How to Best Care for Your Wooden Outdoor Furniture

Summer is quickly approaching, and with this beautiful Perth weather, it’s time to embrace more outdoor entertaining. It’s time for some spring cleaning of all outdoor furniture, to get ready for dining al fresco in the following months.

Here are our tips on how to clean and care for your outdoor timber furniture.

Start with the right furniture

The key to getting long lasting lives out of your outdoor furniture, is the same as any other internal furniture as well; always choose high quality pieces, and make sure you budget for quality.

Great Australian timber for your wooden furniture, includes our five favourites, being;

  • Jarrah;
  • Blackbutt;
  • Spotted gum;
  • Tasmanian oak, and;
  • Victorian ash.

These timbers are naturally resistant and durable enough to withstand all kinds of Western Australian weather.

Consider covers for the winter months

Protective covers are often available for specific brands of furniture, or you can use simple tarpaulin sheets to cover the furniture during the rainy months.

Experts also suggest that you store and use breathable covers to avoid attracting mould and mildew during the harsher Perth winters.

Move furniture to the shed or garage

If you have the room, the alternative is to make sure you store all wooden furniture undercover, such as in a shed or garage.

Start with a dust and light clean

When tidying you wooden furniture, you should always start with a light and gentle clean; by lightly sweeping any surfaces as needed with a soft brush or slightly damp cloth. Once clear of cobwebs or dust, you can then decide if any further attention needs to be given to cleaning.

Sunscreens and food or wine spills should always be wiped off your wooden furniture as soon as they happen. These spills can be particularly damaging and cause permanent marks and timber stains.

As mentioned, light cleaning of your timber outdoor furniture is ideally done with just a simple damp cloth, either moistened with just water or a very mild soap and water mix.

When it comes to cleaning products for outdoor furniture, non-detergent liquid soap is the best. These products will clean yet not damage your wooden furniture.

You should always read the furniture manual. All quality Australian outdoor furniture should come with care and cleaning instructions.

When your furniture requires a deeper clean

For deeper cleaning at the start and finish of each Perth summer, or in the instance of tougher stains or mould, you can scrub with a soft cloth or very soft brush and a mix of water and dishwasher detergent.

For tougher stains and mildew, use water and vinegar.

You should always wear gloves, and ensure you always scrub in the direction of the wood grain. You can then remove challenging stains by lightly sanding (again, with the direction of the grain) and rinsing the surface.

Wooden furniture staining and oils

The maintenance needs of outdoor wood furniture primarily depends on the look that you are trying to achieve. When left untreated, most Australian timbers will develop a weathered look, and because of their natural rot resistance, require little upkeep.

However, if you would rather keep your wooden furniture looking like new, it can be treated with timber sealants to then preserve the colours and provide additional weather protection.

You will find that most oils and sealants require re-application at least annually. Read the instructions for further details, or ask your friendly Perth hardware person.


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