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Rustic Outdoor Furniture

Rustic Outdoor Furniture: 4 Common Questions Answered

Homeowners love rustic furniture for its unique ability to add natural beauty to outdoor spaces. The warm tones and natural materials instantly make your porch or yard a more inviting space to spend time in, whether alone or with friends and family.

American novelist Robert Ferro once commented that rearranging furniture is the key to a fulfilling life since it gives you a new perspective. Be it indoor or outdoor furniture, switching things around makes life interesting.

Unlike traditional pieces, rustic outdoor furniture allows you to develop your signature style and is flexible enough to be paired with different design schemes without looking out of place.

You’re probably wondering:

  • How rustic furniture compares to traditional furniture 
  • How to keep rustic furniture in good shape
  • Where to find top quality rustic furniture for your outdoor spaces

Our comprehensive guide will address these concerns and help you choose the best rustic outdoor furniture for your home.

1 - What Materials Are Commonly Used for Rustic Outdoor Furniture?

Rustic furniture is usually made from materials that have a natural aesthetic.

Wood is the most common material for rustic furniture. Certain types of timber are preferred because they’re sturdy, resist weather damage, and can last for decades if properly treated.

Some of the wood types we use for our rustic outdoor furniture include:

  • Northern White Cedar
  • Western Red Cedar
  • Aromatic Red Cedar
  • Lodgepole Pine
  • Ponderosa Pine

Each of these varieties have varying levels of weather resistance, insect resistance, maintenance requirements, and cost-effectiveness.

Zinc-coated steel is perfect for giving rustic furniture an extra kick. 

When combined with wood, it amps up the rustic aesthetic, making these pieces warm and inviting. The sleek, modern appearance of zinc-coated steel contrasts beautifully with the natural simplicity of wood, lending a touch of style to rustic outdoor furniture.

Our outdoor furniture features nuts, bolts, springs made of zinc-coated steel which enhances the rustic appeal of the pieces.

2 - How Durable Is Rustic Outdoor Furniture Compared to Traditional Outdoor Furniture?

One of the benefits of rustic furniture is its longevity. Due to the hardiness of the materials used, this type of furniture seems to last forever. Sun, rain, and wind are no match for rustic outdoor furniture.

By contrast, traditional outdoor furniture typically uses cheaper and less durable materials, such as plastic or lightweight metals, that easily wear out with use and exposure to the elements.

Zinc-coated steel is a highly preferred material for outdoor rustic furniture because of its durability. This longevity of zinc-coated steel elements of rustic furniture can vary depending on factors such as:

  • Thickness of the coating
  • Quality of the coating
  • Environmental conditions

The zinc coating provides excellent protection against corrosion and rust, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor furniture for many years.

“We are very happy with our Cedar Log Bench Swing .… ”

— Julie & Mark Cyr

Have you ever wondered why the aesthetic of log furniture gets better with age?

Wood generally develops a stately silver-gray patina over time if left untreated. Exposure to the sun causes the timber to turn gray with hints of silver, giving furniture a beautiful weathered look.

Log furniture is also incredibly strong and doesn't warp or become brittle, unlike regular outdoor furniture made of synthetic materials, such as plastic. Wood furniture stands up well against exposure to:

  • Moisture
  • Sunlight
  • Extreme temperatures 

Apart from the materials, rustic outdoor furniture uses traditional joinery techniques that increase its strength and longevity. These techniques include:

  • Mortise and tenon joints
  • Dovetail joints
  • Lap joints

Manufacturers combine these joinery techniques with other construction methods to create sturdy and durable rustic furniture that holds up well no matter the weather conditions.

Rustic outdoor furniture allows you to put your feet up and enjoy the great outdoors with loved ones for many years without worrying about your pieces getting damaged by the elements.

3 - How Do I Maintain and Care For My Rustic Outdoor Furniture?

With proper care and maintenance, your rustic outdoor furniture can remain functional and attractive for many years, even when exposed to harsh outdoor conditions.

Without applying preservatives, log furniture naturally fades into a grayish color. To enhance the durability of your outdoor furniture, preservatives are necessary to protect the wood from insect damage, water, and rot.

“ ... Easy to put together … We are going to finish with Lifetime wood preservative which will help it weather to gray … ”

— Hope F

Log furniture is easy to care for. All you have to do is periodically treat the surface with sealant products. Ensure you apply the finish over every surface, including its underside and crevices. There are several sealant products you can use, including:

  • Stain
  • Varnish
  • Paint

These substances either sit on the surface of or get absorbed into the wood, blocking out water and UV light. Applying preservatives on your outdoor furniture will ensure it maintains its appearance for longer.

Zinc-coated steel can last long if properly cared for, but it still requires TLC to keep it in prime condition. To seal out moisture, apply a clear coat of sealant or wax to the surface. This prevents the formation of rust.

Also, ensure the metal elements are clean and free from dust and debris. Wipe them down using a soft cloth dipped in a water-based emulsifier or an organic solvent such as acetone and dry them completely using a towel.

Expert Tip: Avoid using abrasive cleaners, wire brushes, or harsh chemicals to clean the zinc-coated steel parts of your outdoor furniture. These can damage the zinc coating and cause it to rust.

As log furniture ages, it naturally develops cracks (also known as checks) on the surface. This process doesn’t affect the structural performance or integrity of the wood. On the contrary, it adds to the unique character and rustic appeal of each piece.

If you’re sitting on your deck on a summer day and hear cracking sounds from the log furniture, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the timber moving as it expands due to direct sunlight.

Checking can vary from small slots to cracks running the full length of the log up to the heart of the log wood. Whatever the case, checking is completely normal and has no effect on the longevity of your outdoor furniture.

4 - How Does Rustic Outdoor Furniture Design and Style Compare to Traditional Outdoor Furniture?

Unlike regular outdoor furniture that often appears cold and uninviting, rustic furniture possesses a natural, warm, and timeless charm.

Picture yourself having a great time with friends and family around the barbeque. You're more likely to be lounging on timber seats than plastic chairs.The natural aesthetic of rustic furniture has a unique ability to help us feel relaxed and connected to the outdoors.

" … When family or friends visit now, they all … race to be the first ones to secure a place on the swing! … "

— Dan A

And it gets better. Rustic outdoor furniture allows you to personalize your outdoor space with a charming aesthetic. Thanks to the natural materials and traditional construction techniques used, you can tailor the rustic look to fit your personal tastes and preferences.

Whether you’re into the farmhouse, reclaimed wood, or contemporary rustic vibe, this kind of furniture suits various design styles.

What’s more, rustic furniture allows you to add personal touches through creative styling. Cozy outdoor cushions, vintage textiles, and outdoor decor items, such as lanterns or vases, are excellent for expressing your style.

The ease of customization with rustic outdoor furniture makes a spot feel more homey. You have a personalized outdoor space that reflects your individual taste and style without looking rigid, which traditional furniture often does.

The table below summarizes some of the differences between rustic outdoor furniture and traditional furniture:

Feature Rustic Outdoor Furniture Traditional Furniture
Colors Warm, earthy tones Bright tones
Aesthetic Always in style Trends can go out of style
Feel Inviting, warm Industrial, clinical
Construction Solid wood Veneers/plywood
rustic outdoor furniture

Transform Your Outdoor Space With Rustic Furniture

Rustic outdoor furniture is fantastic for adding natural beauty to your home. The cozy, inviting atmosphere created by this furniture makes outdoor living and entertaining far more delightful.

What’s more, this furniture is incredibly durable, giving you many happy years outdoors.

Consider adding rustic outdoor furniture to your home and experience an upgrade in the aesthetic, coziness, and warmth of your space.

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