What Is Polywood? (24 Common Questions Answered!)

Polywood is one of those excellent materials that has the kind of visual appeal that makes it really hard to believe that you can’t tell it from wood. It’s a synthetic material that almost looks like real wood and is equally sturdy too, making it one of the best modern solutions for making outdoor furniture and structures.

In this article, I’ll be talking about everything about Polywood and some of the most common questions about it.

What Is Polywood?

Polywood is a brand of durable, synthetic plastic lumber manufactured by Poly-Wood, LLC. It is designed to look and behave like wood, but it can be left outside in all kinds of weather and doesn’t have to be painted. It uses 100% recycled high-density polyethene (HDPE) plastic bottles to make its outdoor furniture. This means every POLYWOOD piece you buy is made from the same material as countless water and soda bottles you use every day.

So whether you’re camping in a great outdoors, cooking near the fire pit, or relaxing with friends on the patio, Polywood can handle it all. It is easy to work with, withstands weather and environmental conditions like humidity and has a wide variety of uses; from outdoor furniture to indoor projects like custom shelves. It is just as strong and durable as most woods used in outdoor furniture but only needs minimal upkeep to remain beautiful year after year.

What Is HDPE or High-Density Polyethene?

High-density polyethene (HDPE) is a thermoplastic polymer and can be found in food and beverage bottles, toys, pipes, containers, floor tiles and many more items. It has become one of the most popular plastics used in the packaging of food since it is very resistant and durable. 

Most plastic containers in the market today uses HDPE as their main component when manufacturing different types of containers such as cups, bottles, bags and even tubs.

How Is Polywood Made?

The process of recycling involves cleaning and separating the plastic into flakes, which is then melted down into lumber.

By adding a UV-inhibited pigment to the melted plastic while it is spinning, Polywood is able to create a wood-like appearance with colour throughout that will not fade or peel.

Brief History Of Polywood

Founded in 1990 by entrepreneurs Doug Rassi and Mark Phillabaum in Syracuse, Indiana, PolyWood is known for its high-quality Adirondack swing chairs.

Today, the Poly-Wood product line includes living room, dining and bedroom furniture. Each piece of PolyWood furniture is crafted from 100% recycled materials. As a result, Poly-Wood furniture is eco-friendly and requires little to no maintenance. Not only does it look like wood, but it’s much easier to care for.

Common Polywood Questions

Polywood has become a hot trend in home design.

This material is being used to create everything from furniture to entire outdoor living areas.

But if you’re not familiar with polywood, you might have a few questions…

Can You Paint Polywood?

Many people have asked if it is possible to paint Polywood. The answer is yes. You can paint your Polywood furniture. However, it’s a good idea to have the wood prepped properly before you start. 

We recommend using a primer especially made for the outdoors and exterior plastic. You must first make sure the surface is thoroughly clean and dry. 

Can You Spray Paint Polywood?

When it comes to painting polywood, you have a couple directions to take. You can paint it with a spray paint formulated for plastic. Or you can use a paint and primer in one, such as the exterior Behr Ultra.

Before painting, the polywood needs to be thoroughly cleaned and dry. Be sure to clean it with a degreaser such as isopropyl alcohol or brush it with hot soapy water, then wipe down with a wet sponge, Allow it to air dry completely before painting.

Can You Sand Polywood? 

We get this question a lot. The durable nature of POLYWOOD material means it does not need to be stained, sealed or painted.

But if you do end up with some minor scratches on your furniture, you can sand POLYWOOD lightly without causing any significant damage. 

Note that you’ll lose the warranty if you sand your Polywood furniture.

Is Polywood UV Protected?

Polywood’s ability to withstand the harmful rays of the sun comes from its composition. UV inhibitors are mixed with the wood itself, ensuring that it can withstand years of direct sunlight– more than any other synthetic material on the market. 

The material has a UV protection treatment that is guaranteed to remain effective for seventy-five years. Polywood is resistant to discolouration and fading caused by ultraviolet exposure to sunlight, salt air and humid climates. Many other synthetic materials in outdoor furniture have no such UV protection.

Can You Power/Pressure Wash Polywood?

Polywood doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. You can simply hose it off with water and a mild detergent or environmentally friendly soap to help maintain its original color. 

To assist in removing stubborn stains, you can use a high-pressure power wash; however, it should not exceed 1,500 psi (the equivalent of a car wash). You can achieve similar results with a standard garden hose. 

Can Polywood Stay Outside In Winter?

Polywood furniture can certainly “sit outside in winter” (and summer too). Polywood Outdoor Furniture is made from UV-resistant synthetic resin materials that are designed to last for many years in outdoor environments.

Most Polywood pieces are designed to provide optimal protection from the elements, so they’re still less susceptible to weathering and wear and tear.

Is Polywood Waterproof?

Polywood is 100% waterproof. The reason Polywood products are waterproof is because of the materials that are used to make them.

They are made from recycled polyethene, which is the same plastic found in milk jugs and plastic bottles. Polyethene is very strong – it’s difficult to tear or puncture – and it can resist water.

Is Polywood Weather Resistant?

When the air turns cold, you want your outdoor furniture to stand up to Mother Nature. 

Polywood withstands rain, snow, sun and saltwater better than any natural product on the market. It’s durable enough to last year after year – even against nick and stain-causing elements of nature. 

This furniture is very sturdy and can be easily moved with 1-2 people yet it’s heavy duty and durable enough so you won’t have to worry about your furniture blowing away in strong winds.

With its all weather construction, Polywood can survive hot days or chilling nights allowing you to enjoy your family’s time outdoors

Is Polywood Heavy?

Polywood is both strong and extremely lightweight. At 1/3 the weight of wood, Polywood products are very easy to install. It feels similar to hardwood furniture and chairs average between 15 to 25 kgs, so you won’t have to worry on moderate winds blowing them away.

Is Polywood Eco-Friendly?

One of the reasons Polywood is so green is the use of recycled material. 

The lumber alternative is made of 99% post-consumer recycled material, so recycling Polywood furniture keeps plastic bottles out of landfills. 

A world where Polywoods are used could eliminate 20 million tons of plastic and packaging from the waste stream each year—and that’s pretty awesome!

Does Polywood Get Mould And Mildew?

Polywood is a synthetic patio furniture made from recycled plastic. Unlike wooden patio furniture which requires regular care and upkeep, Polywood can sit outside year-round.

But no matter the type of furniture on your patio, it’s bound to become dirty after going through several seasons of use…especially if you live in a hot, humid climate. 

Mould, mildew and other substances can grow on your Polywood. Fortunately, these stains are easy to clean with a basic cleaning procedure.

Can Polywood Melt?

Polywood has been built from the ground up for outdoor use but please keep in mind it is plastic. Fire and heat will melt it. 

As such, we suggest keeping your Polywood furniture away from candles, fire pits and other heat sources. 

It’s also a good idea to stay away from placing hot cookware, such as a pot or pan (from the stove) on any surface containing polywood or other synthetic woods.

Is Polywood Comfortable?

Well, that depends on the individual. Poly-Wood LLC., has taken comfort into account at every step of the design/build process to make sure you find it not just comfortable to the touch, but also comfortable for the entire family and help in making life more enjoyable and relaxed. 

With weather resistant products, there is no need to worry about your Polywood furniture from drying out over time and losing its original shape and color. 

Does Polywood Stain?

It is not the nature of Polywood to stain. It is a polyethene material, which means it does not absorb anything.

It is made of high-grade polyethene, a material that is completely resistant to staining and the elements in general. You can spill anything on these tables and all you’ll be left with are stains that fade away with soap and water!

Is Polywood Flammable?

Many of our customers are interested in whether polywood is flammable and if it can withstand extreme heat. 

Polywood is not flammable. It is the only synthetic wood product that will not burn. It would take a temperature of 1000–1200 ºF to cause any damage.

This makes Polywood ideal for outdoor applications such as playgrounds, decks and canopies.

Does Polywood Furniture Get Hot?

Polywood doesn’t get HOT…but it does get warmer than other wood alternatives. 

But that’s okay! 

The temperature won’t cause any harm, the material is actually designed to be durable in ALL kinds of weather, whether it’s the heat of summer or a blizzard in winter.

So you can sit back and enjoy the warmth of your Polywood furniture without getting burnt.

Does Polywood Fade?

The truth is that POLYWOOD material is made of UV-inhibiting pigment systems.

The weather-protected finish on POLYWOOD lumber is designed to withstand years of sun, wind and rain. It is expected that the outdoor color may change gradually over time. However, this does not mean a POLYWOOD will fade or crumble anytime soon.

If your POLYWOOD product is in full sun, it will fade slightly. If you want to retain its colour throughout the year, you’ll need to place it in an area that has some shade.

If your items are in a spot that gets several hours of sun, place them where they won’t get direct sunlight.

Does Polywood Go On Sale?

Polywood goes on sale all the time. Like most products, polywood has seasonal sales and sometimes even special sales you can only find advertised online. 

Also, because some vendors want to sell, they are often willing to give you a good discount for buying your indoor-outdoor furniture today.

What Is Similar To Polywood?

Winawood is an alternative to polywood made from recycled material. From the cut offs of lumber yards to pallets, a new organic material is created that incorporates leftover wood. 

Winawood can be used in fencing, decking, outdoor furniture, floors, and even some building constructions.

It can be stained and finished to look exactly like Polywood – or have unique colour and patina finishes. 

Does Polywood Rust?

Polywood is made from recycled plastic, and is designed not to break or rust. This makes it a fantastic option for people who worry about these issues.

Polywood is a durable, maintenance-free material made from recycled plastic and wood fibers that will never rust or decay.


Polywood is a 100% environmentally friendly, natural and safe furniture solution for both indoor and outdoor use. Its high strength lightweight construction provides the furniture with long useful life and the right combination of beauty and functionality to satisfy most people. 

It is resistant to weathering, moisture and humidity as well as UV radiation, which makes it perfect for green building application like the backyard patio.