

4. Add shade to your outdoor living space.

For construction elements that aren’t mobile (like decks, patios, steps, and more), adding a substantial shade to your outdoor living space can make a big difference. Umbrellas are a great addition to wood accessories that can’t be continuously moved indoors for protection from sun bleaching, although they’re not particularly useful for construction elements.

For a broader range of protection, try building a pergola. Then add:

Curtain panels — They’re a private and fashionable protective measure.
Outdoor fabric — Connect to corner pillars as a roof alternative, and your result can be romantic and beautiful.
Pergola plants — Expand your creativity and add extra shade with beautiful plants.

Stay up to date on preserving your wood constructions with CDA WOOD, and feel free to come to us with questions regarding your outdoor living space.