The most sought after woods for patio furniture are Western Red and Northern White Cedar. These are fine-grained woods that are durable and very resistant to insects and rot. To add to its popularity, cedar can be left natural or be painted or stained to compliment your patio décor.
Unfinished Cedar Furniture
If you chose to leave Northern White or Western Red Cedar unfinished, it will weather to a soft, silver patina. Unfinished cedar looks natural and is pleasing to the eye. However, since wood cedar is a porous wood, it will become discolored if left outside in areas that are damp or faded. When this happens, you can usually remove the stain by using a household bleach/water solution of 20 percent. Add one ounce of detergent for every gallon of water. Scrub cedar with a soft bristled brush using the solution and it will be restored to its original beauty, even if it has been exposed to the elements for years.
Staining Cedar Furniture
There is a wide range of stains available on today’s market suitable for finishing cedar patio furniture. Keep in mind that you’ll need a deep penetrating stain in order to preserve the wood and retain its natural beauty. Choose a stain that has mildew inhibitors and water repellent additives. All penetrating stains go deep into the wood but do not form a surface barrier. This eliminates the problem of blistering and peeling. These stains are perfect for woods that have knots and coarse grain. All of these factors make stains preferable over paint.
Once you have chosen the stain that is to your liking, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions in order for the application to be successful. This will ensure that your stained cedar furniture will retain its beauty for years. Cedar furniture should be given a fresh coat of stain every two to three years.
Painting Cedar Furniture
There is a wide range of exterior paints on the market that will allow you to choose colors to match your patio décor. Remember that all exterior paints will flake and peel over time. When this happens, the furniture has to be scraped and given a fresh coat of paint. This should be done at least every other year in order to keep your cedar furniture looking beautiful. Always follow the manufacturer’s direction when applying exterior paint.
Tip: Never use oil based exterior paint on your cedar patio furniture. Oil based finishes attract dust particles and dirt that is in the air.
Cleaning Cedar Patio Furniture
To clean cedar patio furniture that has a finish, wipe with a damp cloth twice weekly. For unfinished furniture, see the directions above.
Click here to purchase patio furniture and exterior stains.