Mother Nature always wins. So when you make outdoor furniture you have two choices: commit to a regular maintenance schedule or come to terms with the weathered gray look. Personally, I don’t like the weathered look so I generally try to make my furniture look “new” for as long as possible. An easy thing you can do to help the cause is to prevent moisture from entering into the legs. Usually, those legs result in end grain being in direct contact with the ground which is a recipe for rot, decay, and eventual failure.
This simple trick requires nothing more than epoxy and masking tape. West System Epoxy is expensive, but the 1 gallon size with pumps will last you for many years! The masking tape I use is standard blue painter’s tape.
Of course, this isn’t a cure-all for all outdoor furniture but it’s at least one more layer of defense against Mother Nature’s wrath!