Knowing how to care for your garden furniture all year round is essential to keeping it looking its best.
If you have a patio, decking or terrace outside your home, there's a good chance that you have some garden furniture. Although it always looks great when you first buy it, after a few years of being exposed to the elements, it can start to look tired and worn.
Here are some helpful tips to make sure your garden furnishings look great both in winter and summer by caring for it properly and storing it appropriately.
Summer Garden Furniture Care
If you have wooden or metal outdoor furniture, it's important to protect it from exposure to bright sunlight and very warm temperatures. Although both materials look great, keeping them dry and clean during the summer and protected from excessive sunlight is vital. Although the majority of outdoor furniture items have been specially designed to be weather-resistant, putting the cushions away in a storage box when not being used will help to protect them from damage.
If your outdoor cushions become wet – perhaps from sweat, rain, or even if the children decide to sit on them after playing in the paddling pool – it's important to make sure that they have dried out thoroughly before storing them away to guard against mildew and mould.
Also during the summer months, you should make sure that twigs and leaves are brushed off table tops and seats on a regular basis to prevent staining, and occasionally, you should spray your furniture down with a hose and brush any grimy surfaces clean.
Preparing For Winter Storage
To protect outdoor furniture and ensure that it enjoys a long lifespan, it's important to keep it under cover during the winter months when it is not being used. Some outdoor furniture, for example if it is made from wicker, unprotected wood or metal, should be kept in a garage or shed out of the inclement weather conditions.
Other furniture, such as rattan tables and chairs, are resistant to poor weather, however to keep them looking their best and to preserve their lifespan, they should still be covered with a proper furniture cover during the colder months of the year. This will keep them safe from the wind, rain and snow and ensure that they look just as good when spring comes back around again.
If you are putting your outdoor furniture in a shed during the winter season, you should ensure that you have repaired any damage and cleaned it thoroughly before you store it away.
Caring For Metal Furniture
Metal chairs and tables should be washed down with detergent and water, scrubbed with a brush and then rinsed with a garden hose before storing away for the winter. Inspect its surfaces for oxidation and rust, and treat any affected areas with a primer which can neutralise rust before smoothing it with steel wool and then spray on a paint in a colour which closely matches its finish. Finally, apply a coat of protective car wax and then buff.
Caring For Wicker Items
If you have wicker outdoor furnishings, you should brush them down with a solution of bleach and water as this will remove any mould or mildew and then rinse off with a fine water spray and allow to dry. If needed, you can then spray paint it back to a clean finish and add a moisture repellent to the legs and feet. Store on blocks in a shed so that its feet are off the ground.
Wooden Furnishings Care Plan
If you had wooden furniture that is made from a material other than cedar or teak, you can wash it with a bleach and water solution and then rinse and allow to thoroughly dry. Restore its finish and then apply a water repellent and a coat of wax to protect it.
If your furniture is made of cedar or teak, apply a solution of bleach and allow to act for a couple of days. Sand down the surfaces, apply China wood oil and then it is fine to leave outdoors in all weathers.
Plastic Furniture Storage
Wash down plastic items using soap and water and then rinse off. Plastic chairs and tables should be stored in a dry place where the temperature will not go below freezing.
If you follow this advice, your furniture will look wonderful when the spring comes around.
Rattan Direct wrote this post for Spring Cleaning Week, visit their website for more advice on looking after homeware, or to buy some quality rattan furniture for both indoor and outdoor spaces.
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