Is your wood patio furniture ready for spring?

It may still be cold outside but there’s no doubt that Spring is upon us!  If you haven’t already, it’s time to get your outdoor wood furniture maintained and restored to its former glory and protected against the elements so that you can focus on enjoying your time outside relaxing and entertaining with friends and family.

According to Gary Petersen, Managing Director of PETERSEN’S, superior quality outdoor wood furniture can last a lifetime, if maintained and cared for properly. “If you want to retain the natural wood look of your outdoor wood furniture, I recommend a regular maintenance routine, which includes having it lightly sanded every 12-18 months to remove atmospheric pollution and nourishing the timber by re-oiling it with a natural product like linseed oil, or what is known as Danish oil. Good wood should never be varnished as it is a sealant. Wood needs to breathe, and varnishing is like shrink-wrapping it. Always oil your furniture,” says Petersen.

Sanding wood removes the top layers of dead wood cells and exposes the fresh layers of timber underneath. Applying a natural oil nourishes and feeds the timber, which enhances both the tone of the wood and the interlocking grain, giving outdoor wood furniture a new lease on life.

“If you prefer the silvery grey look, you can leave it to age naturally. The frequency of maintenance required will depend on how exposed the outdoor furniture is to the elements,” explains Petersen. The maintenance routine can be done as follows:

  • Remove all atmospheric pollution by hosing the furniture down and using a hand brush to brush it down
  • Leave to dry thoroughly
  • Hand-sand and/or machine-sand using 100 grit sandpaper, then step-up to a 180-grit
  • Follow with a fine sand using a 220-grit sandpaper
  • Remove excess dust and wipe with a dry cloth
  • Rag-on a coat of the recommend oil (according to product instructions) with mutton cloth
  • After five minutes, wipe off excess oil.

“If not maintained and left to ‘weather’, the natural warm honey tone of your outdoor wood furniture will gradually change in colour depending on the exposure to the elements and will fade to a silver-grey patina. During this aging process, slight surface cracking can be expected as the timber ‘dries out’, however, this is a natural occurrence and should not be considered a structural defect. The furniture will continue to serve its function for years to come and can be restored at any time to showcase its natural beauty and colour,” concludes Petersen.

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