Your wooden garden furniture can lose a lot of its charm over the seasons. Subject to temperature variations and humidity, wood – even rot-proof – loses its color and deforms, thus losing its beautiful warm appearance. But this is not inevitable ! Are you looking for simple and effective methods to protect and maintain your outdoor wooden furniture? The following advice should be adapted according to the type of wood in your garden furniture.
Protect your wooden furniture winter and summer
If you have the possibility, do not hesitate to ranger your garden furniture indoors during the time of year when you are not using it. Stored in the dry, they will spend the winter without suffering from humidity, their worst enemy. Even if these pieces of furniture are made with rot-proof and naturally resistant wood, they do not emerge unscathed from a rainy season. The wood turns gray, the humidity swells the fibres. Certainly your furniture keeps all its solidity, but it loses its beautiful new appearance. Let’s admit that an armchair has a lot less charm when it has gone from warm brown to dull grey…
If it is not possible for you to put your wooden furniture under cover, you can at least bâcher to protect them from the rain. Their maintenance will be easier. Once firmly covered, install your furniture sheltered from the wind and they will pass the winter without problem.
In summer, wooden furniture suffers from soleil ! Yes, it is above all the sunshine that causes their unsightly discoloration… This is why it is better to install them in a shady corner protected from UV rays.
What type of wood is your outdoor furniture?
Garden furniture is designed in different types of resistant wood, native or exotic. They do not all react in the same way to bad weather. Their maintenance follows different methods, respectful of their essence.
Teak, a solid but sensitive exotic wood
Teak is a particularly resistant and durable wood outdoors. Despite everything, this exotic wood requires regular maintenance. Teak garden furniture lasts a long time, but its exterior appearance can change over time, tending towards a dull gray.
Have you just bought a teak garden furniture set?
Save time on the future! On new wood, apply a protective waterproofing oil with a brush. By nourishing the wood, the oil protects it from stains and delays the grayish appearance of teak. Let dry 24 hours before using your furniture. This protection will keep your furniture in their beautiful golden honey color for a long time.
Is your teak furniture already old?
Its maintenance begins with cleaning with water and black soap (or Marseille soap). So wet from time to time, the teak fiber regains vigor. With a hard brush, clean the soapy wood by going well into all corners (with a toothbrush if necessary!). Rinse your furniture with water, preferably with a simple water jet rather than a high-pressure cleaner which risks damaging the wood. Or use it at low pressure (100 bar maximum). Allow to air dry to prevent black spots from appearing. Once the wood is perfectly dry, apply a teak oil (preferably) with a brush. Avoid applying it in direct sunlight or in strong heat. This oil will nourish the wood, protect it and waterproof it. You will renew this treatment as soon as the color begins to fade.
Your furniture is grey, how can you give it back its color?
There are two methods to achieve this. The first is to sand your furniture. By sanding the wood in the direction of the grain, with fine grain sandpaper, you will find the color of the wood hidden under the greyness. Sanding also allows you to remove stubborn stains. Rinse the furniture with a sponge after sanding, to remove dust. To apply the second method, get a product sober or regenerator. The application of the sober once or twice a year allows the wood to regain its golden appearance. After application, leave on for a quarter of an hour and rinse thoroughly. That said, the silver-gray patina that raw teak takes on as it ages is sometimes sought after for its particular charm. If this is your case, just sand off the stains. And let your teak furniture get gray naturally.
Want the best possible protection?
Do you live by the sea? If your furniture is subject to strong sunlight or regular bad weather, opt for a marine varnish. You will apply it on dry furniture, after having cleaned and dusted it. Thus varnished, their honey color will resist the vagaries of the weather for longer.
Pine, a soft wood to be protected
Untreated pine or fir is vulnerable to moisture. Outdoor pine furniture is usually autoclave treated (in-depth treatment against biological attacks). But that does not exempt you from regular maintenance. Especially if you want to avoid it taking on a grey-green tint – which takes away a good part of its natural charm…
Is your pine living room brand new?
Don’t delay: as soon as you buy your outdoor furniture, protect it. To do this, apply a stain to your pine furniture with a brush, respecting the direction of the fibers. This product has the merit of providing the pine with double protection (fungicide and insecticide) and preventing it from turning grey. Not content to embellish the wood, the stain eliminates humidity. It turns out to be much more effective than varnish, which tends to crack and yellow over time.
Your pine furniture is old and a little dull…
Nothing more normal ; untreated, pine changes color as it ages, like teak. This does not call into question its qualities and its solidity, but aesthetically it is sad. To remedy this, nothing beats an annual maintenance.
The pine must be covered regularly with a product protective, which can be a wood oil, a layer of stain, a varnish or a micro-porous paint. But before, a cleaning complete is required. Soapy water and a stiff brush, and you’re armed for the big spring cleaning! Rinse with water (not too much water anyway) and dry with a cloth. When the pine is very dry, take the time to sand to remove stains and damaged areas. After removing the dust by careful polishing, it’s time to apply the coat of stain or protective product of your choice.
To restore a new shine to a very gray piece of furniture, you can use a sober. Apply the product with a brush to restore the original color. Please note that the sober can only be applied to raw wood, not varnished or treated.
Wicker and rattan, elegant but fragile woods
Natural wicker and rattan need very regular cleaning. A dusting each season will do them the greatest good. And don’t forget to feed the wood as needed.
Are your rattan furniture new?
On new wood, you can apply linseed oil. Your furniture will be nourished and protected, ready to face external aggressions. After applying the oil with a brush, pass a soft cloth to polish and let your furniture dry in the shade.
For your antique furniture, regular maintenance…
Have you noticed that rattan furniture tends to collect dust? Consider performing a dusting evenly with a damp cloth. Then let your furniture air dry. If necessary, use your vacuum cleaner. When the rattan is stain, clean it with soapy water and a stiff brush. Then rinse with water, but taking care not to soak the wood. The most stubborn stains can be removed with a sponge soaked in soda crystals. Once the grime is off, just rinse and let dry in the shade. On clean, dry furniture, apply a huile de lin that you can polish with a soft cloth. Linseed oil, supreme for deeply nourishing wicker or rattan, brings an elegant patina to your furniture. Once the wood has been nourished, let your furniture dry for a few days outdoors, away from the sun.
Do you want to paint your old rattan chairs?
It’s a good idea, a coat of paint will provide additional protection, in addition to a nice color. Just be sure to use spray paint rather than a brush. And if it is a question of repainting an already colored armchair, it would be better to apply a new coat over the old one. Wicker and rattan are too fragile to withstand stripping.
Acacia and eucalyptus, easy to maintain
These exotic woods, as resistant as teak, require very little maintenance. A wipe with a dry cloth every day is enough. No cleaning product needed. In case of dirt, wash the wood with a brush and soapy water. And if a stain is encrusted, a light sanding overcomes it. This type of gasoline is obviously appreciable outdoors.
For all wood, use natural products
Clean your outdoor furniture with black soap or Marseille soap. Stubborn stains can be removed by sanding, but sometimes also with baking soda, Terre de Sommières or white vinegar. It’s up to you to try, depending on the nature of the stain.
All woods like to be waxed. A good natural wax nourishes the wood and keeps it looking new. For this, apply the wax once a year with a soft cloth (especially not in spray or aerosol). Choose a matt colorless beeswax and apply it in the direction of the grain of the wood. Nothing beats keeping your outdoor furniture warm in its natural color.