5 Tips for Maintaining a Wooden Bench

A wooden bench makes a great accent for any garden. It also provides a place to sit and rest, to enjoy how everything looks in the middle of summer or to simply take a break from gardening. Having spent good money on your bench and finding the ideal place for it in your garden, you will need to take good care of it. There are several ways to do this and here are 5 tips for maintaining a wooden bench.

Tip 1 - Finishing the Bench

If you’ve bought a bench that hasn’t been finished, putting a coat of finish or sealant on it can help it last a lot longer. Should you choose to finish your bench, you’ll need to clean it first. Buy a wood cleaner from a hardware store and apply it with a brush, making sure your scrub thoroughly between the slats and in the corners both under the bench and where you sit. When you’ve finished, allow the bench to dry completely in the sun, preferably for a full day.

If you wish, you can now stain your bench. Select the color of stain you want and apply it with a brush, being sure to cover all the wood. When done, rinse the brush for future use and give the bench ample time to dry. You will need a good waterproof finish for your bench. If you’re going to finish the bench, it’s best to do it before the wood has weathered to help it keep its color.  Be aware that you’ll need to clean the bench and re-apply the finish once a year.

Tip 2 - Hardwood Bench

With a hardwood bench, you should use teak oil to preserve the wood. Hardwood benches tend to be very expensive, so applying the oil at least once a year will keep your bench looking good for a lot longer.

Tip 3 - A Rustic Bench

A lot of people prefer not to finish their bench, but prefer it to age and weather naturally. Over time, the wood color will turn a soft silver-grey. Note that weathering doesn’t affect the bench at all. It will be as strong as ever. However, if you have a softwood bench, be sure to use wood preservative on it.

However, it will still need cleaning yearly. Use soapy water and a brush and clean the bench thoroughly before rinsing with water to get rid of any soap film that might otherwise accumulate. You can also use a pressure washer on your wooden bench to clean off all the dirt that has built up during the preceding year.

Tip 4 - Weekly Cleaning

If you have a finished wooden bench, you can keep it sparkling by cleaning it every week. You can best accomplish this by just using a cloth and soapy water. Wash the bench carefully then rinse off all the soap before letting the bench dry completely.

Tip 5 - Spills

If you spill something on your wooden bench, especially if it’s a carbonated drink, wipe it up immediately. This is especially important if you’ve taken the time to finish your bench as a spill, particularly from a carbonated drink, can damage the finish. Leave it and you’ll at least have a stain and you might even need to refinish the entire bench.