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 since last year. It's gorgeous, getting a lot of compliments from your guests, and the perfect addition to your dull, boring, and lifeless patio. 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, extending its life by keeping it away from the extremes during winter and protecting it from moisture prolong its aesthetic.
Read on to learn how to maintain and care for your wooden patio furniture to ensure 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 every kind of wood.
Caring for Teak Patio Furniture
Teak is a well-loved material for outdoor furniture. It's impressive, elegant, and timeless, a must-buy for numerous homeowners. Furniture made of teak is heirloom pieces, a stark proof of its quality and durability.
It can sustain its natural honey color but eventually turns into a fine silver-gray due to sun exposure. Some love the weathered look that 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 keep its natural color, use a sealant rather than teak oil. It is linseed oil that fails to sustain its original color. Clean your teak furniture by brushing it gently with soapy water, let it completely dry before applying the sealant. Apply once or twice a year to preserve the wood's natural honey color.
Caring for Ipe Wood
Ipe is a type of hardwood native to some Latin American countries. It's undoubtedly a hardwood because it is tough. Ipe wood is known for bending and breaking nails. In fact, during the Panama Canal construction, its trees remained standing after being savaged by the floods.
Ipe is mostly used for decking and as a furniture material. Its growth is slow, and it's cultivated rather than extracted from the forests. If you decide to buy ipe furniture for your deck, look for legitimate suppliers that certify lumber is from trees grown in cultivation.
Like teak, ipe turns into a silver-gray over time and can also be cleaned and sealed the same way. It produces natural oils that make it resistant to insects, mildew, and rot the same way as teak.
Caring for Shorea
Shorea is another type of hardwood that has found its way as outdoor furniture and shares the same characteristics as teak and ipe. It produces natural oils, making it insects and water-resistant. It's abundant in Southeast Asian countries like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Shorea is critically endangered and regulated by local laws, which makes it expensive.
A light dusting and wiping with a cloth can keep your shorea furniture clean. It also turns into a silver-gray color with constant outdoor exposure, and a sealant can help preserve it.
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 remove 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 challenging to restore weathered wood furniture and may need a professional carpenter's expertise.
- Know where you'll be placing your wooden furniture. Will you be putting 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 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 wood furniture is water-resistant, it isn't completely waterproof and is still susceptible to moisture damage. 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 made explicitly for hardwood furniture. Ask your local depots for brands that are safe for cleaning and maintaining hardwoods. Remember that it requires different care than softwood.
While it's tempting to show off your expensive outdoor glider or swing bed, doing so might subject it to harsh elements. To extend the life of your wooden patio furniture, take the necessary steps to care for it. Store in a dry place when winter comes, cover it with zipper bags when not in use, use appropriate sealants, and always check for molds, mildew, cracks, stains, or splinters. Treat right away to keep it in good condition for a long time.
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