How to Improve the Look of Wood Patio Furniture with Olympic Stain

The mother-daughter duo Steph and Vicki Kostopoulos from Mother Daughter Projects show us how they finished their weathered cedar patio furniture with the help of Olympic Elite Solid Stain.

After seven years of use, this outdoor cedar wood furniture was overdue for a new look. Because of the untreated wood, stains and dirt could not be easily cleaned. It was stained with water and faded more in some areas than in others. This furniture was the perfect candidate to try out the # 1 rated Olympic Elite Solid Stain.

Let’s start!

First things first: choose a color!

With the color card in hand, we limited our selection to two colors. We found a great re on the Olympic website, a color visualizer. This allowed us to look at both colors side by side to see what they looked like on the existing porch carpet.

With the Visualizer, we could “see” what the color would look like on the wooden furniture. The online display actually turned out to be very accurate! Time to place an order with The Home Depot!

In addition to the Chestnut Brown stain, we bought high-quality brushes, small paint pans, Olympic Deck Cleaner and sandpaper. We already had the crayons, can openers, sandpaper holders and drop cloths that we needed.


To prepare the porch, we put down a waterproof tarpaulin and covered it with a linen cloth so that the tarpaulin protects the carpet and the linen cloth absorbs any spillage.

This furniture had never been sanded to remove splintered splinters of wood between the seat slats, so we took the time to do it. We bought three grains of sandpaper from coarse, 60s, 120s and 220s sand. We mainly used 120 grit to remove the chips, level the water stains, and remove some of the heavy dirty stains. Because this furniture is so rustic by nature, we decided that we don’t have to smooth the 220 sandpaper fine.

After sanding, we removed the dust with a damp rag and took the furniture outside for the next step.

Clean furniture

To remove all dirt, we used the Olympic Deck Cleaner. Follow the directions on the label and wet any plants that may be exposed to overspray. The cleaner was easy to use. We just put it in the tank of our battery powered Ryobi sprayer and sprayed every piece down. We waited 10 minutes and rinsed it off. I have to say the results were impressive! Indeed. We could have stopped here and used the number 1 clear Olympic Clear Maximum and called it a day, but we wanted a new look with a bit of color!

We let the furniture dry for a few days. We could have stained while it was still damp, but rain was expected so the stains had to wait! In the forecast there should be no rain 24 hours after dyeing. A few days later we got our time window!


We prefer to work from a small paint tray rather than directly from the can. We dipped paint in our trays and started. Do not forget to stir well at the beginning and often thought about the coloring process.

Although we wore gloves to keep our hands cleaner, it should be noted that the stain can be cleaned very easily with soap and water and there is no smell! It is a low VOC product.

We started with the smallest piece of furniture first to get a feel for the process and to have a little bit of success! The stain went on smoothly and effortlessly. It is important to have a wet edge to avoid traces of overlap. This was a bit difficult on the round parts, but we could avoid this mistake.

Throughout the process, I added a couple of craft brushes to our tools. There were some narrow areas that I simply couldn’t get into with our 1 1/2 ”Wooster brush. A craft brush with a rounded tip was also perfect for getting into the screw holes.

Clean up and stage

As I said, our hands were cleaned with soap and water, just like the brushes. We managed to keep the can lid clean so that we could seal the unused part of the stain tightly. We actually built a few new pieces to add to the porch, a C table, and a succulent holder, which we also stained with the maroon. Overall, we used about 75% of the stain with the three pieces of furniture and two new buildings. With the exception of the glider seat, the furniture only needed a single coat of paint.

We decided to buy new pillows for the furniture. The Home Depot was not disappointing in the choice of patterns from which to choose. We liked the summer feeling of these pillows with lemon motifs and were thrilled that the rocker had a similar but different lumbar pillow with lemon motifs. We have included the teal color in the pillows to use for the terracotta pots we bought for our new succulents.

The new rich, dark color of the furniture now really increases the space. It feels like a rustic hut in the forest. It’s the perfect place to sip lemonade while we enjoy nature from the comfort of Steph’s screened-in porch.

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