Many of us have seen garden furniture suffering from a lack of care at least once in our lives. No matter if it was a rusting old table and chair set outside of our grandparent’s house, a tired bench in a bar garden, or old toys and climbing equipment when visiting other relatives that have children – it’s easy to question if outside furniture can look good at all outside of the first six months of purchase.
Of course, it absolutely can. But it tracks that exposure to outside elements means that more intensive maintenance work needs to be carried out, which is still doable and more than sustainable. It’s a good idea to focus on completing these tasks in a measured way, by using your calendar and making sure you keep up with these tasks on a regular basis.
In this post, we’re going to discuss a few measures for achieving exactly this, as well as a few habits to avoid. This way, you can splash out on better quality furniture knowing it’s more likely to last for the long term:
Prepare For The Winter Months
It’s important to prepare for the winter months as much as you can, as this is when most of the negative and difficult exposure will tend to come. For instance, keeping this furniture in good condition will often require proper coverage, such as tarpaulin material to ensure that the wind and rain never affect it.
Some also use dust covers and bag material to protect certain implements, like the cushions, over this time. If you can, bringing in the furniture to an inside storage shed can also help protect against the elements more freely. In some cases, weighing down your furniture can also help, and maybe absolutely necessary if a large storm with fast winds comes through.
Establish Proper Ettiquette
It’s good to establish the appropriate etiquette involved with using your outdoor furniture as necessary. This might mean discouraging your pets from jumping on the sofa surfaces, preventing the fabric from being stained by muddy feet. The same could be taught to your children.
Little things, such as making sure you have napkins when eating foods, even sticky barbecue foods, can prevent stains. Of course, sometimes it might be that opting for a particular format of furniture is preferable. In your lounging area, then seats that offer cushions could be ideal, but if you’re placing seating around a campfire area or barbecue? Well, it might be that more wooden seating is appropriate. A hybrid between the two, with attachable cushions, may also be realistic and worthwhile.
Regardless, if you’d like to enjoy the best of your furniture and make sure it retains its good condition, then how you use it will certainly influence it as appropriate.
Varnishing & Treatment
The proper varnishing of wood can help protect it over time. Sanding and repaints can also help old, tired wooden furniture be brought to life, and of course, this applies to both interior and exterior items.
Treatment can also help furniture become more waterproof or rustproof than it may have been before. For instance, using WD-40 and anti-rust sprays can prevent metal furniture from rusting in the long run. While ensuring that the chairs are not exposed to water damage is essential here, as is their proper coverage and shelter, such treatments can help expand the lifespan of a given piece and also prevent certain poor influences from having the strained effect they may otherwise suffer from.
Use Hardy Additions
Outdoor cushions that look beautiful and are fitted with performance fabric can be a wonderful place to start, helping your outdoor furniture look and feel as inviting as possible. A measure like this may just help you relax and feel more comfortable sitting down, without worrying about hard-to-clean upholstery in the back of your mind the entire time.
Furthermore, throws that you use to cover the seating arrangement and provide comfort during the span of a single event can be a good way to prevent stains and other issues from taking shape. Ultimately, having good detergent can also help in the event of a stain too, so you don’t have to worry too much about an issue causing permanent harm.
Invest In Cleaning Products
Of course, having some cleaning products to hand can help you absolve yourself of any immediate issues should you notice them. A few clothes, a bowl, some baking soda, and soap, as well as some shoulder-length gloves, can be a good way of scrubbing down a piece of furniture if you need to.
For some, vacuums that can help withdraw the dirt out of a seat, or a wire cloth that can help remove dirt build-up on metal-based or cast-iron seating can be worthwhile. Just having this on hand and stored in your utility room will help you deal with the most intensive emergencies should they happen.
Consider Overhead Shelter
Of course, if you hope for a piece to avoid exposure to the elements in an unmanageable sense, it’s important to consider how the overhead shelter may contribute to this. A gazebo, a porch with an overhead shelter, or a larger garden construction for socializing such as a large shed with an indoor bar can help resolve the problem almost entirely – or at least severely decrease the chance of weather conditions causing harm.
Depending on where you live, this may be very worthwhile. If your home is exposed to summer rains, for instance, then having an overhead shelter that protects you from such exposure while still allowing you to sit outside in the warm breeze can be lovely, and certainly beats relaxing inside where even the best HVAC systems can’t prevent you from becoming sticky.
Opt For Darker Colors
A good way of helping garden furniture retain its condition is to make sure that you opt for darker colors if possible. These tend to show scuff marks and dirt much less easily, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean we can get away without cleaning and preserving these fixtures, it can certainly help an aged piece feel less difficult to deal with.
Of course, there’s no reason why you have to limit yourself solely to this aesthetic. Many people find value in having two sets of seat covers, one lighter set for entertaining our friends and a darker set when we expect children to come around and play with our own.
Limit Exposure To Sun Damage
On a beautiful, sunny day, you may feel totally happy that your furniture is in no way endangered by the elements. That said, thorough sun exposure can cause the fabric condition to fade, and that in itself could be a problem.
We mentioned the special fabrics above that can help with this, but you might also gain benefit from UV protection sprays (which function as sunscreen for furniture, effectively), and perhaps bringing in the furniture on the intensely sunny days that you might not be entertaining others or heading out into the garden for.
In some cases, a small investment like a nice parasol or two can make all the difference. Over time, this approach will all add up and help your furniture look wonderful in the long run.
With a combination of preparing for the winter months, establishing proper use etiquette, varnishing and treating, using performance fabrics, using the right cleaning products, approximating worthwhile shelter, and limiting sun exposure damage, your garden furniture is sure to last longer than you imagine.
Over time, this may even save you money. Regardless, we hope you enjoy your summer through and through, whatever furniture you hope to do that with!