Timber outdoor furniture looks great, complements most garden settings and is hard wearing. However, because it’s constantly exposed to the elements, some maintenance and the odd repair job are still required to keep outdoor timber in shape. Fortunately, there are a few simple fix-ups you can do in a weekend that can have your furniture looking as good as new.
Clean the furniture
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A brush, rags, bucket, detergent and a hose
HOW TO: Brush the furniture to get rid of any dust, dirt and spiderwebs. Place the furniture on the lawn and use a hose to get rid of bird droppings, caked-on food or any difficult stains. Move the furniture off the lawn and wipe it down using rags and a bucket of mild soapy water made with detergent.
Refill the bucket with clean water and, using a clean rag, wipe down the furniture again. Hose once more to remove any detergent residue. Warning: detergent can kill grass so ensure no soapy water ends up on the lawn.
Strip with paint stripper, or …
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Paint stripper, a scraper, gloves and safety glasses
HOW TO: If your wooden furniture is painted and looking cracked and flaky, it’s time to strip the paint off the furniture. Find a well-ventilated area – outdoors is best – and apply the paint stripper with a giant brush. Use protective gloves and glasses at all times. Leave the stripper for 10-15 minutes or until the paint starts bubbling. Use a scraper to lift the paint off the furniture.
Strip with a heat gun
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A heat gun and a scraper
HOW TO: A heat gun is another way to strip paint off surfaces. It is designed to soften the paint, not to burn it. If you see any smoke, you are working too close to the surface. Move the heat gun over one section of paint until it starts to bubble, then use a scraper to lift the paint off the timber. A blunt scraper is preferable so as not to nick the warmed timber.
Sand all over
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: An electric sander, sandpaper, face mask and rags
HOW TO: Once the old paint has been stripped off the furniture, it can be sanded. An electric sander can be used on areas like table tops, but sandpaper and elbow grease will be needed to get into all the nooks and crannies. Always sand in the direction of the grain. Once completed, wipe down with a slightly damp cloth to pick up all debris.
Oil the timber
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Outdoor furniture oil, a paint brush and a soft cloth
HOW TO: Once your furniture is clean, stripped and sanded, oiling is a great option to restore the tones of the timber. Oiling will even revitalise timber that has silvered over time. Ensure the furniture is completely dry and apply the oil with a brush along the grain of the timber. Once the piece is completely oiled, wipe off excess oil with a cloth. Allow to dry for at least 12 hours. A second coat can then be applied.
Stain the furniture
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Wood stain, a paint brush and a soft cloth
HOW TO: Applying stain to wooden furniture lets you choose the colour you prefer, while still allowing the grain of the timber to show through. Use a paint brush to apply the stain sparingly to one section of the furniture at a time. Always follow the grain of the timber. If any areas look blotchy, a soft cloth can be used to even out any imperfections. Allow to dry for at least 12 hours. If you prefer a darker colour, apply a second coat.
Paint the wood
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Outdoor furniture paint, primer, paint brushes and a drop cloth
HOW TO: If you want to paint your furniture a particular colour so that no wood grain shows, there’s a little work involved. First, apply a primer to the furniture using a paint brush. Allow to dry completely. Use a good quality outdoor furniture paint and apply the first coat using long, even strokes. Allow to dry and apply a second coat of paint. It’s recommended to apply at least two coats of paint.
Repair a wonky chair
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Adjustable chair glides and a screwdriver
HOW TO: There’s nothing more frustrating than a chair with one leg slightly shorter than the others. Don’t even think about cutting down the other legs – it’s all about building up the short leg instead. There are adjustable leg glides available that can be screwed to the bottom of chair legs to do just that. Fit three flush to the full-sized legs and slightly lengthen the glide attached to the short leg. Voilà – no more wobble.
Fix a wobbly table
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Nothing
HOW TO: If you have a four-legged table with a wobble, it’s easy to fix using mathematics! It has been proven that if a table wobbles, it’s most likely because of uneven flooring. Simply rotate the table until you find the spot where the wobble disappears.
Obviously this only works for round tables and sometimes the table really does have a wobble. However, a quick rotation has a good chance of fixing the problem straight away; otherwise, check all the joints and hammer a nail into any that are loose.
This article is thanks to Houzz
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