Wooden garden furniture looks great when new but can, within a year or two and without maintenance, start to lose its natural colour, turning grey or silver as a result of weathering and UV exposure. For some, the aged, silver/grey look fits in perfectly with some styles of garden, others prefer to retain the new, out of the box look.
The good news is that regardless of your preference, garden furniture can be easily maintained, preserved and restored with the right garden furniture oil.
New Garden Furniture Maintenance
Retaining the look of new wooden garden furniture sets is pretty straight forward. Using a dedicated garden furniture cleaner will keep the wood clean whilst retaining the integrity of the oiled or varnished finish. Never use household detergents to clean wooden garden furniture as these often contain harsh detergents and cleaning agents that will degrade and possibly strip the finish from the wood, leaving it exposed and vulnerable to weathering and biological threats such as mould, mildew and algae. Always use a dedicated garden furniture cleaner that is pH balanced and specifically formulated for use on wooden garden furniture.
Recommended Garden Furniture Cleaners
- Ronseal Garden Furniture Cleaner: An effective garden furniture cleaner in an easy-to-use trigger spray bottle
- Cuprinol Garden Furniture Cleaner: An everyday cleaner that’s ideal for softwood and hardwood garden furniture
- Osmo Exterior Spray Cleaner: A ready-to-use spray solution for the everyday cleaning of oiled outdoor furniture and surfaces
To maintain the weather resistant properties of garden furniture and to keep the wood supple and nourished, its recommended that the wood is oiled twice a year, usually in early Spring and again mid to late Autumn to help protect it through the Winter months.
Recommended Garden Furniture Oils
- Ronseal Ultimate Protection Hardwood Garden Furniture Oil: A deep penetrating formulation of wood oils and resins for use on wooden garden furniture that nourishes and protects the wood
- Cuprinol Ultimate Furniture Oil: A high performance furniture oil for use on all bare and previously oiled hardwood garden furniture
- Barrettine Garden Furniture Oil: A clear, solvent-based, protective oil for new, untreated and weathered garden furniture. Suitable for softwood and hardwood garden furniture
Old Garden Furniture Maintenance
To maintain old wooden garden furniture that has lost some or all of its colour depends on the type of look you prefer. If the priority is to retain or to allow the natural grey / silvering process whilst protecting the wood, simply use a clear wood oil or one that contains very little natural colour and no UV filters. This will nourish the timber to keep it supple, therefore protecting the wood from water ingress, cracking, warping and splitting.
For this a traditional wood oil can be used or alternatively, a clear or coloured decking oil or stain.
Clear wood oils for garden furniture
- Barrettine Teak Oil: A natural oil for the treatment of teak garden furniture and other exotic hardwoods
- Liberon Pure Tung Oil: A premium, pure and natural wood oil for use on interior and exterior wood. Ideal for use on food contact surfaces and table tops
- Barrettine Danish Oil: A high quality, clear Danish Oil for interior and exterior wood. Suitable for softwood and hardwood garden furniture
How to restore the colour of grey, weathered garden furniture
For garden furniture that has weathered and lost its colour through the natural process of greying or silvering, there are a couple of options to restore the colour of the timber.
The first option is to use a wood restorer such as Osmo Wood Reviver Power Gel (6609) or Cuprinol Garden Furniture Restorer. This products contain an active ingredient called ‘Oxalic Acid’ that helps to reverse the chemical processes that turn the wood grey or silver. Usually, one application along with some elbow grease is sufficient but if the wood has been grey or silver for some time, a second application may be required.
Once the colour of the timber has been restored, usually within 24 hours, the furniture can be treated with a suitable clear or coloured garden furniture oil to protect the wood and help preserve the restored colour.
An alternative to restoring the natural colour of the wood is to give the furniture a light sanding to remove any surface dirt, debris and lose fibres. Then clean the furniture thoroughly with a suitable garden furniture cleaner before treating the wood with a coloured garden furniture oil.
When applying a garden furniture oil always do a small test area to assess product suitability and final colour before starting any project.