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Polywood Outdoor Furniture: 14 Tips For Outside Use!

If you’re considering buying some new outdoor furniture, then what it’s made of is a big deal. Good quality outdoor furniture is expensive, so what you invest in has to be built to last. Step forward Polywood – perhaps the ideal material for long lasting outdoor furniture.

Polywood furniture is made in Syracuse, USA, from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is a super-robust and durable plastic. Some of the best-loved Polywood furniture is based on classic American designs, such as the iconic Adirondack chair.

With that all said, read on below to get answers to all your questions (and some you never even had) about Polywood timber and furniture. We’re geeking out on it because we love it so much. 🙂

Where is Polywood Outdoor Furniture Made?

Polywood outdoor furniture is made in America. It’s manufactured in Syracuse, Indiana, and all components are crafted in the US. Polywood even uses local recycled materials in its plastic compound, which again, is made onsite. So, if you want to invest in an all-American product for your yard, this is a great brand to choose.

Some of the best-loved Polywood furniture is also based on classic American designs, such as the iconic Adirondack chair. This timeless chair has been sitting on American porches for well over a century, and comes in a choice of classic colors.

Is Polywood Plastic (Is Some of it Recycled)?

Polywood timber is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE),which is a super-robust plastic. Polywood uses some recycled materials in its make-up, which the company recycles in-house at its Syracuse plant.

They take in 400,000 used plastic containers a year, which they sort, shred, clean and grind, eventually forming plastic pellets. These are then used by Polywood to manufacture our yard furniture. HDPE is itself recyclable (not that you’ll want to recycle your Polywood chairs, which will last a long time!).

You can find out more about the plastic recycling process in these short clips from Polywood.

Is Polywood Good For Outdoor Furniture?

Yes, Polywood makes exceptionally good outdoor furniture. This is because HDPE is an incredibly strong plastic, which is designed to live happily outdoors all year round.

 Polywood chairs are pretty heavy (we recommend two people to lift them), so they shouldn’t get blown away.

Polywood comes in a range of colors, and these are made from light-stable pigments and UV inhibitors that won’t fade in the sunlight. Polywood timber is also water-resistant and you won’t need to coat it to protect it. So, it’s tough and low-maintenance: the perfect material for your outdoor chairs or dining set. 

Is Polywood Furniture Weather Resistant?

Yes, it is. Polywood is made to withstand all weathers. Not only is it waterproof and UV resistant, but it’s also sturdy enough to not get blown about (although of course, we’d advise bringing it indoors for exceptionally strong winds). A typical chair weighs around 40 pounds.

The pigments used in the paintwork are intended to prevent fading in sunlight. However, after a few years, most colors will show some signs of fading. You can always cover your furniture in extremely hot sunlight to help prolong the color’s life.

Polywood is the perfect option if you like the look of traditional timber furniture, but don’t want the hassle of storing it inside or covering it in the winter and fall. Of course, you may choose to cover it to keep it clean, but you don’t have to. So, Polywood is a great option if you like winter BBQs or sitting outdoors around the fire pit.

How Long Does Polywood Furniture Last Outside?

The manufacturers guarantee their product for 20 years in a residential setting, stating:  â€śunder normal use and service conditions, Polywood furniture shall be free from material defects, and shall not splinter, crack, chip, peel, or rot, or suffer structural damage from insect infestation.”

The metal frames, hardware, joints and powder finish are guaranteed for 5 years, as are any woven inserts. This doesn’t mean they won;t last longer than this: it simply means this is the last point at which the manufacturers will replace a broken part.

As with anything, this depends on how well you treat your products: Polywood may be tough, but you still need to look after it. All being well, you can enjoy your Adirondack chairs or attractive bench for many, many years.

Can Polywood Furniture Stay Outside in Winter?

Yes, it can, and this is one of the main advantages of Polywood over many other materials. However, you may want to clean and cover it before the winter, simply to minimize the cleaning job in the spring! You can get covers designed to fit standard Polywood furniture.

If you are using cushions (and we do recommend these. The hard material definitely benefits from a softer layer), those will need to be removed, cleaned and stored in a dry place over the winter. Polywood’s own cushions are quick-drying and water-resistant, but they’ll still last longer if they’re stored indoors.

And as we’ve mentioned before, don’t leave any yard furniture outside if you’ve had a hurricane warning. Nobody wants a 40 pound Aditondack chair crashing into their home.

How Do You Paint Polywood Outdoor Furniture?

The simple answer is: you can’t. Polywood timber is designed to repel coatings, and paint won’t even stick if you mix it with primer. Any attempts to paint it will also void the warranty. The good news is, because the color runs right through the plastic and contains UV inhibitors, you really shouldn’t need to paint it in the first place.

Some folks suggest sanding the top layer then painting it. Again, no. As well as causing unsightly scratching, sanding will invalidate your warranty. Our advice? Choose a color you love when you purchase your Plywood furniture, keep it out of direct sun to reduce the risk of some fading even further, and make sure you keep it clean.

Can You Paint Polywood Adirondack Chairs?

You can’t paint any Polywood furniture. Not only will the paint have trouble sticking, but you’ll void your warranty. So, if you like to change the color of your yard furniture from time to time, we’d suggest you stick to wood.

However, Polywood Adirondack chairs come in a great range of colors, from classic white to beachy blue to bright statement red. Because the pigments are UV inhibited, it’ll take a long, long time for the colors to fade.

Is Polywood The Same As Trex?

Actually, a lot of Trex products are made using Polywood lumber. The tough high-density polyethylene combined with the UV-inhibited colors make Polywood an exceptional choice for outdoor products.

When Trex expanded its range from decking and rails to outdoor furniture, Polywood was the obvious choice, with its robust plastic and eco credentials. So, if you’re wondering whether to buy Trex or Polywood outdoor furniture for your yard, it’s not actually such a big decision.

What Does Polywood Feel Like?

Polywood doesn’t just look like wood. The robust and heavy furniture also has the feel of real hardwood, being super-sturdy and chunky in design. Because of this, some people do prefer to add cushions and backrests to their Polywood furniture, as like wood, it doesn’t provide a comfy seat on its own!

We love its solid look and feel, and really, the only way it differs from wood is that it doesn’t have that timber smell. Otherwise, it’s just like the real deal (but so much easier to look after).

Is Polywood Toxic?

Great news for families and pet owners: Polywood is made from non-toxic materials using non-toxic processes. You won’t need to use harsh chemicals to clean it, and you certainly won’t need to add a protective coating. 

Polywood Adirondack Chairs

How Do You Clean Polywood Outdoor Furniture?

Polywood is so easy to clean, and because there’s no danger or removing paint, you can give it a good scrub with a brush. The easiest way to keep on top of the cleaning is simply to use a mild dish soap and water.

If you have more stubborn dirt or stains to remove, you can use a bleach solution of one part bleach to two parts water. Apply it with a cloth, leave it for a few moments, then scrub it with a brush. Wear gloves to protect your skin, and make sure you rinse the furniture (and your cleaning equipment) afterwards,

It’s also a good idea to give your yard furniture a regular brush or even vacuum, to prevent bugs making their home there.

Does Polywood Furniture Mold?

No, it doesn’t. Unlike wood and some other materials, Polywood won’t develop those unsightly black patches caused by mold and mildew. Make sure you look after the cushions to prevent them from becoming stained.

Can You Power Wash Polywood Furniture?

Yes you can power wash Polywood, which makes it even easier to care for. Just don’t exceed 1,500 psi. We’d suggest a blast from the power washer once a year, to make sure no dirt is forming in joints or gaps, and to stop critters from making their homes in the hidden parts of your furniture.

Final Thoughts

You know what – we love Polywood outdoor furniture at Take a Yard. Why? Because it looks good, it’s impervious to the elements and can be left outside all year round – and it doesn’t really require any maintenance to keep it looking great.

To top all that, it can be fashioned into any shape and size to emulate classic American furniture designs – such as the ever-popular Adirondack chair – and although it’s not cheap, all of the above make it a great investment.

Did I also mention that the makers of Polywood guarantee their products for 20 years? Come on people – what’s there not to like about Polywood?! 🙂

Mark H.

Homeowner and property investor Mark H. aspires to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >