Caring for Patio Furniture: Safety Tips

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Before beginning any kind of work in your garden, it is important to consider any potential risks. Not all jobs in the garden will carry the same risk, but by following a few simple steps you can easily minimise the possibility of slips and trips.

1. Clothing

It goes without saying that old clothes that you don’t mind damaging or getting dirty are the most appropriate choice to wear when you begin any DIY project. Further to this, you will want to avoid loose fitting garments and those with tassels that may get caught in the furniture you are trying to care for, or leave streaks in any varnishes or top coats you are applying.

2. Time

Getting outdoors can be fun, but when it comes to any form of DIY, rushing should never be an option. Consider the amount of time it will take to complete your task and ensure you make allowances for breaks. Whether you’re staining your patio furniture or potting some plants, you’ll never get the same finish by rushing.

3. Stay Organised

Whether your garden is big or small, keeping your work organised is always the best practice. If you have a mixture of patio furniture in a variety of materials, begin by completing one set, before moving on to the next. By planning ahead, you will be able to minimise the number of tools you’ll need to hand at any one time and be able to maintain a clear workspace.
Now we’ve run through a few general safety guidelines, let’s consider the various ways to keep your patio furniture in tip top condition. Outdoor furniture can range considerably in price, and if you’ve invested in a good quality set, you’ll want to ensure you can enjoy it for years to come.

Tools you will need:

Paint brush
Sandpaper
Sponge
Bucket
Suitable furniture paint
Protective covers

The exact method of caring for your garden patio furniture will vary, depending on the material it is made from. However, the below guide will help you take care of sets made from metal, wood rattan or resin.

Many people opt for metal garden furniture for its hardwearing properties and often intricate designs that capture the eye and provide elegant detail to the garden. The condition of your patio furniture will come down to a combination of regular care and personal taste.

Keep it Clean

It can be tempting to leave cleaning your garden furniture until the height of summer when relaxing outside in the garden can often seem most appealing. However, if you decide to paint your metal furniture or find that a lot of work is required, you will need to leave enough time to do this and allow the metal to dry.

Giving your metal garden furniture a thorough clean even just once a year with either hot soapy water or a specialist cleaning fluid can make all the difference. Moisture spurs on rust and dirt hold far more moisture than a clean item. Consequently, ridding your metal garden furniture of dirt will help you to keep it looking its best.

Metal patio furniture can suffer from algae which, if left, can continue to spread and tire the appearance of the furniture. To maintain your outdoor furniture, it is best practice to kill algae when it forms by using a fungicidal wash or sterilising solution, leaving it to soak 24 hours before washing the solution off with clean water.

Before deciding on the aesthetics of your garden furniture, you will want to ensure that all bolts of the piece are in place and free from rust. Following this check, you can move on to considering the appearance of your furniture.

Aesthetics

Once you’ve given your metal garden furniture a good clean, it’s now time to consider the aesthetics of the piece. A little prep work is required to ensure you are able to achieve a high-quality finish, so before diving right in with a paintbrush and a tin of your favourite colour, it will be necessary to rid the furniture of any chipped or peeling paint. Following this step, give your furniture a new lease of life by smoothing the surface of the furniture with sandpaper and brushing away any excess dust.

Carrying out these stages of maintenance can sometimes be messy, so if possible, place protective sheeting on the ground to save you having to sweep the area once the sanding stage is complete.

Of course, once clean and ready to be used for another season, you may wish to completely change the aesthetics of your patio furniture by coating it in a brand new colour. There’s no need to remain within the realm of traditional metal furniture colours such as white; you can satisfy your thirst for bright colours, pastel hues or traditional vintage styles by whipping out your paintbrush and applying 2-3 coats of suitable paint to achieve a solid and vibrant finish.

Setting time aside once a year to clean and maintain your patio furniture will not only ensure it lasts for years to come, it will also prevent dirt and algae building up over time which, if allowed, would make the process more time consuming and laboursome.

Once you’ve fully protected your metal garden furniture, you can find a wide range of garden accessories to accompany it across our website. Keep an eye out for our latest blog posts for more garden inspiration.