We are truly blessed to live in Australia. For most of the year, we enjoy warm days and clear nights, perfect for being outdoors. Eating, drinking and enjoying the good times. From Christmas lunch to new year’s eve, our outdoor areas play host to countless gatherings and goings-on, and it all starts with a quality outdoor dining set.
Outdoor furniture needs to be not only stylish and comfortable but resistant to the elements. Outdoor settings in Australia need to be extra hardy, as our country is bombarded with weather from one extreme to another. From dangerous ultraviolet radiation to flash floods, our country can make short work of our furniture.
Luckily for us, with a little care, we can keep our outdoor furniture looking its best by following a simple maintenance schedule.
Keep it covered.
To keep your furniture looking its best, prevention is usually the best cure. Even though your pieces may be able to stand up to harsh conditions, you can extend their life dramatically by keeping them covered when not in use. Outdoor furniture covers can be bought wherever outdoor furniture is sold and can be made to custom sizes. A cover made from waterproof, mold-proof fabric is best.
Maintain a cleaning schedule.
Depending on the material, you will want to clean your outdoor furniture every 3-6 months. Some pieces like the Sevan 3 piece outdoor setting from Domayne have a rust-resistant frame but will still need to be cleaned every six months. Make sure you wipe away any food stains or spills as they occur. Organic material like bird droppings and food stains, if not removed, can cause mold and rust to develop.
For metal and synthetic rattan, a mild dish soap and some warm water is fine. For wood, a slightly stronger detergent mix and a scrubbing brush should do the trick.
For larger wooden pieces like a dining table, when cleaning spray the whole piece down with cold water first. Then apply the detergent/water solution vigorously with a scrubbing brush. Give the furniture a second rinse of and let the piece dry thoroughly.
As mentioned above, covering your furniture is the best way of protecting it against the elements. For metal, car wax can be applied to seal the metal and further rustproof it. This can be done on furniture like the Sevan that already has a rust-resistant coating.
For fabrics and plastics, protective sprays can be used to repel stains, dirt, and rust spots. Products like protectME are long-lasting and can be applied with little fear of poisoning pets or plants.
To protect wooden furniture from cracking or splitting, specialized oil can be applied every couple of years to keep it looking great, and sealing the wood from moisture and dirt. Before applying any oil, perform a rigorous clean, sanding off any old oil that was applied previously. Wash the table and let it dry completely before giving it a light coat of oil. Feast Watson is my recommended furniture oil brand.
If your furniture is used occasionally, it is best to move the furniture under cover away from sunlight and moisture. While this isn’t essential, it will increase the lifespan of your outdoor furniture considerably.
While outdoor furniture is designed to survive nature’s full wrath, it can do its job better if we follow some simple maintenance schedules. By keeping your furniture clean and free from organics you ensure that it doesn’t develop mold spots. If you are lazy like me, and only do one thing to keep your furniture looking fresh, buy some weatherproof covers. This single accessory will keep your outdoor furniture fresh for years to come.