Everyone loves the look and of course the comfort of wooden and rattan outdoor furniture. Who can blame them when the look just speaks volumes of taking it easy outdoors? But if you want your outdoor furniture to last, you need to make a few decisions on how you are going to keep it looking fresh despite wind, rain and sun beating on it. Here are several ways that you can take care of that beautiful rattan or wood set you have sitting outside so you can enjoy it for years to come.
Keep it Clean
Because this is furniture that is made from a natural fiber, you want to do what you can to keep damaging dirt and even rot from taking root on your furniture. The best approach is to periodically brush it with a stiff wire brush to dislodge anything that has caught in the rattan or around the edges of wooden furniture.
In addition, at the end of each season of use you should take the time to wash it all down with a combination of warm sudsy water and a soft cloth. An oil-based soap will do the best job. If you aren’t sure, try using a product that was designed for cleaning wood floors. Make sure that the furniture is completely dry before you store it for the season.
Paint Your Furniture
Paint is a great protector of wood and rattan. It is why we highly recommend that anyone who uses rattan or wooden furniture outdoors should add a new coat of paint any time you begin to see the current paint chipping.
For rattan, you can ask at the local hardware store if they carry paint that is specifically formulated for rattan. Because the material is actually a grass, it soaks up the paint more than with wood furniture so using this special paint will give you a longer lasting finish.
Store It Each Season
While we all love our outdoor furniture, chances are you aren’t going to be sitting in it too much this winter unless you live in Southern California. While that is one location where you can probably continue to use your rattan all year around, for the rest of us storing it in winter just makes sense. Those long cold rainy or snowy winters are not going to be kind to your rattan or wood, even if you cover it up. So, take the time each year before the bad weather hits to grab it and store it indoors.
Oil it Up
One thing you might consider before storing it for the season is to add some tungsten oil to it to protect it from drying out during the winter. Even if you are simply moving it into a protected front sun porch, remember that exposing rattan to indoor heating can dry it out and leave it brittle and vulnerable to breakage or damage.
If you follow these steps and take care of that wooden or rattan furniture by cleaning it, painting it and storing it each season, with a nice coat of oil before you put it away, you will have it for years to come. Just as you wouldn’t expect a house plant to survive for ages without water and sunlight, so too your wooden and rattan furniture will last longer and look better when they are cared for with the things they need to thrive. Protection from dirt and moisture when in use, a safe place to spend the winter and a nice coat of oil to keep that wood and rattan protected from the ravages of dry heat can make all the difference.