Proper Care of Outdoor Wood Furniture

We’ve waited all winter for good news from the weather channels. After weeks and months of cold temperatures, we’re ready to step out into the sunshine and enjoy mild evenings in the backyard or on the balcony. If you have a favorite Adirondack chair or a simple porch rocker, you no doubt look forward to savoring the peace and relaxation, and if your outdoor furniture is made of wood you know you should take care that it lasts throughout the seasons. That is why it’s important to observe preventative care or else watch for signs of wear.

To keep your wood chairs, patio tables, and porch swings always looking like new, here are a few tips you want to consider so you can enjoy the spring and summer outdoors:

1) Cover furniture when not in use. This seems like an obvious solution for preserving the color and integrity of your teak, cedar, pine, or oak furniture. If you anticipate rain, protect your furniture with fitted covers or a plastic sheet. If possible, move your furniture to a covered space or into a shed or outdoor storage facility if the predicted storm is heavy.

If your wood outdoor furniture does get wet after a rain, it’s important to make sure it’s dried off quickly. If wooden chairs and tables remain in damp areas and are neglected, you may find rot taking over. Pay special attention to the legs and feet of furniture that have contact with the muddy ground. Your local hardware store may have protective caps or sleeves that preserve the wood.

2) Apply water-resistant stains to wood surfaces. This will help protect your wood if you’re unable to get a cover on in time. Check with your local hardware store or wood furniture dealer for recommendations on good brands to use.

3) Avoid exposure to certain elements. Yes, inevitably we’re going to use our furniture for holding food during a cookout or toys during a kid’s birthday party. However, you want to protect your wood because even the slightest spill could leave a permanent stain. If you outdoor furniture is used often, be mindful to keep corrosive agents away, and use mats, trivets, and coasters underneath food and beverages. Try not to leave objects like plastics on a table overnight because it can cause discoloration.

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