Once you have found the perfect garden furniture, you want to keep it in the best condition so it will last for a long time. The kind of material that your furniture is made from will determine how you need to care for it.
Wood is a natural product and will produce natural oils. You still need to look after it to keep it in the best condition. The way you do this will come down to regular care, your taste, and things like teak outdoor furniture considerations.
Clean your wood furniture with hot, soapy water or cleaning fluid designed for hardwood. If your furniture needs a good clean, you can gently sand it after cleaning, brush away any remaining dust, and then oil or paint it afterward. Teak furniture can be cleaned with a pressure washer, but you shouldn’t do this on furniture made of eucalyptus, as it could cause damage by lifting the grain of the wood.
When you have cleaned your furniture, you have three options:
- Let your furniture age naturally. As wood ages, it starts to take on a silver patina that can look nice. You can preserve this look with a clear hardwood oil on eucalyptus or teak oil on teak. Apply two coats, and leave the oil for 48 hours to dry.
- Have a complete change. Use wood paint to add some color. Apply two or three coats of paint, and keep it clean afterward.
- Use a stained oil to keep it looking like new.
Treating Wooden Garden Furniture
Apply a protective treatment to your wooden garden furniture every year to keep it looking good.
Clean your furniture with some hot soapy water or some hardwood cleaning fluid. Do this at the beginning of the season, and this is often enough to freshen up the furniture for the summer. Before you start doing this, check the weather. If it’s going to be very hot, very cold, or very wet, this could end up affecting the quality of the finish that you get.
Before you start to treat your wooden furniture, make sure that the surface of the wood is clean. Lightly sand it and brush away any dust.
Apply a coat of oil with a long-haired brush with natural bristles. Paint in the direction of the grain. Make sure to give the oil a good stir to make sure the color goes on evenly. If you need to do a second coat, leave the first one to dry for at least an hour. After 48 hours, you can use your furniture again, and it is protected for another year.
Metal Garden Furniture
Metal garden furniture doesn’t usually need a lot of attention. Usually, all you need to do is clean it with some hot, soapy water and a non-abrasive cloth. You could also use a pressure washer for a deeper clean, but keep it on a low setting to avoid damage. Don’t use the pressure washer on fragile parts of the furniture, like a glass top.
If you have steel furniture, you need to be careful to make sure you don’t scratch the furniture and expose the bare metal underneath. If it does become scratched, treat the steel to make sure it doesn’t rust. If the furniture already has a rust problem, you can remove the rust with some steel wool, and then touch up the area with some exterior metal paint in the same color as the furniture.
Aluminum garden furniture doesn’t rust, but it can oxidize. This changes the color of the metal over time, but it won’t affect how strong the furniture is. In fact, aluminum oxidation actually makes the furniture stronger. If you prefer to keep the original color of the furniture, make sure you clean it on a regular basis. During the winter, store it or cover it to protect it.
A good trick to make your metal furniture last longer is to use car wax to polish it after cleaning. This makes it more resistant to water.
Rattan Garden Furniture
Synthetic rattan is both UV and weather-resistant, which is why it’s popular for garden furniture. It also doesn’t need too much looking after. All you need to do is wash it with soapy water. The frame might need a little more attention. If the frame is made with steel, you will need to care for this in the same way as metal garden furniture to keep it in the best possible condition.