Thompsons Styled-1

Summer is definitely in full-gear here in Chicago, and backyard parties are all the rage. ;) Our backyard needs a bit of help, though, so we’re slowly starting to revamp it. Think: twinkle lights, lots of hydrangeas, comfy outdoor furniture, and the cutest vintage bar stand, perfect for entertaining.

A couple of weeks ago, Mitch and I wrote a post on prepping a vintage piece of Palm Beach-style furniture for outdoor use with Thompson’s WaterSeal 3 in 1 Wood Cleaner. Today, we’re going to show you how we stained it using Thompson’s WaterSeal Signature Series – Semi-Transparent Stain & Sealer in Timber Brown, available at Lowe’s.

How to Stain and Seal Furniture for Outdoor Use


Make sure your furniture has been cleaned

As I mentioned before, Mitch and I cleaned and prepped our bar stand with Thompson’s WaterSeal 3 in 1 Wood Cleaner. You can read my how-to post on that here!

Thompson's Waterseal 2-1

Choose a stain & sealer

Mitch and I decided to go with Thompson’s WaterSeal Signature Series – Semi-Transparent Stain & Sealer in Timber Brown, as it provides complete outdoor wood protection while also showing some wood texture and grain. It also prevents water damage, fading, mildew and UV damage. We chose “Timber Brown” in “semi-transparent,” as this looked very similar to what we imagine the bar stand’s original color was.

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Get your materials ready

For this project, you’ll need a plastic drop cloth, plastic gloves, protective eyewear, a plastic paint pan or container, rags, and an applicator. (You can use a stiff-bristled brush or paintbrush, paint pad, rag, roller, or dipping or compression-driven sprayer. Mitch and I used a paintbrush, since the bar stand is pretty small.) Also, be sure to find an outdoor, ventilated space for application, as applying the stain & sealer indoors is not recommended.

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Shake well

While it’s important to shake, stir or mix thoroughly before application, it’s also important to do so occasionally during use.

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Apply to test area first

As color samples may vary slightly when applied to the wood and final color appearance may differ from initial application, always apply the stain & sealer to a small test area before proceeding with the entire project.

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Apply the stain & sealer

You can apply the stain & sealer using a brush, paint pad, rag, roller, or dipping or compression-driven sprayer. Keep the leading edge wet and be sure to distribute evenly. Working from side-to-side or bottom-to-top can help. Use natural breaks to divide up large areas into more manageable ones.

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Remove excess stain & sealer

If you accidentally over-apply, be sure to wipe off or redistribute the stain & sealer before it dries.

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Allow to dry

One coat is recommended, but a second coat can be applied if more color is desired. Allow the first coat to dry for about two hours. The second coat must be applied within four hours of the initial application. (But Mitch and I chose to only do one coat!)

Thompson's Waterseal 2-500

Clean up

Clean brushes and equipment with soap and water.

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Thompsons Styled-1


And now it’s time to start using the bar stand! Mitch and I have friends and family over to the house frequently during the warmer months, so we’re really looking forward to entertaining in the backyard with it. :) Next up: stringing twinkle lights, planting hydrangeas, and arranging the rest of our outdoor furniture. And possibly investing in some cute decorative pillows. Thoughts, Mitch? Mitch loves decorative pillows. ;)

Thompson’s WaterSeal is running its annual contest to win the Deck Party of Your Dreams. Enter for a chance to win a $20,000 deck makeover!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Thompson’s WaterSeal, but all opinions are my own. As always, thank you for supporting the partnerships that keep Kelly in the City up and running!