Get the most out of your patio furniture - Metro US

Get the most out of your patio furniture

You’ve probably dragged your outdoor furniture outside by now, and hopefully, you’re sitting on it.

Or are you still wiping off spiderwebs, and trying to scrub off traces of last summer’s barbeques?

If so, you may need some pointers on how to look after your outdoor furniture.

Summer care
• Aluminum furniture can get dull, so wash with soap and water.
• To avoid rusty painted metal furniture, which can permanently stain cement, wooden decking and stonework, touch up chips or cracks promptly.
• Cedar or teak contains natural oils which protect the wood from deteriorating in wet conditions. To maintain the golden colour of a “new wood”, use a wood protector. If the wood is left untreated, it will turn a well-aged pale silver over time, which can look lovely in the right setting.
• Outdoor cushions should be covered with weather-resistant fabrics, such as woven acrylic, vinyl.
• If you’ve got loungers with plastic strips, or plastic cushions, a combination of sun, sunscreen, chlorine (if you’ve got a pool or hot tub), and natural body oils can cause the plastic to deteriorate. Wipe down periodically, and supply towels to act as a barrier.
• Promptly clean spills or bird poop.
• If you notice rusting screws or bolts, remove and replace with galvanized versions.
• Use silicone-based lubricants on wheels and hinges, as oil will attract dirt.
• Most furniture should be washed with soap and water. Take care not to use abrasives with plastic or painted metal furniture.

The Hard Stuff
Natural wicker, bamboo or wood is beautiful but requires a little extra care.
• Remove winter dust and dirt by wiping with a cloth moistened with water and soap. Wipe it down again with plain water. Do not soak.
• Let it dry thoroughly before using or storing it.
• If your wicker has a layer of shellac or varnish, you may reapply it, or you may use lemon oil furniture polish on unfinished wicker.
• If fibres start to fray, you may sand it lightly to remove fuzziness.
• You may spray-paint natural wicker. Two coats of matt paint is recommended.

– Sylvia Putz is a journalist with an interest in decor and design. She’s written for TV show Arresting Design; sputz@arrestingdesign.com.

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