Garden Furniture


As we move more and more towards creating living areas in our gardens, then providing suitable furniture has also become more important, such as benches, tables, chairs and parasols.

Plastic or canvas furniture should always be covered or stored indoors over winter, or they will soon fade, discolour or become dirty. Heavier items made of wood or cast iron often need to be left outside as they are difficult to move; however, it is these types that need the most maintenance.

Cast Iron Furniture

Cast-iron furniture should be wiped occasionally with a damp cloth and checked over for rust. Any rusty areas should be sanded down and treated with a rust converter, then undercoat and top coat of paint.

Wooden Furniture

Wipe wooden furniture down regularly to prevent a build up of grime. However, every so often you may need to clean them thoroughly, either with a bucket of water or hosepipe and a scrubbing brush, or with a high-pressure sprayer. These machines are connected to a tap and plugged into a mains socket; the water comes out under pressure and blasts off any debris. If using one of these machines, do bear in mind that your furniture should be fairly sturdy and that for safety reasons, you must use the equipment with a residual current device (RCD).

After cleaning, the furniture should be allowed to dry out thoroughly before applying any oils or stains; this could take several days.

Softwood furniture such as pine is vulnerable to rot, particularly the endgrain of the wood where the feet rest on the ground. Protect your chairs, tables or benches by putting each leg in a small pot of wood preservative overnight. However, as the chemicals are toxic, do not leave the pots where children or animals can gain access to them. You can also brush on a wood preservative or a water-based woodstain to the other wooden parts to improve their appearance.

Although hardwood furniture such as teak is more expensive than softwood, it is also naturally very durable and does not need any wood preservative to protect it from rot. However, you may want to rub in teak oil or apply water-based woodstain to improve its appearance.