How to protect your outdoor furniture
8 Minute Read
When you’ve got outdoor furniture that you absolutely love, you don’t want to risk it being damaged unnecessarily. Unfortunately, the fact it is being used outside, and exposed to the weather daily is one of the biggest causes of damage. You might be thinking that the worst of the damage is likely to happen during the winter – and you’d be right – but even though you’re going to be using your outdoor furniture during the summer, and store it away in the winter, you’ll want to protect it from UV damage, and any summer storms too.
Whether you’ve invested in quality wooden garden furniture, wicker furniture, or maybe even a plastic set that you love the look of, looking after your garden furniture will keep it in the best possible condition for longer. We love being outside in our gardens during the summer, which is why in this post, we’re sharing some of the best tips to protect your outdoor furniture.
Keep it secure
High winds can cause your outdoor furniture to be knocked over and damaged – and while this is more of a concern for wicker and plastic furniture, you’ll also want to think about outdoor coffee tables, umbrellas and canopies, as well as cushions and lighting. It is a really simple thing to think about, but making sure that your furniture is anchored down, and secure when you’re not using it doesn’t need to take too long, but will keep it in great condition for longer.
Protect it from the sun and rain
We know, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have outdoor furniture that you need to hide from the weather, and we’re not saying it needs to be stored indoors all the time. But when you think about the discolouration, and the damage that the sun can do, and the swelling that rainwater sitting on the top can cause, then you’ll almost certainly want to keep your outdoor furniture covered when it isn’t in use.
When you’ve brought your outdoor furniture out from winter storage and you’ve treated it with the right protective finish, think about where you’re going to situate it in your garden. If you can put it under a pergola, or where you’ll be putting a canopy or awning, this will help prevent sun damage. If that isn’t possible, then get waterproof garden furniture covers – this will help keep the worst moisture damage from reaching the top of the furniture, and help to prevent UV damage. Waterproof garden furniture covers can be found in the usual places online and in garden centres, so you don’t need to risk that damage occurring.
Use the right protective finish
We’ve written about the importance of protecting your wooden furniture with the right wood finish on our blog before, and with outdoor furniture, it is even more important. A great wood finish will keep water from soaking into the wood, causing swelling and cracking, and will maintain the colour of the wood too. If you’ve chosen quality plastic furniture that you’ve invested in (rather than cheap items that will break by the end of the summer!) then you will also want to think about using a furniture protector too, to maintain the colour and prevent peeling of the top layers.
Care for the metalwork
Metal parts on outdoor furniture often get neglected, and while they will last a long time, once they start to rust, it looks ugly, and can spoil the look of your furniture – and you don’t want accidental rust stains on linen trousers and or favourite summer dresses! You can apply a paste wax to metal and aluminium parts to keep them in perfect condition, although if there is already rust there, then you’ll want to remove the rust, before applying a metal primer and paint.
Looking after metal parts is even more important if you have items that fold on metal hinges, since they won’t work as well if the metal has rusted. Oiling moving parts periodically (before and after winter storage are good times) will keep them in good working order, and stop them from seizing.
If you’ve bought outdoor furniture that has cushions – or maybe you’ve made cushions to match the colour scheme in your garden – then you’ll need to protect it. It goes without saying that you’ll be storing them away in winter, but there are other steps to take. Keeping those cushions clean will maintain their colour, but if you’ve made them yourself, you might need to add a protective finish. This will help prevent damage from UV rays, but also from water, and stains from any bird droppings, slugs, or snails that get on your cushions.
Store it in the winter
This is probably the most obvious tip we’re sharing here, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t and then wonder why their garden furniture doesn’t last as long as they would like.
Constantly being wet and drying out can lead to wood swelling, while cracks can be caused by water freezing. Simply moving your furniture into the shed or the garage will help, but it is well worth taking the time to properly prepare your outdoor furniture for the winter.
Cleaning dirt and drying properly before storing will help to prevent mould from forming and spreading, and generally, you don’t need fancy cleaning products – washing up liquid and hot water will do the job nicely.
When you’ve finally got your garden just as you like it, with gorgeous outdoor furniture, then you’ll want to keep it looking great for a long time to come. Although nothing lasts forever, using our tips, you’ll be able to keep your outdoor furniture looking fantastic, whether you keep your garden as it is, make changes, or even to take it with you when you move to a new home. If you’ve invested in our outdoor furniture, when you’ve got your garden just so, tag us @bensimpsonfurniture in your Instagram posts, and we’ll share the beauty of your garden with our followers.
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