It’s hard enough keeping indoor furniture in great condition – especially when you have young children running amok with biros and scissors –the idea of keeping garden furniture looking great can seem like an absolute impossibility.
But a garden bench can easily cost the same as a sofa, and even if it didn’t you still want to get the most of out it!
So, here’s my guide to keeping your garden furniture looking brand new, no matter how old it’s getting…
You might think you’ve found the perfect spot for your garden bench – doesn’t it look perfect between the apple tree and the rose bush? – Or perhaps you’re simply too lazy to move it. But keeping your garden furniture in the same place all the time is a big no-no if you want to keep it looking new!
If you’ve invested in wooden or rattan garden furniture, it’s going to fade over time. That’s not something you can really avoid, short of keeping it covered at all times, but by moving the furniture around you can at least ensure it fades evenly.
Few things age garden furniture quicker than a splotchy appearance, so turn it regularly (every few months) to allow the sun to shine on it from every angle.
If your garden furniture is wooden, it needs a little TLC every now and then to stop it from drying out.
Small cracks will naturally form in the wood when it is outside for any extended period of time and won’t detract from the overall appearance, but bigger cracks are caused when the wood becomes super parched and brittle. Not only does this look bad, it also weakens the structure.
So invest in good quality furniture oil and rub it into the wood every three or four months and more often in the summer.
If you’ve bought painted furniture, whether it’s a set of wooden garden benches or a metal dining set, be aware that the paint won’t last forever.
Out there in the elements, furniture is constantly pummelled by particles of sand, stone and dirt which gradually wear down the paint layer. When cracks form, rainwater can seep in and damage the furniture on the inside, making wood swell or metal rust.
So it’s imperative that if you want your garden furniture to last a long time, you repaint it regularly – once a year is about right. Plus, the fresh coat of paint will breathe new life into tired, worn furniture and make it look as good as the day you bought it!
I mentioned covering your furniture in point one – of course, it’s not something you want to do all the time, because what then is the point of buying beautiful garden furniture?
When the furniture is ‘out of use’ for long periods however, such as over the winter months or when you go on holiday, popping a waterproof cover over the top will protect it from rain damage, fading and, yes, bird poo!
These are my tips for keeping garden furniture looking good, do you have any more to add?
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Estelle Page is an interior designer and keen gardener who hates to see great designs go to waste; she blogs for Capital Gardens about how to choose, position and care for your garden furniture!