How to Properly Care for Outdoor Wood Furniture

What You'll Need
Water hose
Scrub brush
Wood Cleaner (for your type of wood)
Clean rags
Wood oil

Outdoor wood furniture can add a dramatic punch to the decor on a patio or deck. Because outdoor wood furniture can be quite costly, no matter what type of wood you decide to buy, you should take the time to maintain it so it last a long time.

Step 1 - Prepare

Before you actually wash the furniture, use your scrub brush to go all over the wood. This will loosen any dried bugs, bird droppings, cobwebs and other debris. Be sure to get under the seat or tabletop as well. Most of the dirt is usually around the bottom and underneath.

Step 2 - Clean Your Wood Furniture

Mix the recommend type of wood cleaner in a bucket of water. Spray down your furniture to get it damp, and wash the piece down with a scrub brush. Using a scrub brush as opposed to a rag will get into any grooves in the wood to remove buildup. Again, be sure to get the bottom and underneath. When finished, rinse all of the areas well to remove all the cleaner.

Step 3 - Dry Your Furniture

After cleaning, allow the furniture to thoroughly dry. If it remains damp, the moisture will seep into the wood, which can cause rot and other problems like mold. Wipe down all of the furniture with clean rags and then place your furniture in the sun. Let it sit out the entire day to be sure that it's completely dry.

Step 4 - Apply Oil

When the furniture is dry, rub wood oil onto the surface to condition the wood and give added protection. Get into the crevices really well. Allow the oil to soak into the furniture for several hours. Use another clean rag and wipe off any excess.

Step 5 - Check the Hardware and Inspect the Wood

Periodically, it is always a good idea to check the hardware on your outdoor wood furniture. Inspect all of the screws and brackets, and replace or tighten any that are loose or lost. It is a good rule of thumb to do this every few months, and this is also a good time to check for any loose wood that may need repairs, such as slats or ties.

Step 6 - Cover and Protect

With the huge expense of your outdoor wood furniture, the added expense of seat and table covers may seem nonsensical, but in fact, using furniture covers are the most important thing you can do to extend the life of your furniture. If left alone, the elements will destroy the wood very quickly. The rain will seep into the wood, causing it to rot and mold, and the sun can dry it out and cause it to fade and become brittle.

If you get an unexpected rain and your furniture does get wet, dry it as soon as possible. Cover it only after completely dry; otherwise, the trapped moisture can cause mildew.