It can happen to the best of us — life gets busy and some of the little maintenance tasks around the house get overlooked… sometimes piling up for months or even years. When getting your backyard ready for your first summer gathering of the season, you notice that your beloved wooden outdoor furniture is definitely looking very weathered, and maybe even frail. You may wonder: Is it cost effective to treat and resuscitate weathered wooden furniture, or should you just purchase a new set?
The first step in making this decision is to carefully inspect all pieces of the furniture. Are there loose panels? Are the cracks so deep and wide that the surface seems unstable? If there are a lot of loose wood pieces or very deep wide cracks, you may want to consult with an expert restorer. Are there loose or missing screws? Screws can easily be tightened or replaced. Assuming that the piece is still structurally sound, it won’t cost much more than some time and elbow grease to resuscitate and restore your outdoor furniture on your own.
Start with a good wash of all of the hard surfaces. Using a specially formulated teak cleaner and a plastic scrub brush, give the wood a deep cleaning, rinsing with a steady stream of water throughout the washing process, so that the cleaner never dries on the wood. Let the wood dry thoroughly in the sun for a day or two. Once dry, thoroughly sand the wood with sandpaper until smooth and even. Lastly, apply a sealer generously with a rag and allow to dry.
If your furniture has cushions, let your eyes be your guide about whether to salvage or replace. If the fabric is faded or stained beyond being able to be spot-cleaned, you may need to remove the fabric covering to get a look at the inner cushion material. If there is mold, definitely throw the cushion away and purchase a replacement. If there is no mold or other degradation, then you can re-cover the cushion with new weather-resistant fabric for an instant make-over at a low cost. If you must replace the entire cushion, you are still saving money in comparison to purchasing all new furniture, and lengthening the lifespan of your original purchase.
Quality wood outdoor furniture can be a great investment. Regular care and maintenance goes a long way in keeping your furniture both functional and attractive. If you lapse in its upkeep, an advantage of choosing quality wood is that it is both durable and fairly easy to restore and refresh, often able to be tackled as a manageable weekend project at home.