Wooden furniture is a nice addition to any patio or garden. You can lounge comfortably, put your feet up and relax after a hard day’s work and just enjoy the calm and beauty of nature around you, while sitting on your favorite wooden chair or bench.
Wood is a natural product, and although wooden outdoor furniture is treated, it can still be affected by moisture and temperature changes as well as by humidity.
Proper care and maintenance is needed to provide wooden outdoor furniture with a longer life span, under different conditions.
- Cover your wooden outdoor furniture with a waterproof furniture cover to keep it dry when the rains pour.
- Avoid using water repellents that had a high oil percentage for wooden outdoor furniture. These type of products cause air particles to stick to the wood.
- Linseed oils as well as other natural oils are not recommended to be applied to wooden outdoor furniture as they promote the growth of mildew fungi that will destroy the surface of the wood.
- Wash the outdoor wooden furniture with a mild detergent and a scrub brush twice a year.
- Do not varnish the top of screw fittings to make it readily accessible when you need to tighten the screws.
- If you placed your wood furniture close to the pool or a spa, give it a hose down once a week to remove traces of chlorine which can affect the wood’s finish.
- Avoid placing the legs of wood furniture directly over the grass as ground wetness and moisture can seep through the legs and promote decay. Pace your wooden furniture on a flat, concrete surface as much as possible. If this cannot be achieved, soak the chair legs in wood preservative for several hours to provide more protection to the wood.
- Clean up and wipe all food and liquid spills immediately. Leaving spills to dry may leave a sticky film on the wood surface and eventually damage the wood finish.
Here are some basic cleaning tips for some of the wood used in outdoor wooden furniture:
- White Cedar. Clean with a very weak solution of water and bleach. You can also use soap and water to clean white cedar. You can preserve the wood by applying a water-based or transparent wood stain every year.
- Roble. To keep its natural golden hue, apply teak oil, marine oil or boiled linseed oil every six months. Use a brush to clean the furniture and rinse with plain water.
- Teak. Clean teak furniture with mild soap and water or use a cleaning product specially made to clean teak. Teak can turn silvery gray without preservative. If you want to maintain its original color, apply a coat of high-grade teak oil. Do this once or two times a year.
- Jarrah. It is naturally reddish brown or salmon pink in color. You do not need oil or wood strain if you have wooden furniture made from Jarrah. You can still maintain its natural color with the application of a finish specifically made for Jarrah three times a year. Scrub with very mild detergent and rinse with water to clean
- Pine. Treated pine can be painted, sealed or stained but requires not preservative. Pine outdoor furniture should be store inside during the winter months. Clean treated pine with mild detergent and water while mildew can be removed with mildew remover formulated for bathroom use.
- Redwood. It needs annual protection with the application of an oil-based stain that has preserver and water-sealer included. Redwood furniture can be cleaned with water and wiped with a damp cloth. Mildew build up can be removed with equal parts of bleach and warm water and a scrub brush. Allow the furniture to thoroughly dry before lightly sanding the mildew affected area and reapplying stain.
Follow the proper care and maintenance steps enumerated above and you can enjoy using your outdoor wooden furniture for decades.