Learn How to Weatherproof All of Your Outdoor Decorations So They Last Through Fall and Winter
Whether you're adding cute farm signs to your porch for fall or a holiday wreath to your door in December, you may be looking for a way to make sure your outdoor decorations look as good at the end of the season as they did at the beginning. When you consider just how much these pieces are up against—like harsh elements, including sun, rain, wind, and snow—there's a good chance that they'll look worse for the wear after a few weeks out in the open. Fortunately, there are a few extra steps you can take before you put them out or up to keep them looking fresh, regardless of the time of year.
Waterproofing is key.
While some of those aforementioned porch signs are labeled for outdoor use, they can still become battered after enough time in the open air, which is why Shaolin Low of Studio Shaolin suggests applying a layer of a water shield. "Scotchgard ($10.58, homedepot.com) is the key," she says. "Honestly, you would be surprised how many things you can spray with it." While some items may need a second (or third) coating to go the distance, you should be able to extend the life of your decorations this way.
Use polyurethane or similar clear coats.
Another good option? According to Low, a clear coat of either polyurethane or acrylic works well on wood-based materials. "Those will absolutely weatherproof your items," she explains. Just be sure to apply a thin, even coat if you go this route; polyurethane can look sticky or cloudy when applied in too-thick layers. As with Scotchgard, it's best to test a small area of your decoration (in an inconspicuous area) to ensure adding a water protectant won't alter or compromise the piece.
Keep your decorations in place.
Water damage shouldn't be your only outdoor décor concern. "The main worry should be the wind," Low notes. "Most decorations are made to be 'waterproof,' so they can be outside and withstand the showers—but the wind is the factor that does the most damage." Whenever you place ground pieces outside, Low suggests anchoring them into the earth and monitoring any small parts that could blow away.
Don't forget to protect your property, too
In addition to damaging your decorations, loose décor can cause property damage. Make sure your wreaths are secured properly so they don't blow around and scratch your door's paint; you'll also want to secure anything hung near or on windows to prevent broken glass.