Whether you’re planning a big summer party, some al fresco dining or you just want somewhere to sit with a good book and a cuppa, a quality furniture set can make all the difference to your garden. It doesn’t take long to maintain your garden furniture, and our handy how-to guide will walk you through it. With just a little bit of care, your outdoor furniture will look great year after year.
Hardwood furniture (e.g. eucalyptus and teak) is incredibly easy to look after because it contains natural oils that help protect it from varying weather conditions. This weather resistance means you can leave your furniture out all year long, just wash it with mild soapy water once a year to remove the build-up of pollen, sap or mildew.
Top tip: Try to keep the feet of your furniture off the floor and the furniture tilted when not in use to prevent rotting.
- Soapy water
- Cloths (one for washing, applying the oil and drying)
- Brush (to get into the grains of the wood)
Softwood furniture (e.g. pine) needs cleaning regularly with a specialist wood-cleaning solution before being painted or treated with wood stain to preserve it for the next year. Try to do this once a year or as and when required. When you’re applying a preservative, take particular care in areas that collect water, horizontal surfaces and any areas that will come into contact with damp surfaces (e.g. soil or grass).
- Soapy water
- Cloth for drying
- Pressure washer (for a super speedy finish)
- Sandpaper (to prepare the furniture surface)
- Wood paint, stain or oil
Plastic garden furniture
For minimal maintenance, there’s nothing better than plastic garden furniture (which includes rattan-effect styles). All you’ll need to do is use warm, soapy water to wash it regularly – especially if you’ve got light-coloured furniture.
Top tip: Try to store this furniture in a shed or garage if possible as it can become brittle if it’s exposed to the sun and harsh weather conditions for long periods of time.
Metal garden furniture
It’s important to clean metal furniture, which is why you’ll need to frequently give it a good wash with soapy water before drying it down completely. 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) and remove with a wire brush or steel wool. Then use a clean cloth to ensure that all the rust particles have been removed.
You may also need to oil the fixings and joints to keep folding furniture moving freely. And try to repaint the furniture every few years to keep it well protected from all the elements.
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 furniture covers come in very useful, helping to keep out most of the harsh winter weather.
And Relax …
Once your furniture is clean and sparkly and looking like new again it’s the perfect time to get your feet up and relax. Make the most of the longer evenings and enjoy your outdoor space.
Something new for 2018?
If your garden furniture really has had its day or you just fancy a new look for 2018, we’ve got a fantastic range to choose from in styles to suit any taste and any budget.