How to Care for Garden Furniture
Looking After Garden Furniture
Good-quality wooden furniture is made to stand outside for years without any noticeable deterioration. However, it pays to check it over during early spring to make sure it is in good condition, so you can enjoy the garden as soon as the weather warms up.
Make sure the joints are sound and tighten up any bolts orfixings. Use fine wire wool or an abrasive nylon pad to remove traces of mould growth or tree resin, and then touch up the finish if it is showing signs of wear or looks dry and dowdy.
If oldor paint is starting to flake or split, it may be worth stripping it with a chemical paint remover so you can apply a finishing oil instead (see right). A modern oil finish is ideal for exterior furniture and joinery: it is easy to apply and requires no more than annual maintenance to protect any wood from weathering and to preserve its appearance. Suitable finishes are usually marketed as Danish oil or teak oil.
If your furniture is already oiled, treat all surfaces with one coat of fresh oil and wipe off the excess immediately.
Oiling stripped wood
The most efficient way to apply a finishing oil to bare wood is to rub it in with a pad of soft, lint-free rag. Don’t store oily rags: keep them in a sealed tin while the job is in progress, then unfold them and leave them outside to dry before throwing them away.
A brush is a convenient way to spread oil over large surfaces and into carvings or mouldings.
Rub or brush a generous coating of oil into the wood grain. Leave it to soak in for 10 to 15 minutes, then wipe off excess oil with a clean cloth. After about six hours, coat the wood with oil once more. The next day, apply a third and final coat; raise a faint sheen by burnishing with a soft duster.