Waterproof Outdoor Cushion Tips and Tricks

The Ultimate Guide to Weatherproofing Outdoor Cushions

When the warm weather arrives, it’s time to get your patio furniture ready for entertaining guests outdoors. Unfortunately, placing outdoor chair cushions back on your patio or porch furniture means exposing them to the elements. If you’re not careful, they can become damaged by rain, sun, pollen, dirt and dust. To make sure your outdoor cushions last longer and look better, it’s important to take steps to prevent this type of damage or to weatherproof them. Weatherproofing your cushions can help them last through the warmer outdoor months and for years to come. Here are some tips for taking care of and weatherproofing your outdoor cushions.

Choose the Right Material

The first step in weatherproofing outdoor cushions is to make sure you choose the right material. Some materials, like polyester and olefin, are more resistant to moisture and fading than others. Using tightly woven fabric will prevent rainwater and mildew from seeping through into the cushion.

When it comes to long-lasting outdoor cushions, there are a variety of materials to consider. Here are the most popular materials for outdoor cushions:

  • Weatherproof or Sunbrella® Fabric: Many outlets provide waterproof or outdoor fabric by the yard, which you can use to upholster your outdoor cushions. This material is designed to resist UV damage, protect the internal foam from water damage and keep your cushions easy to clean when dust or dirt has accumulated. FoamOrder also offers custom-sewn outdoor cushion coversmade to any size or thickness.
  • Outdoor Foam: Outdoor foam is really the only option for weatherproofing outdoor cushions, as it is designed to be water-draining and durable. Outdoor foam is also lightweight and easy to clean, making it a great choice for outdoor furniture. Creating or using cushions outdoors that don’t contain outdoor foam will result in mildew and mold, and will quickly become unusable.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl is another popular option for outdoor cushion covers, as it is highly durable and waterproof. Vinyl is also easy to clean and can withstand harsh weather conditions. If you’re going to order or make outdoor covers from vinyl, make sure the material is vented to allow air to easily escape.

Other popular outdoor fabric options include acrylics, olefins, and synthetic fabrics. We generally don’t recommend other fabrics that contain natural fibers, as they are poor at drying and staying clean in the elements.

Clean Your Cushions and Apply Protective Coating

If you plan to weatherproof older cushions, you’ll want to clean them before you begin. Simply wipe them down with a damp cloth, or wash them according to manufacturer instructions, and allow them to dry in the sunlight. It is important to make sure that they have completely dried, otherwise, weatherproof coatings may not be as effective. Once your cushions have dried, the next step is to apply the protective coating. This will help keep the cushions dry and free of mildew and other moisture-related damage, as well as any potential UV damage. Be sure to follow the directions on the coating or repellent and apply it in a well-ventilated area. This process should be followed at least annually to ensure the coating continues to do its job.

Outdoor daybed with orange seat cushion and pillows

Why Use a Protective Coating for Weatherproofing?

Taking the time to weatherproof your outdoor cushions can help protect them from the elements and extend their life. Weatherproofing your outdoor cushions will provide them with a protective layer that will keep out water, dirt, and other debris that can cause damage. This layer will also help protect the fabric from fading due to sun exposure.

By weatherproofing your outdoor cushions, you can also extend their lifespan. This can save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to replace them as often. Fortunately, weatherproofing sprays and sealants are easy to find, easy to apply and will provide your cushions with the protection they need. You can also invest in weatherproof materials – making a massive difference in how long they last.

Add a Protective Cover

Adding a protective cover is another great way to weatherproof your outdoor cushions. Covers come in multiple types – some are designed to fit snugly onto your cushions while not in use, while others protect them all summer long. Covers will not only protect the cushions from rain and sun damage, but they also help keep dirt and debris away. Make sure you choose a cover that is waterproof and breathable so that your cushions stay dry and comfortable.

Address Damage Quickly

If your cushions become damaged, take care of that damage as soon as possible. If the damage is minor, such as a tear or a loose thread, you can likely repair it yourself. For more extensive damage, it’s best to call in a professional or replace the cushion cover entirely.

Outdoor sectional with gray seat cushions and back pillows

Clean Regularly and Store Properly

Finally, it’s important to clean and store your outdoor cushions properly. Before storing them, make sure you clean them with a mild detergent and warm water to remove any built-up dirt and debris, and then allow them to dry completely. You can also use a soft-bristled brush to remove any excessive dirt that has accumulated on your cushions. If you have removable cushion covers, you can machine wash them on a gentle cycle.

Once your cushions and cushion covers have completely dried, store them in a dry place away from direct sunlight. If possible, it’s advised to store your cushions indoors. This will help to protect them from the elements, fading, damage and prolonging their life. You can also use a waterproof cover or tarp when storing your cushions to provide an additional layer of protection.

Weatherproofing your outdoor cushions is an important step in keeping them looking great and lasting longer. Following a few simple tips can ensure that your outdoor furniture looks great and stands up to the weather. With the right material, stain and water repellent, protective cover, and proper care and storage, your cushions will be well-protected from the elements for years to come. After all, you deserve to enjoy your outdoor space in style and comfort.

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