How to care for your outdoor wooden furniture

Private Property South Africa
The Roosting Venus

The South African climate can be harsh on your outdoor wooden furniture. Find out how to protect it from the elements.

Too often our outdoor furniture ends up looking a little like a sun-parched skin. And in the South African climate it’s no surprise. Exposed to the elements day and night, even if not in direct contact, our outdoor wooden furniture faces wind, moisture, sunburn, heat and dust all in a day’s work.

There are many products that promise to keep wood looking new and extend its life, and as a kick start to the festive season, now is a perfect time to act.

Varnish:

First off are the various exterior varnishes on the market, some of which include sunscreen and many of which boast great weather and water protection, being purpose built for yachts and boats. And in general these products do offer good protection for a few years but they don’t allow the wood to breath and eventually peel off, meaning that the labour intensive task of sanding and sealing generally needs to happen all over again.

Go natural:

For those looking for a more natural solution, and for those who don’t like the idea of coating a beautiful natural wood in a plastic varnish, there are some other choices.

Gobelin’s Exterior Danish Oil is a natural product that is in keeping with the natural qualities of wood. It contains UV protection and is environmentally friendly. It penetrates unsealed wood providing a deep nourishing effect, while the eucalyptus resin in it forms a relatively hard surface that is dry to the touch and doesn’t stain.

Method

If the furniture is new it can be treated immediately, but if it is old, it may need a light sanding to start with. Paint or wipe the oil over the furniture with a brush or soft cloth, and allow it to soak in for ten to fifteen minutes. Wipe off the excess with a clean rag and it’s done. If it’s the first time you’re treating the furniture, you’ll probably need to repeat this about three times, waiting twenty-four hours before each coat. Because it’s not a varnish there are no problems of dust getting trapped in it during the drying process. Danish oil forms a natural waterproof surface and if you use enough of the product and saturate the wood properly you’ll protect your furniture from moisture and rain as well as the white marks that glasses can leave. You’ll know when the wood is saturated as any water on the surface will bead up. Give your wood a thorough nourishing treatment like this once a year, and treat it with Woodoc oil every few months in between. (Regular Woodoc oil is fine, as the Danish oil already contains UV protection).

A more economic alternative to Danish oil is Cobra floor polish. Good for indoor furniture and outdoor furniture that is not exposed to direct sunlight it gives a lovely natural sheen and doesn’t darken the wood. Two to three initial coats will give an even finish and keep the wood moist and protected. Too many coats will lead to a build-up of wax, so keep this simple treatment for occasional use.

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