garden furniture

Using garden and patio furniture can add a lot of appeal to your patio. However, it is very important that you choose your furnishings carefully so as to ensure you get the best and long lasting-furniture. This should be considered when choosing your patio furniture.

Here are a few important tips for you to consider:

1. Durability
2. What the furniture is made of
3. Color
4. Size
5. Does it complement your patio and home?

Outdoor furniture can be made from many different materials such as plastic, wood, wicker and metal and comes in many different styles. Think about the look you want to achieve before you choose your furniture and the amount of room also that you have to get that look.

This last point, how much room, is very important as you do not want all of the room on your patio to be taken up by furniture nor do you want a tiny setting in a huge space. The most economical way of buying furniture for your deck is to buy outdoor patio furniture sets.

That way the pieces of furniture match each other and, because you are buying the furniture as a set then quite often the price is cheaper than if the components were bought separately.

Durability is very important. The furniture is most likely going to stay outdoors. That means it will be subject to a variety of weather conditions like rain, dust, wind, sun, etc. Even if your patio is covered the furniture will still be subject to weather conditions.

If you buy cheap plastic or PVC patio furniture you will most likely have to replace it within a short space of time, maybe in 2 – 3 years. This type of furniture can deteriorate rapidly if left out in the weather.

Metal patio furniture is very durable but may need some periodic attention such as painting and rust removal but can look great in the right setting.

Wooden patio furniture is the most popular. Many varieties of wood are used for making outdoor furniture and some are more durable than others. This means that outdoor furniture made from the less durable varieties will need regular attention like painting, staining or oiling.

With some woods, e.g. pine, this maintenance may be as regular as every year. The more durable timbers are jarrah and teak and usually a quick oil or stain every 2 to 3 years is ample. Sometimes, wicker furniture is painted. However, it does not need a great deal of attention.

The color of your patio furniture is very important as it needs to harmonize with your patio. Most wooden patio furniture is stained or oiled and so retains the natural grains of the timber and, because of its natural look, often blends into most patio styles.

Metal or iron furniture will only come painted for durability reasons. However, the right metal furniture can look good in many styles of patio. For that tropical feel, wicker garden furniture can look great.

Wicker furniture is usually left in its natural state and can add an earthy relaxed feel to your patio.

The size you choose is very important. When deciding on the size, you need to leave room on the patio for people to move around. This is most important if you entertain regularly. Your guests should be able to freely mingle.

A good idea is to make a diagram of your deck to scale and then cut out some pieces of paper to represent your furniture. By placing these cut-outs in various positions on the patio drawing you will be able to see if you have sufficient room.

Choose furniture that will not clutter the area. If a room is limited then choices like extendable tables and fold up chairs can be the answer. Excess chairs can be folded and stored until needed. Tables can be extended when necessary.

Your final choice in patio furniture should look good in its final place and complement your patio. For example, wood outdoor furniture looks great in natural settings with lots of plants. Wicker garden furniture looks great in those lush tropical areas.

It is a good idea to note the style of your house and then find patio furniture that will suit that style. There are so many styles and varieties in garden and patio furniture now available, that anyone’s taste can be satisfied.

Cleaning Your Patio Furniture
When the sun comes out and the family is ready to hit the great outdoors, catch some rays and enjoy a little barbecue, you want to make sure that your patio furniture is ready.

Today’s patio furniture is made to last, but it still needs some tender loving care each season to make sure that it continues to perform year in and year out. This is particularly true if you’ve invested in quality patio furniture.

If you live in a location whether the winters turn ugly and the temperatures dip into the teens regularly, you want to make sure that your furniture is either stored indoors or is covered with a nice quality cover that’s made specifically for outdoor furniture.

This is particularly true for wood furniture, since water can seep into the wood and expand when it freezes, creating cracks. What’s more, rain, snow, ice, dirt and dust can artificially weather your furniture, causing it to age before its time.

To keep your furniture in tip-top shape, here are some helpful tips regarding the best way to clean patio furniture.

Wood Furniture
It’s best to use a dry brush to remove any loose dust or debris from the furniture. Left on the wood, the debris can cause scratches and mar the finish. After the surface is brushed, use a bit of sandpaper to remove any chips or surface scratches.

To clean wood furniture, use a bucket containing lukewarm water and some mild detergent such as dish washing soap. Apply the solution with a sponge. You don’t need a lot of water on the surface and if you use too much solution, you may end up removing the finish, particularly if your patio furniture has been polished.

You can also use a wood wash, but read the manufacturer’s instructions first. Once the patio furniture has been cleaned, dry it off with a clean, dry towel. Some wood surfaces will benefit from a little baby oil or vegetable oil.

If you have teak patio furniture, purchase marine-grade teak oil from a marine supply store. The stuff they sell in home improvement stores isn’t up to snuff and you’ll end up disappointed with the results.

Iron Furniture
Wrought iron patio furniture is a popular option because it is strong and beautiful. However, it can corrode. To keep your iron patio furniture looking like new, you’ll want to sand the surface wherever you see rust marks.

Remove all the rust, then wipe the entire piece of furniture down with a clean cloth. Some manufacturers include a touch-up kit so you can cover any rust spots with matching paint. If not, you can always refinish it with a product made to prevent rust, such as Rustoleum.

If no rust is present, you can simply wipe the piece clean with a mixture of mild detergent and water. This should remove any dirt. If your wrought iron furniture has intricate patterns, you may want to use a small brush to get into the cracks and crevasses.

During the winter, keep iron patio furniture under a plastic cover to keep it out of the air and moisture. These are the enemies of wrought iron and when winter is over, you’ll be dealing with a very rusty piece of patio furniture.

Plastic and PVC Furniture
A lot of people think these materials are maintenance-free, but they are not. Each season you’ll need to give them a once over with a solution of dish washing liquid and water. Let the solution stay on the surface for a while, then use a small brush to remove any debris or dirt in the crevasses.

Baking powder and warm water work well, too. Once the furniture is clean, rinse it off thoroughly with a hose and let it air dry.

Aluminum Patio Furniture
If you have aluminum patio furniture you’ll want to use a solution of dish washing liquid and water as well. Using a clean cotton cloth that has been dipped into it, rub the entire surface to remove any built-up soil and stains.

Rinse thoroughly with a hose, then wipe the entire piece of furniture with a soft cloth. Once it has thoroughly dried, apply a little car wax to the surface and buff it to a shiny finished when it has dried. This will keep the aluminum furniture from becoming corroded.

When cleaning any patio furniture, you want to avoid harsh detergents, cleansers and bleaches. They will do far more harm than good. Also, any brushes should be soft or semi-soft. Don’t use a wire brush on the furniture – it may scratch the surface.

If you find mold the cushions or on wood patio furniture, a half cup of bleach mixed into a gallon of water should do the trick.