Wooden furniture can last for centuries as long as it is properly maintained. Pieces that are neglected, however, tend to wear out and decay with time. The forces of nature can speed such processes along, making regular maintenance and care all the more important.
This is especially true when placing wooden furniture outside. The outdoors provides plenty of dangers to furniture, from moisture, the sun, insects, and more. Knowing how to properly take care of furniture left outside with help ensure it lasts.
Buy the right wood
While most wooden furniture can withstand the elements to some degree, not all pieces are the same. Wood furniture made from woods such as teak, acacia, and cedar are more naturally resistant to the dangers of the outside world, and as such make for better options to place outside. Don’t be afraid to ask around when shopping for outdoor furniture to ensure you get pieces that will last.
Remember the basics
When it comes to keeping wooden furniture clean and maintained, remember that, at the end of the day, a damp cloth for dusting will go a long ways. Wooden furniture is water resistant to a degree, and additional stains and protections can help enhance such protection.
That means keeping the piece from getting too wet, too dry, or too dusty will help with the majority of outdoor damage concerns. Cushions and some cover, like an umbrella or patio roof, will help prevent damage from sunlight and excess moisture. Keeping the piece from getting to close to the garden or any potted plants will help mitigate potential dangers from local critters and insects, as will regular cleaning in the event of spills while outside.
The coverings matters
When not in use, some people like to cover their outdoor furniture to protect it from the elements. This can help a lot with wooden pieces, but only if you use the right materials for the job. Not all coverings are equal.
Acrylic fabrics are the most commonly used for modern covers and cushions. While they can endure heavy use, they also need to be regularly cleaned in order to do their job properly. Whether resting in a piece from an Amish furniture online purchase or a modern metal chair, not taking care of the cushions and covers is basically the same as not taking care of the furniture.
For more classic options, canvas has been used to protect against water, weather, and insects for centuries. It can be expensive and heavy, though. If not properly maintained, it can also get musty and holey when kept in storage. The heft might also damage lighter pieces.
Linen is another traditional cover option. Lighter than canvas, it is surprisingly tough to extreme conditions, temperature and moisture alike. However, linen can require a bit more care than other cover options. While usually machine washable, line drying might be required, and linen coverings need to be cleaned regularly to prevent dirt and mold from ruining them.
Laminates can help
While not ideal for older pieces, modern laminates can provide exceptional protection for outdoor furniture and especially patio decks. Like wooden furniture, cleaning with a damp cloth provides the bulk of necessary maintenance.
For older outdoor pieces or those on a budget, such options aren’t generally advisable. Still, the option is there, and can help with those whose preferences in furniture is more modern themed.
Oils and sprays
As previously noted, Teak hardwood is well renowned for its strength and durability, both indoors and outside. The wood releases natural chemicals to keep itself in good condition, and those oils are often utilized to make sprays, stains, and other chemicals to help protect and stain wood.
Such chemical protections are not always advisable, especially when dealing with more traditional furniture like a furniture set from Amish Furniture Factory. These sorts of products are usually not advised for antique, pieces either. Make sure to carefully review any wood cleaning or protection product to see if it is safe for your outdoor furniture, and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion on the matter.
When in doubt, bring it inside
Covers and protective coatings can provide a lot of protection, but in especially harsh conditions, such as a high UV heatwave or series of strong storms, bringing in the furniture might be the best idea.
This might be tricky with larger pieces, but can save a lot of time and money in the long run. Generally, keeping the cushions inside when the furniture is not in use, regardless of the season, can help extend the life of the cushions. The same is true for the furniture.
Wooden furniture can make for a great outdoor option, providing comfort, style, and quality just as easily as modern pieces. The key is to ensure such pieces, which can be more susceptible to damage from outside concerns, remain in good condition. Regular maintenance and the right protections will ensure such pieces last season after season.