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How to Maintain Your Wooden Outdoor Furniture

How to Maintain Your Wooden Outdoor Furniture

Our Go Configure service technicians will deliver and assemble, where necessary, your wooden outdoor furniture. They will ensure that it is set up to your complete satisfaction, ready for your enjoyment. However, the great outdoors can be a tough environment, and like any wooden product patio furniture ages and wears. You can lengthen the life of your furniture by undertaking simple cleaning and maintenance tasks.

It will depend on the finishing treatment on your particular set of outdoor furniture, but it may be advisable to stain and seal your furniture before you use it for the first time. Even if your set comes with a quality stained finish, you should still re-stain it every couple of years to keep it in peak condition. The exact frequency will depend on the harshness of your local climate.

1. Clean Your Furniture with a Timber Clean and Preparation Product

You should clean your garden furniture on a regular basis to keep it looking tidy and to reduce the risk of wear or damage from contaminants. A thorough clean is particularly important whenever you decide to stain your set. There is no point applying stain over a dirty surface, with grease, oil, wax or any other type of contaminant. In many ways, cleaning and sealing outdoor furniture is similar to how you work with other outdoor wooden products, such as swings sets, decks, and fences.

If you are re-staining an existing set, you will need to strip any trace of existing paint.

One of the easiest ways of cleaning your timber furniture is to use a dedicated timber clean and preparation product. Each product is different, so make sure that you follow any instructions regarding ratios of cleaner to water.

You will achieve the best results if you do your cleaning in cool or overcast weather, rather in bright sunlight.

For an outstanding result, we suggest you leave the furniture to dry after you have cleaned it, which raises the grain of the wood. You can then lightly sand the furniture with a palm sander.

2. Avoid Using a Pressure Washer on Wooden Outdoor Furniture

You may be tempted to use a pressure washer to speed up your cleaning and avoid the expense of timber cleaning products. There is a real danger, however, that the pressure washer will be too powerful for your furniture and damage the wood.

3. Remove any Mold from Your Furniture

Once you have had your outdoor furniture for awhile, you may notice patches of mold on it. You can remove this with a specialist mold remover and a stiff brush. Once you have removed the mold, make sure that you rinse the furniture and let it dry.

4. Select an Appropriate Stain for Your Furniture

There are many types of stain on the market. Select the color that you prefer, making sure that the stain is rated as suitable for use on outdoor furniture. Stir the stain can well, and if you need to use more than one can it is a good idea to mix them together to ensure that they match. We believe that you should stain your outdoor furniture every year or two if you want to keep it in pristine condition.

In most situations you should apply two coats of stain, so allow for this when you calculate the quantity of stain that you need to buy.

5. Apply Stain According to the Product’s Instructions

Apply your stain carefully. There will be variations between brands, so make sure that you read your stain’s instructions. Use even, smooth strokes in the same direction, and take particular care to cover the end grain which can soak up the stain.

6. Apply a Second Coat While the First is Still Wet

You will achieve best results if you apply a second coat of stain within 15 minutes of applying the first coat. If you are unable to do this, the alternative is to wait at least 24 hours until the first coat is completely dry.

7. Avoid Staining Over Any Screw Fittings

Wood naturally shrinks and expands, depending on the weather conditions. Therefore it is likely that you will at times have to tighten any screw fittings on your furniture. You will find this much easier to do if you haven’t varnished over these fittings.

8. Avoid Standing Wood Legs Directly on Grass if Possible

It is preferable to position your furniture on a dry hard surface. If your furniture sits on damp grass, there is a danger that moisture will rot the legs, particularly if they are constructed from untreated timber. If your garden design means that you need to stand your furniture directly on grass, then take extra care sealing the bottoms of the legs, preferably giving them several extra coats of stain.

9. Regularly Wipe Your Tables and Chairs

One way you can add to the life of your garden furniture is to regularly wipe away any stains or spillage. Every week or two you should use a cloth with soapy wood cleaner to wipe down each item, and for best results dry with a fresh cloth.  If there are any obvious spills on your furniture clean them up as soon as possible, otherwise you are risking other air-borne pollutants clinging to the spillage, adding to the stain.

10. Clean Fabric Cushion Covers in Your Washing Machine on a Gentle Cycle

It is a good idea to give your fabric cushion covers a wash whenever they appear stained or soiled. If the covers are fabric, you should be able to stick them in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. If they are in a particularly bad state, it may be better to take them to be dry cleaned.

11. Spot Clean Acrylic Cushions

If your cushion covers are acrylic your best option is usually to remove them from the furniture and spot clean with everyday detergent. If they have mildew, you may need to clean with a specialist cleaner, or a combination of bleach, detergent, and water. You may need to test for the colorfastness of the fabric first, though.

12. Treat Your Hammock Carefully

If you leave your hammock out in the environment all year round it is likely to suffer wear from extreme conditions. Your hammock will last longer if you bring it inside during the part of the year when you are not using it. Nylon and hemp hammocks will have a longer lifespan than the cotton variety. If you need to wash your hammock, soak it in a bath or sink filled with soapy water. You should then rinse it and let it dry in the sun.


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  • Taylor Bishop
    January 25, 2018, 3:35 pm REPLY

    Thanks for these maintenance tips for outdoor wooden furniture. I actually didn’t know that you should stain this furniture every year or so. I’m kind of interested to learn if there are specific circumstances where you would need to do this more often.

  • Kenneth Gladman
    April 9, 2018, 8:43 pm REPLY

    I appreciate the reminder that pressure washers could damage wood outdoor furniture. I use this often on the glass table we have and it works well. Next time I will make sure and avoid this on the wood chairs.

  • Andy Everett
    May 23, 2018, 12:45 pm REPLY

    Thanks for sharing such an amazing post. The tips you have mentioned in the article are awesome and very helpful. I really like one of your tips avoid using a pressure washer on wooden outdoor furniture.

  • siva Kumar
    November 8, 2018, 7:22 am REPLY

    Very useful tips to maintain our wooden furniture shape and glow even after any rust it gets. Like not other blogs this blog gives much deep information. Thanks for this blog.

  • siva Kumar
    November 8, 2018, 7:22 am REPLY

    Very useful tips to maintain our wooden furniture shape and glow even after any rust it gets. Like not other blogs this blog gives much deep information. Thanks for this blog.

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