Can You Use Faux Leather Outdoors? (10 Pros And Cons)

Can You Use Faux Leather Outdoors

We all love our outdoor furniture as it can add a touch of class to our garden, patio, or decking. There are a variety of upholstery materials to choose from when it comes to furnishing your outdoor space, but can you use faux leather on something like a piece of outdoor furniture?

While you can use faux leather outdoors, it has to be used in a well-shaded and well-ventilated place, away from direct sunlight and constant contact with water as – these outdoor conditions can cause your faux leather to discolor, crack, and peel.

Let us now take a closer look at the pros and cons of using faux leather outdoors;

The Pros Of Using Faux Leather Outdoor

1. Faux Leather Is Water-Resistant

Faux leather is a nonporous material and because of that it is water-resistant and can handle some amount of water exposure.

However, faux leather is not meant to be submerged in water on a regular basis and that is why the water-resistance quality of faux leather is not a foolproof feature.

In addition to that, while faux leather can withstand water exposure it is not advisable to leave the piece of furniture outside on a regular basis.

You can bring your faux leather chair or bench indoors when it is not being used.

2. Faux Leather Is Very Easy To Clean

Faux leather items used outdoors are very easy to clean due to their water-resistant quality.

All you need to do is use a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt, dust, or stains on the faux leather surface and it will be good as new.

This means that very little care and maintenance are needed to keep your outdoor faux leather item in good condition.

This easy cleaning feature is one of the main reasons why many people prefer using faux leather for outdoor furniture.

3. Faux Leather Dries Quickly

Unlike real leather and other types of fabrics, faux leather does not absorb water and dries quickly when it gets wet.

So, if an unexpected downpour occurs or you spill some drinks on your faux leather seat, there is no need to worry as the material will dry up very fast.

You can buy a waterproof spray for each of your outdoor pieces of furniture so that they do not get damaged from exposure to water.

With this waterproof spray, you can protect your faux leather item from all sorts of water damage for up to six months.

The Cons Of Using Faux Leather Outdoor

1. Faux Leather Will Fade If Used Outdoors

Faux leather is not as durable as other materials and it will fade if used outdoors in direct sunlight. The sun’s UV rays can cause the color to fade or eventually turn a light yellow.

Faux leather is made up of a polyurethane coating, which is a type of plastic. The sun’s UV rays will cause the plastic to break down and fade over time.

This means that if you have a piece of outdoor furniture that is covered in faux leather, it’s best to keep it in a completely shaded area so the color does not fade.

If you are looking for the perfect upholstery furniture that will last outdoors, then faux leather is not the best option. You might be better off going with something like polyester, acrylic fabric, etc are more durable and weather-resistant.

2. Faux Leather Will Became Water Damaged

Generally, faux leather is one of the most water-resistant leather materials among all artificial leathers.

But, it is not completely waterproof and can be susceptible to water damage if left out in the rain or if it gets wet regularly.

Over time, faux leather will become waterlogged as water will seep through seams, stitches, etc into the seat cushion leading to severe damage.

This means that if you have a piece of furniture covered in faux leather, it’s best to keep it in an area where it will not get wet often. If it does get wet, be sure to dry it off completely so the water does not damage the material.

3. Faux Leather Will Be Susceptible To Mold or Mildew Outside

Similar to the point above, using faux leather goods outside can also lead to mold or mildew growth when it becomes damp from the rain, humidity, or other reasons.

Mold and Mildew thrive in areas with high moisture and low airflow, which can happen if your furniture gets wet frequently due to the weather conditions.

As mildew grows on the faux leather material, you will start to notice discoloration of patches of the material and the smell of mold.

This means that you should try to keep your furniture out of these conditions as much as possible if you have anything meant for the outdoor that is covered in faux leather upholstery.

4. Faux Leather May Smell Bad If Exposed To Moisture

If you are using faux leather furniture outdoors and it happens to get wet, the material may start to smell bad.

This is because when water seeps into the faux leather, it can cause bacteria and mold growth. The bacteria will release a foul odor that is very difficult to get rid of.

These smells or odors could be from the cushions or from the frame itself. If your furniture was exposed to too much moisture for an extended period of time, then it is possible that the odor will not go away after drying out.

As mentioned in the previous point, you should try to keep your furniture out of these conditions as much as possible if you have anything meant for the outdoor that is covered in faux leather upholstery.

5. Faux Leather Will Become Prone To Stains

Faux leather items will become susceptible to stains, especially if it’s placed outdoors.

This is because most faux leathers are made of an acrylic coating, which will absorb stains easily.

Over time, this could lead to permanent damage due to the stain becoming part of the material.

There are some steps you can take in order to prevent stains on your outdoor furniture that has a layer of faux leather upholstery.

For example, you could apply a protective layer of waterproofing to the faux leather so water and other liquids won’t seep into it as much.

This will also help with stains because spills and splashes should just bead off the material instead of soaking in.

You can also put slipcovers on your furniture if there is a higher chance of it getting stained. This will help to protect the faux leather and you can just take off the slipcover when you need to clean it.

6. Discolored

Another potential issue that you may run into with outdoor faux leather upholstery is discoloration from constant temperature changes.

Faux leather tends to warp and fade in different weather conditions, especially if it’s exposed to sunlight all the time or stays out overnight while raining.

This means that if you live in an area with a lot of temperature changes, your faux leather furniture may not look as good as it did when you first bought it.

To help prevent this from happening, try to keep your furniture in an area where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight or rain for extended periods of time.

7. Faux Leather Will Get Hot In The Sun

Faux leather is a non-porous material and because of this when it’s in direct sunlight, it will become hot.

This can be uncomfortable for people who are sitting on the furniture and can also lead to skin burns.

In order to avoid this, you should try to move your faux leather furniture out of the sun during peak hours.

Or better still, switch to other materials that are suitable for your outdoor furniture.

Final Thoughts

All in all, the downsides to using faux leather outdoors far outweigh the benefits.

In conclusion, faux leather is not the best option for outdoor furniture because it does not stand up well against water damage, mold or mildew growth, and stains.

While it may seem like a good idea to have furniture that looks like leather but is cheaper and easier to care for, you will most likely be disappointed in the long run when you use them outside.

It’s best to just stick with materials that are specifically designed for outdoor use. Thank you for reading!


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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