3 Care Tips to Know When Keeping Wooden Furniture Outside

Outdoor furniture adds a lot to the home environment. Furniture of good quality will withstand exposure to different kinds of weather, but at the same time, if you want it to maintain its shine then you will have to give it a bit of attention and give it regular preventive maintenance. Teak, white oak, cedar, or even acacia woods are rot resistant and also durable enough to withstand rough climate conditions, but in order for the furniture to have a long life it still require the right care. The effort you put into maintain your outdoor furniture will pay off in the end, as you will be able to enjoy it for longer if you put in the work to increase its lifespan.

Know the wood!

Knowing what kind of wood you’re dealing with can be of great help, as you will know exactly what kind of care it requires. Wood can be either hardwood or softwood. While softwood is more budget-friendly and might require less care overall (applying a coat of paint each season should do the trick), hardwood is a better investment in the long run. Pieces made from teak, ipe, or shorea, will age better. Left alone, the natural color will weather to a silver grey over the span of 6 to 12 months (depending on the amount of exposure and the type of climate), and those imperfection will enrich the wood’s natural beauty.

Shorea is a tropical hardwood, with a high oil content, which allows the wood furniture to resist to water, thus making the wood less likely to rot. It can withstand all kinds of weather and is resistant to any invasive insects. The wood will eventually experience surface roughness for approximately a year after it gets exposed outdoors, however, the weathering process will stabilize. Teak shares similar properties to shorea, while ipe, a South American hardwood, is supposedly 3 times as hard as teak.

Know the basics!

Outdoor furniture should be cleaned regularly, at least twice per year, or more if necessary. You should pay attention to the manufacturer’s instruction, as each type of wood requires different attention. If you’re not using the furniture for more than a few days then it should be covered in order to offer it some protection. In order to make the cleaning process less complicated, you should get rid of bird droppings as soon as possible, and in case it rains cover it or dry it. Speaking of rain, remember to take off any caps on the furniture stored outdoors in order to make sure that water won’t pool in them.

There are also basics you should be aware of when it comes to the cleaning part itself. You should be wary of harsh chemicals, and start with the softest cleaning options and then work your way up to stronger stuff as you see fit. Avoid using a power washer, and try to use a soft-bristled brush, a paint brush, or a vacuum attachment in order to remove any loose dirt. Try to test the cleaning solution on a small spot before you use it, because you don’t want to damage things permanently if the solution turns out to be not that great.

Know how to clean it!

Overall, wood needs linseed or hardwood oil finish in order to preserve its color. Stained or painted wood needs new coats of stain or of paint once every year or two. In case you’re taking care of redwood, you can use special sealers, as many manufacturers recommend regular applications in order to protect the wood. A good quality sealer will help preserve the wood and also increase its looks and help it shed dirt and water more effectively, which in turn makes it easier to clean.

When it comes to cleaning specific types of wood, each of them needs different kinds of care. Shorea is not that difficult to clean, needing just some a mixture of water and mild detergent. If you want to return it to its old glory and get it to its original brown color, shorea needs a high-quality hardwood oil or teak oil every season. Ipe needs hardwood oil or teak oil applied about once every 3 months in order to maintain its looks, and it might also needs light sanding in order to take care of stains before using the oil. Similarly, teak also needs teak oil applied routinely, especially in arid or dry climates. Teak oil also prevents staining from drink or food spills.

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