How to care for your garden furniture

Found the perfect garden furniture? Whether it’s made from wood, rattan or metal, you’ll need to know how to look after it so it’ll do the job (and keep you sitting pretty) for years to come. Here are our tips on keeping your garden set in top knick.

How to care for wood garden furniture

Whether your tables and chairs have been sitting inside for the winter or your bench or sofa set has spent the cold, wet months outdoors, it’s a good idea to spruce things up each spring.

Luckily, cleaning garden furniture is super easy. Tired-looking, wooden furniture can be rejuvenated with hot soapy water and a stiff brush to get rid of algae and lichen. Alternatively, you could launch your attack with a special cleaning fluid if it’s made from a hardwood like acacia or teak.

Some wood can even be pressure-washed clean, but be careful with materials like eucalyptus, which won’t respond well to such tough love.

How to treat wooden garden furniture

It’s a good idea to treat wooden garden furniture once each year to ward off rot and keep it weatherproof.

Some people like to let wood age naturally and take on a silvery patina. If this is you, grab a paintbrush and slap on a coat or two of clear hardwood oil (or teak oil, for teak garden furniture sets) to keep it safe during wet weather.

Alternatively, you might prefer to use a stained oil to keep your looking like new and mimic the colour of the wood when you first bought it.

If you’re someone who prefers a solid colour to a natural look, you could always use some wood paint to transform your garden furniture with a new sophisticated shade.

Whichever method you choose, pick a dry day and start by lightly sanding your furniture all over. Brush off the dust and then brush on your desired treatment, working the paint or oil in, in the direction of the grain. Depending on the product, you may need to leave it to dry and apply a second coat before your furniture is ready to face the music for another year.

How to care for rattan garden furniture

Synthetic rattan doesn’t need huge amounts of care each year. As it’s UV- and weather-resistant, just give it a wipe with soapy water to freshen it up.

If the frame is made from aluminium, it won’t need much TLC either. But if it’s made from anything else, treat it like metal garden furniture to keep it looking fine and dandy.

How to care for metal garden furniture

Just like rattan, metal garden furniture sets are easy to look after. Soapy water and a cloth, or a pressure washer on a low setting, should do the trick.

Aluminium furniture doesn’t rust but it can oxidise and change colour if not cleaned regularly or covered up over winter.

If your steel garden furniture gets scratched up it’s likely to rust. Use some steel wool or a scourer to remove the mess and then dot on some metal paint to protect the exposed area.

How to protect and store your garden set

If space is at a premium, garden furniture made from durable hardwood or metal can be left out over the winter, so long as it’s treated each spring to keep it in good condition.

If you don’t have a shed or garage where you can move your garden set to, you could protect it with a waterproof cover, keep it tilted to help water run off, or raise the base off the ground to prevent rotting. When you unveil it again in spring and give it a dusting off, it should look sparkly and good as new.

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