Your garden furniture is vulnerable to ageing, weather, rust and dirt, so you need to care for and maintain it to keep it in its best condition and ensure its longevity. Whether your furniture is made from wood, metal, or rattan, this guide will tell you how to look after your furniture so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.
Wooden garden furniture that is made from hardwood like teak, such as Barlow Tyrie’s teak furniture, oak, and eucalyptus contains natural oils which provide a natural protective barrier against decay and weathering. As a result, hardwood furniture does not require a lot of maintenance to keep it in its best condition, and can be kept outside.
Clean your hardwood garden furniture once a year at the beginning of the season in dry weather. Remove dust and debris with a soft brush, wash with soapy water to remove dirt, and lightly sand any weathered areas.
Additionally, when left untreated, hardwood naturally ages and turns a silvery grey patina colour. You can improve the appearance of your wooden furniture and restore its original colour with teak oil once every 3-6 years.
Clean your garden furniture using the process above and then treat the surface with teak oil. Apply at least two coats of the oil with a long-haired brush, following the grain as you apply, and letting the first coat dry before applying the second.
Furniture made from softwood like pine requires more maintenance as it is not as durable as hardwood. To keep softwood garden furniture protected from the elements and ensure its longevity, wash and apply a wood stain or sealant every year to protect from UV rays, dirt, moisture, rot, and preserve colour.
Firstly, brush down furniture to remove dirt, dust, and debris and wipe clean with hot soapy water to remove marks and stains before rinsing. When the wood is dry, use fine-grain sandpaper to smooth over rough or weathered sections. Then apply the wood stain or sealant using a wide soft-bristle brush, following the grain, and allow to dry.
Metal garden furniture, like the Alexander Rose Portofino range, is typically made from steel, iron, or aluminium. Metal furniture should be cleaned and washed with warm soapy water and a non-abrasive cloth or sponge before rinsing and drying.
Iron and steel are susceptible to rust, and although most metal furniture will come with a protective coating to prevent rusting, you need to check carefully for rust when cleaning. Check all over your garden furniture for peeling, scratches, chips, and cracks in the coating that expose the bare metal underneath as this is where rust will appear.
If rust has not set in yet, cover the bare metal with paint to maintain the protective barrier. If rust has already set in, remove areas of rust gently with fine grit sandpaper or steel wool and touch up with a metal paint that matches the exterior covering.
Aluminium furniture, like Barlow Tyrie's Aura and Alexander Rose's Beach Lounge ranges, does not rust but it will oxidise and change colour over time. To maintain the original colour and reduce damage to the surface, clean it regularly with soapy water and keep it fully covered in winter to protect it from the elements.
Natural rattan needs more regular care than synthetic rattan garden furniture and is not resistant to weather, UV, and rot so should be kept indoors when not in use.
Maintain natural rattan furniture by cleaning loose dirt and dust every few weeks with a brush or vacuum cleaner. Then wash it by creating bubbles in a bowl with washing up liquid and warm water and dipping the cloth into the bubbles only, being careful not to soak the rattan with water as this can damage it. Use a toothbrush to clean the smaller crevices, again only using the bubbles and suds.
Leave the natural rattan to dry before restoring and treating the rattan with linseed oil. Natural rattan that’s not treated can weather and rot, so apply linseed oil with a brush or dry cloth until the rattan cannot absorb any more oil and allow to dry.
Synthetic, modern rattan garden furniture, such as Westminster Valencia's garden furniture, on the other hand, is made from such materials as PVC or PE and is weather, UV, and rot resistant, so can be kept outside all year but kept covered to maintain condition.
Synthetic rattan, such as our Bramblecrest Monterey and Bramblecrest Oakridge furniture ranges, does not require that same levels of maintenance as natural rattan furniture and is easy to maintain. Clean synthetic rattan regularly by brushing with a soft brush or vacuuming away loose dirt and debris. The wash with mild soapy water and a soft sponge before rinsing away the suds. Steer clear of cleaning agents with harsh chemicals and abrasive cloths and sponges.
Whether your garden furniture is made from wood, metal, or rattan, care for and maintain your furniture using these tips to keep it in its best condition and ensure its longevity. Your furniture is vulnerable to ageing, weather, rust, rot, UV rays, dirt, dust, and a whole range of other issues, so protect and look after it so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.