Expert tips for maintaining garden furniture

Half the pleasure of a beautiful garden is being able to sit out and enjoy it. Follow these expert tips to keep your garden furniture in good condition.

  • Outdoor furniture blends into the background so well that its need for maintenance tends to be overlooked. Set a few hours aside each year to check for worn finishes, rotting lumber and rusting metal. A good set of furniture can be expensive to replace, and a regular coat of paint, preservative or oil can add several years to your set's life.
  • Rust never sleeps but if you remove it until the metal underneath is showing, you can slow its grip on metal furniture. If you can't strip the rust away like this, use a rust converter. This not only primes the metal but also neutralizes the rust and prevents it from spreading.
  • An electric drill fitted with a wire brush will whisk the rust off intricate metal furniture really quickly, including any twists and curves. These brushes come in fine, medium and coarse grades to match the size of the job. Always wear protective goggles when doing this job.

Here're are some more problem specific tips.

Expert tips for maintaining garden furniture

What you will need to revive your outdoor furniture

  • Masking tape
  • Penetrating oil
  • Open-end or socket wrench
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Household bleach
  • Pressure washer
  • Sandpaper or chemical wood restorer
  • Hacksaw blade or nut splitter (if required)

Rusty bolts

  • Apply masking tape to the timber
    around the bolts to prevent staining.
  • Soak bolts for 24 hours in penetrating oil and then remove them with a wrench.
  • If a bolt stays stuck, cut through it with a hacksaw or split with a nut splitter.


  • Scrub the wood with dishwashing detergent diluted in warm water
  • Then wipe the affected areas with diluted household bleach and rinse.
  • For stubborn mildew stains, use a stronger concentration of bleach.


  • Pressure washing is an easy, effective way to remove stains from wood and restore the original colour.
  • Sand wood lightly once it's dried after having been washed.
  • Or, after washing an letting the woo dry, apply a wood-restoring chemical to the lumber, following the manufacturer's directions.

Follow these expert tips and you'll be able to relax and enjoy your garden furniture without worrying about replacing it because of minor problems that got out of hand.

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