How to protect your outdoor wood furniture

8 Minute Read

When you’ve got outdoor furniture that you absolutely love, you don’t want to risk it being damaged. 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 will likely 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 table, 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 garden during the summer, which is why in this post, we’re sharing some of the best tips on how to protect your outdoor furniture all year round.

How to protect outdoor furniture
outdoor furniture protection tips

Our top tips for protecting your wooden 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. Making sure that your furniture is anchored down and secure when you’re not using it doesn’t need to take too long, but it will avoid it from falling over, breaking, or ruining the finish.

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 taken your outdoor furniture out of winter storage and 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, you can easily prevent sun damage. If that isn’t possible, then get waterproof garden furniture covers as 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.

Rustic Country Outdoor Furniture
Rustic Country Bedroom Decor

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 high quality wood finish will keep water from soaking into the wood that causes swelling and cracking and will also maintain the colour of the wood for years. If you’ve chosen quality plastic furniture (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 on these items to maintain the colour and prevent peeling of the top layers.

Rustic Country Bedroom Tips

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 or favourite summer dresses! Protect your outdoor furniture by applying 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. 

Protecting outdoor furniture

Protect upholstery 

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 or summer rain showers, but there are other steps you need to consider. Keeping those cushions clean will maintain their colour, but if you’ve made them yourself and are not using outdoor fabric, you might want to add a protective finish. This will help prevent damage from UV rays water and stains, whether this be from bird droppings, slugs, or snails that get on your cushions.

Store furniture away in the winter months

This is probably the most obvious tip we’re sharing here, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t store their furniture away in the Winter months and then wonder why their garden furniture doesn’t last as long as expected.

If wood is constantly battling with being soaked and then drying out, it can lead to swelling while cracks can be caused by frozen water. 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 furniture properly before storing it will help to prevent mould from forming and spreading. In most cases, you don’t need fancy cleaning products – washing up liquid and hot water will do the job nicely.

protecting outdoor furniture in the winter

Final Thoughts on Protecting Outdoor Wooden Furniture

If you have invested in quality outdoor wooden furniture, you’ll want to keep it protected and looking great for years to come. Although nothing lasts forever, using our top tips on protecting outdoor wood furniture and other furnishings, you’ll be able to keep your garden looking fantastic. 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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