All About Deck Boxes a.k.a. Outdoor Storage Boxes

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I decided we needed something that could stay outside to hold our spare cushions. So what do we do? We do our research on outdoor storage and figure out the best route for us. 

Outdoor storage containers, also known as deck boxes, are practical storage solutions for any outdoor space. They offer a range of features to meet your specific needs. Look into size, durability, water resistance, locking, as well as style and design.

So, what features do we need to look into? What might we use them for? What care must we take with these deck boxes? Which will make the cut? Read on for the answers.

What is an outdoor storage box and why are they useful?

An outdoor storage box, also known as a deck box, is a container designed to store outdoor items. These items can be anything from gardening tools, pool supplies, and cushions to recreational items, including toys. Made of durable materials such as plastic, wood, metal, or wicker, they can withstand outdoor conditions.

Outdoor storage boxes are useful because they provide a convenient and organized storage solution for outdoor items. They should also protect them from the elements and keep them accessible. They can also hide unsightly items and some double as additional seating or a decorative accent in your outdoor space.

Things to consider

Size is important to consider and most outdoor storage comes in all sizes, no matter what material you choose. Ensure that the deck box is large enough to store all the outdoor items you needed space for before purchasing it.

Locking mechanisms might be important if you are storing things that are worth stealing. If you are storing tools, fuel, or lighting, for instance, look for a deck box with a locking mechanism. If you just want storage for your cushions that’s also convenient, you may not need the lock.

Style and design are important to consider, ensuring the deck box complements your outdoor decor. You wouldn’t want a country-style deck box when your decor is modern or vice versa.

Durability and water resistance are the two factors that are based on the material a deck box is made from. I will go over those as I break down each material. Keep in mind that sunlight and heat can be detrimental not only to the structure of the box but to the things you store inside of it.

What should you focus on for each material?

Resin/Plastic – Look for a deck box made of high-quality resin that is resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling. Popular Mechanics recommends resin as the most popular choice for deck boxes because of its durability and resistance to moisture.

However, the resin will take sun damage after being outside for a long time. And you can’t easily replace most resin materials. Once the damage is done, there’s not much you can do.

Wooden – Wooden deck boxes can be durable and water-resistant if they are made from moisture-resistant wood such as cedar, pine, redwood, or teak. The wood also needs to be snug or else water can seep into the storage area.

Wooden deck boxes may require more maintenance than other materials. You will need to use a water sealant on the box to both protect it from the elements and further protect what you store inside.

The good news is if your wooden deck box gets damaged, you can usually replace the damaged portion with similar materials.

Metal – Metal deck boxes can be durable and water-resistant if they are made from high-quality materials and have appropriate coatings. If you don’t properly maintain them, they can be prone to corrosion and rust.

Aluminum and stainless steel are the go-to choices for durability and water resistance. These materials don’t easily rust.

Metal can be the most secure material for making a deck box, and a lot of these containers have reinforced lids and locking mechanisms.

Wicker – Not going to lie, I didn’t even think about Wicker when I began my research. Wicker is prone to weather damage. If it’s not sealed properly, water can seep in and it can bake in the sun, causing it to be a weaker material (even resin wicker).

However, if it’s coated properly and maybe if it’s used on a deck that has a roof, wicker wouldn’t be so bad. It’s definitely not somewhere I would store expensive tools, because it’s easy to get into despite locking mechanisms. It’s inexpensive and might fit well with the style you’re going for.

Maintenance and care questions

Maintenance depends on the materials they make your deck boxes from. However, I will field some common questions about the cleaning and maintenance of each material.

Should you paint a deck box, even if it’s plastic? Yes. For resin boxes, use a UV-resistant spray or paint to prevent fading and cracking. Treat metal boxes with a rust-resistant coating and keep them in shaded areas to prevent overheating. For wooden boxes, a sealant or stain with UV protection can help prevent fading and cracking. You should always keep wicker boxes in shaded areas and you should treat them with a UV-resistant spray to prevent fading.

Overall, it is important to clean and maintain outdoor storage boxes to ensure their longevity and protect them from sun damage. What should you use for cleaning? Always use the manufacturer’s recommendation first. Next, always use cleaning products based on the materials your outdoor furniture (or deck box) is made of.

Can a deck box stay outside in winter? Yes. This depends on what it’s made from and how you protect it. Better Homes & Gardens has an article in which they asked questions of Megan Hughes, a horticulturist and landscape expert, about deck boxes.

It depends on your climate. In warm-weather states, deck boxes can stay outside year-round, although cover them during inclement weather. “In cold weather states, well-made deck boxes can stay outside during winter,” says Hughes. “But if you have space indoors or undercover, I recommend moving it inside to extend its life.” — Megan Hughes for Better Homes & Gardens


Having an outdoor storage box or deck box can be beneficial. You can store things you’ll need in your outdoor living space conveniently and spare more room inside. You’ll need to decide which size and material you feel is best for your home. This is based on what you need to store, how much space you have, and whether you need it to be secure. I hope this article helps you get started on that!


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"Growing up a country-girl means you enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, and no matter where you go in life, the outdoors is always part of you. I began doing research on things I wanted to do to make my outdoor space my own, no matter where we moved. And that research led me to write this blog to share with you!"