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Your Guide to Caring for Wooden Outdoor Furniture

Posted on February 10 2022

Natural wooden garden furniture is sure to last you a lifetime if it has the right care. However, many people are unaware of the simple, easy steps which can be taken to preserve the quality of the wood! Here’s some tips and tricks that are a must-know before you invest in some wooden garden furniture.
What damages wooden furniture?
First of all, to avoid damage, it's important to know what actually damages your wooden furniture. Outdoor conditions can be unpredictable (especially in the UK!) and there are a number of factors which lead to the breakdown of your furniture…
There’s nothing better than enjoying alfresco dining in the sunshine, but what you may not know is the sun’s rays can actually have a damaging effect on wood. UV rays break down the lignin in wood, this is what bonds the wood fibers together and strengthens it. This can result in discoloration and dryness, especially for softwoods.
Rain can also have damaging effects on your wooden furniture. Rain means your wood can  take on moisture, making it swell. When moisture content at the surface of your wood is higher than in the wood itself, it can cause some problems. Fissures can be opened on the surface of the wood and warping can occur.
When additional moisture builds up in your wooden furniture, bacteria and mold can grow. Mold on your outdoor furniture not only looks unsightly, but it also is unhygienic for you and your family.
So how can this damage be resisted?
Just as you would not expose your skin to the sun with no SPF, your wood similarly requires finish with UV protection! For the best results, you should apply multiple coats of exterior spar varnish that contains added UV blockers. Stay away from deck stains or penetrating finishes that don’t offer much protection.
Before painting or applying any finishes, remember to sand your wood. The sanding process removes any minor flaws like scratches and evens out the surface of the wood.
Even the best quality finishes wear down over time, especially if your furniture is being used regularly. To keep on top of your furniture care, recoat your wooden pieces every year or two to ensure they remain looking brand new!
Of course to maximise the quality of your outdoor furniture you can cover it when not in use. Investing in covers especially designed for more protection and durability can extend the life of your outdoor furniture. 
Finally, adding shade to your patio space is another great way to protect your furniture from the weather. Why not add an umbrella, sail shade or pergola? You could also use a tree to create some protection! When purchasing umbrellas and pergolas, it is important to check that these products are protective against UV rays to ensure they last the test of time.
If you follow these simple steps, your wooden garden furniture is sure to last you a lifetime of use and facilitate many joyful alfresco dining and outdoor lounging activities!