How to protect, clean, maintenance and repair wood for outdoor furniture

The maintenance requirement of wooden garden furniture

I have named one of the maintenance needs of wood by making it resistant to moisture. In addition, wood may occasionally need a lick of paint or varnish.

This is, of course, due to use in sunny conditions or a change in taste. You certainly don’t have to do this work every year. Wood has a relatively low maintenance requirement.

Cleaning wood also falls under the maintenance of your wooden garden furniture.

This will need to be done a little more often than painting or varnishing, but if done correctly, the task isn’t as intensive as it seems.

The condition is that you do this job in the right way; otherwise, you will have to sand, paint and varnish more often. There is clearly an interaction here.

Anyway, because before you start treating wood, you will first have to clean it well. Otherwise, you will always see the dirt in the wood!

Tips for cleaning wooden garden furniture

Again, cleaning wooden garden furniture isn’t a lot of math, but it’s just as good to know how to do it.

Even if it is to be able to work as efficiently as possible so that you can get this job done quickly, that is why these tips for cleaning wooden garden furniture may be very useful.

In principle, you don’t need more than a bucket with soapy water and a soft brush. The soapy water is best made with a little old-fashioned green soap.

This is not harmful to the wood but also not harmful to the environment. It is important to let the dry wood well after cleaning. After all, you will continue to see damp spots in the wood, which is a shame.

You naturally use a soft brush to polish your wooden garden furniture.

Are you dealing with stubborn pollution?

Then you can choose to replace the green soap with soda.

This product is also excellent for this purpose.

Test the product beforehand on an inconspicuous part of your wooden furniture.

It is important to realize that you should use as few cleaning agents as possible for this job. Using just water would be best.

Every cleaning agent affects the protective layer of wood to some extent. One means more than the other. Therefore, it is not good to use synthetic agents or cleaning vinegar.

Also read: Maintain wooden furniture durability.

Why you should not use a high-pressure cleaner

Many people think it is efficient to immediately take the wooden garden furniture with them to wash the car with a high-pressure cleaner. That is certainly not the case!

You will only damage your wooden furniture.

The water pressure is too high for this job. There are some reasons for this.

First of all, you do everything you can to protect your wood against moisture. You do this by applying an impregnating layer to the wood.

You will now damage this layer due to the high pressure. You also have to consider the grain structure of wood.

Due to the pressure, you spray this closed structure a little more open. This creates grooves in the wood. The result is that more dirt can stick to the wood!

With this (too) thorough cleaning, you only give yourself more work instead of less.

How do you use wood oil ( teak oil ) on a wooden garden set?

Remove any old varnish layer or clean the wood with linseed oil soap.

If necessary, give the wood color back with oxalic acid.

If necessary, sand to the desired wood color with sandpaper that is not too coarse (> 200).

Degrease the wood with turpentine oil.

Apply impregnating oil immediately after drying.

Apply a thin layer of teak oil with a brush, roller, or cloth.

Let the oil soak in for about half an hour (depending on the temperature) (Treat the quickly dried spots again immediately.)

After about half an hour and in any case, before the oil starts to dry, remove the unabsorbed oil with a dry lint-free cloth.

Allow the used cloth to dry completely to prevent it from scalding and causing a fire.

If necessary, apply another coat the next day until the wood no longer absorbs oil.

also read: How to treat wood with oil

How do you protect teak garden furniture against aging?

Treat your garden furniture every two months with teak oil or a few times a year with teak sealer.

Clean the garden furniture with a firm brush, and a cup of soda/table salt dissolved in a bucket of warm water and rinse well with water.

Allow the garden furniture to dry thoroughly (not just superficially).

If graying has already occurred, use sandpaper if necessary.

Make the garden furniture dust-free.

If you use teak oil, apply it with a lint-free cloth, let it soak in, and do this again if necessary.

If you use a teak sealer, leave it on for ten minutes and then rub it out.

How do you remove green deposits from garden furniture?

Use a brush to remove the dirt from the garden furniture.

Clean the garden furniture with a suitable cleaning agent such as teak cleaner and a brush or sponge, and let it dry.

Clean the remaining green spots and let them dry well

For hard-to-remove deposits, use fine-grit sandpaper and sand evenly in the longitudinal direction of the wood grain.

Make the garden furniture dust-free.

Apply the protective layer you want to use, such as a stain or teak protector, in several layers if necessary.

If necessary, apply a teak shield for extra protection against moisture and dirt.

How do you repair cracks in wooden garden furniture?

Let the garden furniture dry and remove loose/rotting wood.

Clean the garden furniture with a suitable cleaning agent such as teak cleaner and let it dry well.

Fill the cracks and holes with wood filler in a matching color.

Sand your garden furniture with a grain of the wood and finish with fine sandpaper.

Make the garden furniture dust-free.

Apply the maintenance product (stain, protector, paint), if necessary, in several layers.

Finish with a teak shield for extra protection.

also read: Properly maintain wooden furniture

How do you restore the original brown wood color to garden furniture that is not too gray?

Clean the garden furniture with a cleaning agent suitable for wood and let it dry thoroughly.

Sand gently with the grain of the wood until the original color appears, finish with fine sandpaper.

Make the garden furniture dust-free.

Apply the maintenance product evenly (avoid color differences) (transparent stain, protector ), if necessary, in several layers.

Finish with a teak shield for extra protection.

How do you maintain a garden set made of scaffolding wood?

Remove all the dirt on the garden furniture with a dustpan or vacuum cleaner.

Use a cleaning agent suitable for wood, such as teak cleaner, and let the furniture dry.

If necessary, sand the furniture lightly with fine sandpaper to make the maintenance layer (stain) remain breathable.

Apply a new coat of stain (available in gray wash or whitewash) or another protective agent such as a teak protector.

How do you remove wood rot from scaffolding wooden garden furniture?

If you discover wood rot in your scaffolding wooden garden furniture, it is best to repair it as soon as possible to prevent it from affecting large parts of the furniture. Using a sharp object such as a screwdriver or paint scraper, remove all the rotten wood until you are left with only hardwood.

Then clean the garden furniture with a cleaning agent suitable for wood, such as teak cleaner, and let it dry well. If the resulting hole is not too big, you can then fill it with wood filler.

Wood fillers are available in several colors, and you can also mix to get as close as possible to the desired color.

When the wood filler is dry, you can sand it smooth. (Do not use coarse sandpaper or finish with fine sandpaper if the result is smooth.)

If the hole is too big for wood filler, you will need to cut a piece of wood to size and fix it with wood glue. Finally, treat the garden furniture with a protective agent as desired, such as a whitewash stain.

How do you remove green deposits from scaffolding wooden garden furniture?

Most greenery can be removed with a cleaning agent suitable for wood, such as teak cleaner and a brush or (scouring) sponge.

If necessary, fine sandpaper can then be used for sanding back to nicer wood. Then apply a protective layer such as stain.

How do you make scaffolding wood grey?

Stain is available in many colors, including whitewash and gray wash.

A more natural rapid graying can be achieved by brushing the wood with saltwater.

However, with the stain, you immediately give the wood a protective layer.

Does a wooden garden set with a protective cover have to be protected against moisture?

Because it is difficult to provide sufficient ventilation under a protective cover, it is often better not to use a protective cover so that the wood can dry in the wind in between.

Prolonged moist, sweltering conditions should be avoided as this increases the risk of wood rot and mold.

Can a wooden garden set be left outside in winter, or is it better to store it inside?

Provided you take good care of it, a wooden garden set left outside in the winter can also last for many years. Especially hardwood garden furniture that can dry out between wet days will not just rot.

In the case of softwoods, such as the wood used for wooden garden furniture, maintenance and the prevention of prolonged damp conditions is especially important.

Ensure that no water remains anywhere on the furniture or that wet leaves, for example, remain to prevent problems at the bottom due to moisture.

It is wise to place scaffolding wooden garden furniture on, for example, bricks so that there is no direct contact with the damp ground and there is extra space for ventilation.

However, a garden set that comes into contact with fewer weather influences such as rain and UV light (and is not in a damp room) will have a longer lifespan than a garden set that is always outside.

Is the appearance of cracks in wooden garden furniture normal or a defect?

The extent to which wood works depends on the hardness of the wood and the time to which the wood is exposed to changing climatic conditions (wet, dry, warm, cold).

A garden set made of the heartwood of hardwood (such as teak) will, in principle, be tearless quickly than a garden set made of soft coniferous wood due to the higher density.

However, tropical hardwoods must be appropriately dried to prevent operation in a different climate to prevent the wood from cracking during a longer period of drought.

It is sometimes advised to spray the wooden garden furniture with a wet spray from time to time.

With hardwood garden furniture that cracks within a short time after purchase without a major drought, the suspicion could arise that the wood from another climate has not been dried properly.

Are special maintenance products always required for hardwood garden furniture?

Hardwood garden furniture made of teak that is allowed to age can be cleaned twice a year with a firm brush and a bucket of warm water with a cup of soda/table salt.

It is best to do this after a decent rain shower when the wood is wet (but you can also spray it yourself beforehand). Brush with the grain of the wood and then rinse well.

Is it necessary to treat wooden garden furniture with a maintenance product immediately after purchase?

This depends. An untreated softwood garden furniture or softwood furniture whose protective layer appears very thin is best immediately treated before wet and dirty.

Even if such furniture still has to be assembled, it is better to provide the parts with a maintenance layer before assembling because you can no longer reach some places well later.

 It is best to provide untreated hardwood garden furniture that you do not want to age with teak oil or teak sealer immediately after purchase.

Hardwood garden furniture that is allowed to age does not need to be treated immediately. Hardwood garden furniture that has already been coated, such as grey wash, does not require immediate maintenance.

Which maintenance product or which protective layer is best to use for wooden garden furniture?

This depends on several factors. In principle, hardwood garden furniture made of teak does not need a protective layer.

The wood itself is greasy and has a compact structure, which means that it is well protected against weather influences. Teak oil or teak sealer can be used to prevent aging.

These agents do not so much extend the life of the wood, and they mainly serve to counteract the color change. According to some, preference is given to teak sealer or teak shield because the treatment with teak sealers is often (once or twice a year) than with teak oil (every few months).

The wrong use of teak oil promotes mold growth and causes black dots. This could (partly) be prevented by removing the excess oil in time with a lint-free cloth.

Another disadvantage of teak oil is that a piece of furniture can give off oil on clothing for a while. If you wipe away oil residues after half an hour, this disadvantage seems to disappear quite quickly.

Teak cleaner for cleaning and removing mold and mildew, possibly followed by teak sealer/teak shield as protection against UV and dirt absorption and the addition of color pigment.

However, using teak oil doesn’t have to be much more work. Regular maintenance is about replenishing the top layer, and the oil will still be present deeper in the wood.

It may be sufficient to clean the surface with linseed oil soap and wipe with a cloth soaked in teak oil. (The products for teak are also used for other types of hardwood.)

For softwoods such as scaffolding, oil probably offers too little protection against the weather.

A lacquer layer is one option, but this choice may also be less sensible with rising damp because the moisture that penetrates the wood from the underside is trapped and causes the lacquer layer to crack.

Staining this garden furniture is, therefore, the most obvious choice.

Stain protects but is breathable.

In addition, the wood structure can remain visible when using stains. However, breathability is lost if several layers of stain are applied over each other over time. It is, therefore, better to remove an old layer before applying a new layer.

If a color has been added to the stain, the wood would also become darker/lighter after several layers. Gray wash or whitewash stain is available for wooden garden furniture.

Although the wood grains remain visible with stain, the use of oil gives a more natural-looking result. By the way, do not apply alkyd stain over the acrylic stain.

also read: Maintain leather and wood for furniture

Which type of paint or oil is less bad for the environment?

The extent to which a paint (lacquer or stain) is harmful to the environment depends, among other things, on the content of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), preservatives and pesticides, and substances that require a lot of energy for extraction and production as is the case with titanium dioxide.

However, because there are no studies on the positive effects on the environment, namely the longer life of the wood, it would not be easy to indicate which paint is better for the environment.

Alkyd paint (dilutable with white spirit) is generally stronger.

Acrylic paint (dilutable with water) is less bad for the environment than raw materials but generally less strong.

Alkyd was almost always chosen for outdoor use, but acrylic paint is now increasingly used. (It is also more pleasant to use because it smells less.)

You can also save the environment by updating your garden furniture in time if necessary and by not rinsing your brushes under the tap, but by temporarily storing them in water (acrylic paint) or a plastic bag in the freezer (alkyd paint). Then throw it away.

Wood oil that mainly consists of natural oils such as linseed oil and tung oil are less harmful to the environment than those where thinners have been added.

However, working with thicker oil can be more difficult, and with woods with a dense structure, thinners are needed to allow the first layers of oil to absorb properly.

If you want to save a leftover oil next time, you have to make sure that no oxygen can get to it. Therefore, use the smallest possible or vacuum packaging or fill the half-empty can with, for example, marbles.

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