Wooden outdoor furniture care is a must if you want your pieces to have a long life time. Owning anything that you keep outdoors made of wood will sooner or later need maintenance from time to time. A lot people assume if they purchase furniture that is not made out of some kind of wood, they will never have to worry about any sort of up keep. The truth is no matter where you live all patio furniture will eventually experience some fading, drying, cracking or even mold if live where is there is heavy rain or near the coastlines. The weather conditions that you need to know about for proper wooden outdoor furniture care are:
- Rain- Leaving furniture out in constant rain is never a good idea. Needless to say if you do not have a canopy or roof , it is important to put some kinda of cover over your furniture when you know it will rain for an extended period of time.
- Sun/Heat- The sun is definitely the most harsh. It doesn’t just simply dry out the wood and cause it to splinter and crack but it also beams down UV rays that will fade any kind of stain or fabrics.
- Dew- If you live near a coast or somewhere there is high humidity you’ll most likely have some morning dew. That’s the equivalent of hosing down your furniture every night.
- Snow/Freeze -We all know that water expends when it freezes. Therefore if you do not have a good seal, any moisture that gets in to the wood will definitely result in cracks and additional structural damage.
Now that we talked about what can cause the damage, it is time to find the most efficient way for outdoor wooden furniture care. In reality nothing protects better than a roof. Most damage occurs from the elements of the weather not from the temperature. Having coverage will ensure the best protection that any urethane, varnish or oil can provide. Another efficient way is paint. You must have seen quite a few colorful Adirondack chairs in peoples front lawn before, since that is the easiest and most common form of protection. Although if you are anything like me, you will never want to paint your wood. I hate to see beautiful grain patterns and natural colors get hid by paint, even if the wood is fairly inexpensive and common. I believe the wood should always be shown off. If you are interested flashy colors than there is no real reason to own real wooden chairs or tables.
For hardwoods like Teak, Oak and Rosewood etc; I like to use simple oils. Whether its Teak Oil, Tung Oil, Boiled Linseed Oil or perhaps a custom mixture of any, I find using an oil finish is far more adequate. Not just because of the easy application but also because when it is time for a new coat there is no stripping and sanding of old varnish. Outdoor wooden furniture care is way more simple even though you will have to wipe on more frequently, I still prefer applying a new coat every other month opposed to big complicated and time taking job every other year. Plus I feel the wood stays at a much more natural state without any cover stains. Especially when you are are working with reclaimed Wine & Whiskey barrels. The rule of thumb I found out, it is time for a new coat of oil as soon as the water drops stop beading up on the wood’s surface.
If you choose to go with a varnish finish I would recommend a Marine Varnish. There are plenty of top coats sold in local home improvement stores that advertise years of protection but I have come across products that have been laughable. Peeling, yellowing and simply not doing their job have been an issue. However a strong Marine Varnish has proved to be up for the task. Most Spar Urethane that are rated for boats in heavy sun and salt water should hold up great on you furniture. Although they can be expensive they are worth the cost and will help a lot with outdoor wooden furniture care.
Next we are going to discuss staining. I have stained enough furniture where I feel like I have tried them all, however one company’s product has stood out and I have been using them with no problems for years. It is called Sikkens. With over 200 years in business (you read correct 200 years) they have proven to be a very high quality product with excellent results. I have never seen a stain retains its color as well as theirs. The beauty of the product is that it need no top coat. You need to apply three coats which also results in a Satin finish and when it is time for a new coat a couple years down the line all you have to do is simply apply another set of coats. Again no sanding, stripping or any hard work.
Whether you choose to go with my hints and tips there is no better judge for your furniture than you are. I hope this blog has been a good insight and will help you make a decision when it come to outdoor wooden furniture care.
Thank you for stopping by The Hungarian Workshop and reading my blog about Outdoor Wooden Furniture care. Please come by and visit often and see what new items we have to offer.
-Balazs G. Moldovan