How To Maintain And Care For Your Wooden Patio Furniture

September 02, 2017

How To Maintain And Care For Your Wooden Patio Furniture

So you finally went ahead and bought that expensive wooden patio lounge set you’ve been eyeing on since last year. It’s gorgeous, it’s been getting a lot of compliments from your guests, it’s the perfect addition to your dull, boring and lifeless patio but most importantly, you’ve invested in a high-quality type of furniture. Now you’re wondering, “How do I make sure my beautiful wooden furniture will last for years?”

For hardwood patio furniture, while it can withstand the wear and tear of Mother nature, it can still degrade over time so extending its life by keeping it away from the extremes during winter and protecting it from moisture will help it prolong its aesthetic. Read on to learn how to maintain and care for your wooden patio furniture to make sure your investment won’t be a waste. Listed below are the different types of wood often used for outdoors. Know the steps to take in caring for each type of wood.

Caring for Teak Patio Furniture

Teak is one of the most popular materials for outdoor furniture. It’s gorgeous, elegant and timeless making it a must-buy for many homeowners. Most people who own teak furniture tend to pass down their pieces to the next generation. This is proof of how teak can last for years with proper care.

Know that teak can maintain its natural honey color but over time it turns into a silvery gray color due to exposure to the sun. Some people love the weathered look that some teak furniture manufacturers sell with pre-weathered finishes. Others prefer to seal their teak patio bench and tables to maintain its golden brown color.

To maintain its natural color, use a sealant rather than teak oil. Teak oil isn’t really oil from teak but is instead linseed oil which doesn’t do a very good job of maintaining the color of the wood. Clean your teak furniture by brushing it gently with soapy water, letting it completely dry before applying the sealant. Sealants are typically applied once or twice a year to maintain the wood's natural honey color.

Caring for Ipe Wood

Ipe is a type of hardwood native to some Latin American countries. It’s surely fitting for being a type of hardwood because it literally is tough. Ipe wood is known for bending and breaking nails. In fact, during the construction of the Panama Canal, its trees have remained standing even after being savaged by the floods.

Ipe is mostly used for decking and is also being used as a material for furniture. However, ipe trees grow slowly and it is cultivated rather than being extracted from forests. If you ever decide to buy ipe for your deck or as a patio furniture, look for legitimate suppliers that certify the lumber used were from trees grown in cultivation.

Like teak wood, ipe turns into a silvery gray finish over time and can also be cleaned and sealed the same way as teak. It produces its own natural oils that make it resistant to insects, mildew and also rot the same way like teak.

Caring for Shorea

Shorea is another type of hardwood that is finding its way as outdoor furniture and shares much of the same characteristics as teak and ipe producing its own natural oils making it insect and water resistant. It can be found in Southeast Asian countries like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Shorea is critically endangered and regulations are being established which makes the wood expensive.

Light dusting and wiping with cloth can keep your shorea furniture clean. It also turns into a silvery gray color and can be maintained using a sealant.

How to care for over-weathered hardwood patio furniture

If your wooden patio furniture has already turned into silver with cracks and splintering, you’ll need to do more. You may need to sand and refinish your furniture and this is no easy task.

It will need to be cleaned with a power washer to get rid of any splinters and smoothen out cracks and grooves. It also needed to be sanded and then sealed with teak oil. Be aware that this may not be able to return the wooden furniture to its original state. Furthermore, it is quite difficult to restore weathered wooden furniture and may need the expertise of a professional carpenter.

Safety Precautions

  • Know where you’ll be placing your wooden furniture. Will you be placing it in a shaded area? Near a pool? Will you be storing it during the summer season?
  • Consider the surface you’ll be placing it on. If you plan on putting it in moist grassy lawns, know that moisture can create an environment for mold and mildew. Use instead a synthetic resin furniture and save your wooden patio furniture for decked floors.
  • Remove stains as soon as you see it. Coasters will help prevent water or liquid marks. Also, try to purchase furniture covers if you know you’re going to be having a party. 
  • While hardwood furniture is water-resistant, it isn’t completely waterproof and is still susceptible to damage from moisture. Try to cover it with waterproof materials if you plan to use it near a pool. 
  • Oil, varnish, and water sealants are typically not recommended for use. Look for sealants that are specially made for hardwood furniture. Ask your local depots for brands that are safe for cleaning and maintaining hardwoods. Remember that hardwood requires different care than softwoods. 
While it’s tempting to show off your expensive outdoor glider or swing bed, doing so might subject it to unwanted elements. In order to extend the life of your wooden patio furniture, take the necessary steps to care for it. Store it in a dry place when winter comes, cover it with zipper bags when not in use, use special sealants and always check for molds, mildew, cracks, stains or splinters so you can remedy it right away and keep it in tip-top shape for a very long time.

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