Faded stain and finish on a solid wood coffee table.

Furniture Fading Can Be Prevented By Avoiding Direct Sunlight


Fading is a big problem for wood furniture that is placed in direct sunlight. Even with the protection of a window, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause the wood on a piece of furniture to deteriorate and lighten over time. Especially when objects are placed on the furniture during the sun exposure, the end result can be splotchy looking furniture that appears to be stained with dark spots and discolored with light spots.

Wood furniture has many enemies ranging from chemicals to water. But, one of the worst culprits is direct sunlight. Direct sun exposure is well-known for causing damage to wood furniture as well as carpeting, photographs, wall art, and wall paper. The key to preventing damage is to limit the amount of sun exposure that the interior of your home receives during daytime hours. This does not mean that you have to live inside of a dark and shuttered home! It simply means that the curtains should be drawn or the shades closed when the sun is shining directly on your valuable belongings, including your wood furniture.

Regular Windows

Most of the windows in today’s homes do not completely protect the interior of the home from sun damage. They may provide some protection, but not enough to avoid permanent fading. Even extremely expensive clear windows that are considered to be energy efficient are not guaranteed to prevent sun damage from ultraviolet rays.


Not only can direct sunlight on a piece of wood furniture cause the piece to fade, but it can also cause the wood to crack. Fading, in combination with cracking, can make a beautiful piece of furniture look old and unsightly.

Blocking Light

Some people use heavy curtains or sun shades on their windows to protect their furniture. But, most people do not have the time to open and close their curtains or shades on a daily basis in order to prevent their furniture from fading. Additionally, having a dark home can lead a person to become depressed! Letting the sun shine into a home can actually help save on energy and heating bills and can make a home appear more cheerful and friendly. So, what is the solution to the fading problems that the sun can cause? Adding a protective film on your home’s windows might be the answer. Protected windows can eliminate almost all problems associated with fading due to the sun’s ultraviolet lights.

Outdoor Wood Furniture

It is nearly impossible to keep outdoor wood furniture away from direct sunlight. When placed in the direct sun, without any protection from film-treated windows or curtains, the furniture is sure to fade and rot. The best way to prevent fading and other potential problems from occurring on outdoor wood furniture is to apply a layer of sealant to the wood every year. Also, try to cover the furniture whenever it is not in use or move it to a shaded area. Fading is a very common problem with outdoor wood furniture, but the problem can be lessened by taking care of the furniture and following preventative measures to eliminate as much damage as possible.

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