There’s something special about sitting on a porch bench and having a pleasant conversation while sipping a refreshing beverage. Investing in a quality outdoor bench means you must consider durability, comfort, and your style preferences. So, what’s the best material for an outdoor porch bench?
Teak, eucalyptus, acacia, aluminum, and wrought iron are some of the best materials for an outdoor porch bench. These materials can withstand exposure to the elements, and their furniture lasts long.
This article explores the wood that lasts the longest outdoors and the best material for an outdoor porch bench. I also share some methods of weatherproofing outdoor furniture.
You can never run out of wood choices to use for outdoor furniture. Whether you are making a tree house or porch swings, you want to ensure that it lasts for a long time. So, it is prudent to use good wood that can withstand all the perils of being outdoors.
Hardwoods like teak and ipe are highly durable, rot-resistant, and last the longest outdoors. You can enjoy furniture made from these materials for decades with minimal maintenance. Redwood, black locust, cypress, and cedar are also great choices for outdoor furniture.
Your porch is often the first thing people see when they walk up to your home, and it’s important to make it welcoming. Selecting a cozy bench goes a long way to improving the appeal of your porch.
The best material for outdoor porch benches should meet the following criteria:
- It should be durable and cost-effective
- It should be supportive
- Withstand the elements without falling apart easily
- It should be resistant to moisture, insects, and rot
Of all the materials used to make outdoor furniture, here are the ones that fulfill the criteria above.
Teak is probably the most expensive material for making outdoor furniture, but it remains popular for good reasons. Apart from its natural resistance to mold, insects, rot, and mildew, it also acquires a stunning patina over time. In addition, teak is straight-grained, dense, and won’t crack or warp as time goes by.
It has natural oils and extractives that act as water and insect repellent. Additionally, teak’s excellent stability ensures that it doesn’t expand or shrink like other woods on exposure to changes in humidity. With its attractive appearance, you are sure to get a porch bench that will keep you happy for a long time.
This material is ideal for premium visual appeal and elegant vintage designs. You don’t have to worry about the stability or support of a wrought iron bench because of the material’s weight.
Although wrought iron benches are a little expensive to buy and treat or maintain, they are sturdy, weather-resistant, and make for beautiful furniture.
Acacia benches are lovely, resist the elements well, and have an abundance of natural oils. Sealing the wood is vital for preserving its vibrant color and protecting it from rot and bug infestations. If a wrought iron or teak bench is above your budget, acacia wood is a good alternative.
This lightweight metal is known for its rust-resistant properties. An aluminum bench is cheaper than wrought iron or steel and resists fading. Various styles of aluminum benches are available, and you are sure to find one that fits your porch’s design.
Eucalyptus is a robust and dense wood popular for outdoor benches, and it originates from Australia. It’s high in natural oils that fend off moisture, repels insects, and make it rot-resistant.
In the absence of moisture, mildew and mold won’t thrive. This makes maintenance of your porch bench easier. Additionally, eucalyptus wood has antifungal and antimicrobial properties and makes for stunning furniture.
Resin benches have a similar charm as outdoor benches made from natural wicker or rattan. It fares better than other wicker materials after prolonged exposure to inclement weather and moisture. Most resin furniture includes metal supports that are rust-resistant, and they add to the longevity of your resin bench.
A polyethylene or resin porch bench is easy to clean and durable. You can use soap and water or diluted bleach to clean resin furniture. Also, resin wicker benches are low-maintenance and come in a wider variety of colors.
Steel benches have a timeless quality and design that draw people to them. They are usually ornate yet simple and tough. Treatment to prevent corrosion is necessary, and steel furniture is not as lightweight as aluminum or resin.
A drawback with steel benches is that they can become hot after prolonged exposure to the sun or high temperatures.
Sun damage, high winds, and heavy downpours are some challenges your outdoor porch bench will face. Whether wood or wicker, be sure to select a material that matches your climate.
Although your best outdoor furniture can withstand abuse from the natural elements, it affects its looks and longevity. After a few seasons around the pool or on the porch, outdoor furnishings show their age with stains, mildew, or rust marks.
Proper cleaning, maintenance, and care for each material are how you ensure that your tables, chairs, and cushions look amazing for a long time. Whether you have wood, metal, fabric, or wicker items, here are some weatherproofing tips you can use:
- Wood: Most outdoor furniture comes from wood that can withstand the elements and naturally resist decay. Unfinished wood requires little maintenance and gets a silvery-grey appearance with time.
Sealing the wood helps protect against moisture, UV rays, dirt, wear, tear, and discoloration. Before applying the sealant, clean the furniture’s surface, sand off existing finishes, and touch it up with paint if necessary. Use preservatives or sealants that are water-repellent, with a mildewcide.
While the general stance is to reapply every one to three years, you can follow the manufacturer’s instructions on this.
- Wicker: It is a pliable weave popularly used for outdoor furniture, and common parent materials include rattan, coated paper, and split reed. Some wicker furniture also comes with reinforced metal.
You can protect the surface of wicker furniture by applying coats of paint, varnish, or a combination of both. Regular cleaning and covering them with a multi-surface sealant also help protect your furniture from the weather.
- Metal: Metal furniture can be cast from molds, formed into hollow tubing, or wrought. Except for aluminum, steel, iron, and other metals are prone to rust. Most metal furniture comes finished with a durable powder coating or layers of paint or clear varnish as a form of protection.
An acrylic or a clear polyacrylic sealer is sufficient to seal your metal furniture. You can also apply a coat of quality paste, or liquid auto was as an extra protective measure.
It is also helpful to lubricate the ribs and poles on umbrellas and the glides and swivels on chairs with a silicone spray. Finally, ensure that you inspect your metal furniture regularly for chips and rust, especially in hidden areas.
Your outdoor furniture does not have to turn decrepit because of the elements. With the simple protective measures above, you can maintain the beauty and functionality of your items. Remember to always consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the best maintenance tips.