Whether you’re getting ready for some al fresco dining or you’re just wanting somewhere to sit with a good book and a cuppa, outdoor furniture can make all the difference to your garden. It doesn’t take too much time at all to look after and maintain your garden furniture, and our handy how-tos will walk you through how to clean, treat and paint it. We’ll also answer those niggling questions like ‘what kind of paint is best for furniture?’ or ‘what is the best exterior wood paint?’ So, stick with us and with just a little bit of care, your outdoor furniture will look as good as new in no time.

How to restore wooden furniture


Hardwood furniture can be left uncovered throughout winter due to the natural oils in the wood that help protect it. If you opt for the out-in-all-weathers option, then eventually you’ll need our tricks to restoring your wooden furniture back to its best.

  1. Wash with a cloth or brush (depending on how ingrained the dirt is) and mild soapy water once a year to remove the build-up of pollen, sap and mildew
  2. Bring wood back to life by applying some teak, linseed or danish oil with a. Simply rub it into the furniture, following the grain. You can add another coat if needed, just make sure you let the first coat dry completely beforehand.
  3. For a splash of lasting colour, you could alternatively choose to apply a wood furniture stain
  4. Allow to dry following manufacturer’s instructions.

Whichever you go for, always remember to give your wood a good sand down before painting. Use a dry woodcare brush to help remove any excess dust afterwards.

Top tip: Try to keep the feet of your furniture off the floor and the furniture tilted

Choosing an outdoor wood paint

If wood stain isn’t enough of a solid colour for you then you could opt for a paint treatment. When it comes to what kind of paint is best for outdoors, wilko garden colour offers plenty of great options to choose from. Freshen up fence panels, and brighten up your patio furniture with these gorgeous garden paint that are touch dry in just 2 hours.

  1. Will it be the calming beach hut blue or something more dramatic like dark smoke? Choose a look that will suit your space. Dramatic darks will look great in a modern garden, whereas pastels bring to life that country cottage garden style
  2. Colour picked, use an undercoat first to help give extra weather protection to exterior wood and metal. wilko exterior undercoat is more durable than conventional undercoats, making it less prone to cracking and blistering
  3. Make sure the undercoat is fully dry, then you’re ready for your colour.

How to paint wooden garden furniture

Once you’ve cleaned, sanded your furniture and chosen your paint it’s its time to get the paintbrushes out to give the furniture a bit of a refresh.

  1. Stir the can of paint thoroughly
  2. Now, turn the furniture upside down, and brush paint evenly underneath. Try to paint along the grain of the wood
  3. Allow to dry before adding another layer
  4. Remember – when painting wood several thin coats of paint are better than one thick one and the darker the colour the more coats that will be required
  5. Turn the furniture the right way up to repeat the process and allow it to completely dry before use.

How to restore plastic and rattan garden furniture


For minimal maintenance, there’s nothing better than rattan garden furniture including plastic.

  1. All you’ll need to do is use warm, soapy water to wash it regularly
  2. Rinse thoroughly then rub dry with soft cloths
  3. We recommend storing in a shed or outbuilding over winter to avoid any discolouration.

Top tip: Clear car wax is great for protecting your furniture from the sun

How to restore metal garden furniture


From standard bistro sets to metal framed swing seats, it’s important to keep on top of looking after metal furniture as it can start looking tired if you’re not careful.

  1. Give it a good wash with soapy water before drying it down completely
  2. Check for any rust on the metal (this is also important for plastic-coated metal furniture, as the metal could rust if cracks have appeared in the plastic)
  3. Remove any rust with a wire brush or steel wool
  4. Use a clean cloth to ensure that all the rust particles have been removed
  5. Want to give your metal furniture a new lick of paint too? Our recommended colours, our white or black. (Remember to give it an undercoat with our wilko exterior undercoat first!)

Top tip: You may also need to oil the fixings and joints to keep folding furniture moving freely.

Storing your garden furniture

Even though it’s ideal to pack garden furniture away in a shed or garage, it’s not always possible (and no one wants to go through the rigmarole of cleaning their shed or garage out to make space!). That’s when hard-wearing garden furniture covers come in very useful, helping to keep out most of the harsh winter weather.

Got any top tips of your own? We’d love to hear them. Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Shop the full garden range online at wilko.com

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