Outdoor acacia wood furniture is a staple for most households. These exterior house fittings are durable and have an antique look that beautifies the home environment.
However, while acacia wood is highly aesthetic and sturdy, it takes a lot of effort and know-how to maintain it, especially for outdoor use. Read on to learn about this exotic wood and how to make the most of its outdoor furniture.
Properties of Acacia Wood
Also referred to as monkey pod timber, acacia is an exotic hardwood reputed for its elegant antique outlook and durability. It comes in a rich coffee brown color and has an intricate interlocked grain pattern that gives the wood an antique aura ideal for porch furniture. This robust hardwood is also known for its durability. It features a coarse texture and is strong enough to withstand heavy impact. Furthermore, it is lighter than most exotic hardwood varieties, making it easier to craft furniture.
Sensitivity to Natural Elements
Contrastingly, acacia is very sensitive to certain natural elements. It is highly susceptible to bulging when exposed to a significant amount of rain or moisture. Exposure to these elements also accelerates the wood’s rotting process. Additionally, acacia is hyper-sensitive to UV rays. Exposure to direct sunlight for extended periods accelerates the wood’s weathering process, causing it to lose its aesthetic appeal.
Best Finishing to Treat Outdoor Acacia furniture
Given the wood’s hypersensitivity to natural elements, it is important to treat acacia patio furniture for added protection and longevity. One of the best ways to do this is by applying polyurethane finish to the wood fittings.
Using oil-based poly with a glossy finish is the most effective treatment for acacia. It provides the wood with an oily protective coating that safeguards your furniture from moisture, water, and rot while maintaining a clear outlook that allows the wood’s natural elegance to shine through. More importantly, glossy poly contains a lesser amount of flattening paste than satin or matte alternatives, enabling the finish to disperse and reflect more sunlight for optimum UV protection.
1. Applying Polyurethane
Step I: Prepare the Poly & Furniture
If the wooden fitting has been outside for a long time, ensure it is fully dry. Once dry, wipe off any debris with a tack cloth. If there are stubborn stains, such as bird droppings, use mild water and a detergent solution to wash them off gently. Afterward, use a 150-grit hand scuff to smoothen the wood’s surface.
To prepare the poly, start by stirring the can of poly to get a consistent finish. Avoid shaking the can as this will create air bubbles which will leave splotches or bumps on the wood surface. If you find the poly is inconsistently thick, you should consider thinning it out with a viable solvent, most notably mineral spirits, at a ratio of 3:1.
Step II: Apply the First Coat
Use a clean cloth or brush to apply the poly. This finish has a self-leveling property, thus you should not focus much on attaining an even coat. Simply apply a thin coat using long strokes and spread it out on the furniture’s surface. It is prudent to apply from side to side to ensure equal distribution. Also, as explained in our outdoor wood treatment guide, make sure to apply more poly on the end grains as these are the most absorbent sections of the fitting.
Step III: Smoothen Surface & Apply Second Coat
Give the semi-gloss oil-based poly 24 hours to dry before applying another coat. Once dry, remove any imperfections using a sharp razor or gently rub them down using 400-grit sandpaper. Be extra cautious not to scuff the surface and even out any drips before they dry up. Wipe away the shavings and proceed to apply a second coat using long, side-to-side strokes.
Unlike water-based poly which requires several coats, two coats are enough for oil-based poly. However, you can add more coats if you feel the finish is not yet desirable
Although it is a beautiful and sturdy exotic hardwood ideal for outdoor furniture, acacia wood is also very sensitive to natural elements. Therefore, it is important to treat the wood to prevent it from weathering. Semi-gloss oil-based polyurethane finishing is the best treatment option for acacia since it allows the wood’s natural beauty to shine through, maintaining the wood’s character, and offering ample protective coating from the elements.