can bamboo furniture be outside
Kristina Davis

Even though bamboo is a robust and long-lasting material, many people ask, “Can bamboo furniture be outside?” Is it waterproof?

Generally speaking, you can use your bamboo furniture outside.

But, that does not mean you should do nothing to protect it from the elements.

While bamboo is commonly used to create outdoor seating, you should not risk damaging your investment by leaving non-waterproof pieces exposed to the elements.

So, is bamboo good for outdoor furniture? It may be, so long as you know how to maintain it.

Yes, you can use bamboo furniture outside but it is not waterproof and excessive moisture can cause all sorts of wear and tear. 

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Can Bamboo Furniture Be Outside Or Not?

bamboo furniture outside

Furnishing your home with bamboo furniture is a good way to reduce your impact on the environment without sacrificing style. 

Because it does not contract or expand in response to humidity or temperature, bamboo is a popular material for outdoor furniture.

But, can bamboo furniture be left outside? Probably not!

Unfortunately, most bamboo furniture you may find in stores is not water resistant.

It means that if you leave it outside without properly protecting it, you will end up causing irreversible damage to these pieces.

Tip: Be sure to inspect your bamboo furniture often and never ignore the early signs of mold or wear and tear.

Is Bamboo Furniture Waterproof Or Not?

Bamboo comes with a natural silica coating that repels water but does not make it waterproof.

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bamboo furniture waterproof

Still, you may be thinking it the additional coating may at least make it water-resistant. But that is not the case.

Unfortunately, by the time bamboo is marketed as an integral element of a finished piece of furniture, the water-resistant covering has typically worn off.

Even more concerning is the fact that the vast majority of bamboo furniture is not waterproofed before the sale.

Therefore, bamboo expands and the bamboo fibers weaken.

The damage is severe when it becomes excessively moist when exposed to heavy rain or high humidity for an extended time. 

Weakened wood is more susceptible to moisture damage, such as discoloration or even breaking and splintering.

Tip: Never ignore the importance of cleaning your bamboo furniture often to protect it from mold and other seasonal effects. 

How Long Can Bamboo Furniture Last?

Bamboo is not really a tree. Comparatively, trees have branches, bark, and a trunk that grows with age, while bamboo has tough hollow stalks.

how long bamboo furniture last

Its longevity and ability to continue growing steadily are two of its most lauded qualities.

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The longevity of treated bamboo can be extended to up to 50 years, but the longevity of untreated bamboo is closer to 10.

This means that if cared for properly, bamboo garden furniture can last for many seasons. 

How Long Can Bamboo Furniture Last Outside?

Most furniture pieces made of bamboo are not designed to withstand the elements.

It is possible to adapt some pieces for usage in the great outdoors with just a little bit of effort.

Waterproofing is a necessary step in protecting and prolonging the life of outdoor furniture.

The good thing is that bamboo does not expand or contract in response to temperature changes.

But, leaving outdoor furniture out all the time might lead to problems due to the effects of moisture and sunlight.

Nevertheless, you can still use your bamboo furniture outside for many seasons, especially if you take steps to waterproof it and treat it well. 

bamboo last outside

What To Consider?

To begin, think carefully about where you want to put your bamboo garden set.

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Remember, both too much water and too much sunlight are detrimental to bamboo.

That is why you should place it somewhere that does not get too wet or too dry very often.

There are a couple of excellent choices, including a roofed porch or a porch with screens.

Tip: Make use of lemon oil or specially designed products to get rid of mold from your bamboo furniture. 

What To Do When You Want To Use Bamboo Furniture Outside?

using bamboo furniture outside

If you wish to use your bamboo furniture outside, you should make an effort to waterproof it.

Here are a few things to remember when you wish to use your bamboo furniture outside. 

Waterproof Your Bamboo Furniture

Before you even think about using your bamboo furniture outside, it is essential to take steps to waterproof it.

The most important thing is to apply some water sealant first, which is when tung oil or a clear lacquer sealer will work great.

You can find tung oil at any hardware store; it comes in a tin and is applied liberally with a paintbrush made of natural bristles.

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Tung oil should be rubbed into the chair’s back, front, and bottom. Use it twice a year, in the spring and again in the fall. 

Limit Water Exposure

No matter how you do it, you should ensure that you do not let your bamboo furniture become exposed to water.

bamboo furniture water exposure

Wooden furniture is particularly vulnerable to damage from water. Some people think water does not damage bamboo, but that is only half true.

It may be water-resistant but not waterproof in any sense of the word. Therefore, you should keep your bamboo furniture away from moisture as much as possible. 

Do Not Ignore Spills

Other than protecting them from rainwater, you should also take care of occasional spills, as letting them sit for too long can ruin them.

Cleaning stains from bamboo furniture requires prompt action. Do not wait to clean up any accidents that may occur on your bamboo furniture. 

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Stains and discoloration can be prevented from becoming permanent if they are removed quickly.

don't ignore spills in furniture

The bamboo furniture in your home will look awful or strange if any of those spills turn into stains. Y

ou should, therefore, be proactive and never let any spills stay for long. 

Note

Always blot instead of rubbing spills to prevent pressing the stain deeper into the fabric.

For spot cleaning, use a damp cloth and a gentle cleaner, but do not ever let water get inside your bamboo.

Pay Attention To Regular Cleaning

Because dust and dirt are abrasive, they may wear away at the garden set as it is used.

This may cause your bamboo furniture to wear more unevenly and eventually fray.

It is also recommended that you give your furniture a thorough cleaning with a damp cloth and some mild soap at least twice a year.

clean regularly

Here are some other tips to remember when cleaning your bamboo furniture.

  • Using a soft brush, dust off the bamboo furniture to remove any dirt and debris.
  • Check the nooks and crannies, as well as under the seat when cleaning.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust stuck in the weave of the design.
  • Be sure to let your bamboo furniture dry in the shade and not in the sunlight.
  • Never use a jet wash on furniture, as this may cause irreparable harm. 
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Note

When storing bamboo furniture, it is best to do so inside, if at all feasible, or to at least cover it loosely with plenty of vents for air circulation. 

Protect Your Furniture During Cold Period 

The majority of patio sets, regardless of construction, are not up to the task of withstanding frost.

Like hardwood patio furniture, the durability of bamboo suffers when exposed to ice and frost.

furniture in cold weather

If the temperature outside drops below freezing, you should bring in the outside furniture like bamboo chairs, dining tables, etc.

Do this before water or moisture penetrates the bamboo’s narrow crevices, as ice’s expansion upon thawing might weaken the wood. 

Protect From Humidity

While many people think that high humidity can damage their furniture, the opposite is true as well.

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It means that if the humidity is too low, your bamboo furniture may suffer greatly.

protect bamboo from humidity

If you live in a dry climate, it is a good idea to make use of linseed oil to polish your bamboo furniture once a month.

Doing this properly and regularly would help prevent cracking. 

Note

Do not put your bamboo furniture near any kind of heat source, including wood burners, fireplaces, and heat vents.

Tip: Consider using a well-fitting waterproof cover to protect your bamboo furniture during the winter. 

Takeaway 

Can bamboo furniture be outside?

Of course, it can be, but if you ask about leaving it out without taking any steps to protect it, you may end up damaging it. 

The truth is that bamboo furniture may be water-resistant, but it is certainly not waterproof. Exposing it to water would eventually lead to serious problems. 

Therefore, you should spend some time waterproofing your bamboo furniture before using or leaving it outside.

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