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Furniture forms a huge part of garden design. Whether it’s for aesthetic, function, storage or entertainment; the furniture outside your home is just as important as it is inside.

As we’re currently in receipt of more than one week of sun, people are beginning to brave the back of the shed to retrieve their deck chairs and benches; stowed hastily away last October. You may find it in need of a good clean and restoration job, so we’re going to share some tips learnt at the coal-face.

First, a simple clean for wooden furniture. Remove all of the excess dirt that has built it up with a stiff bristle brush, using wire where particularly stubborn. Be careful not to wear down the wood if it’s old, you just want to clean it. Do a job on the dust and cobwebs too.

If your furniture is hardwood and it’s on it’s third or fourth summer, it’s probably started to silver with age. Some people love this, some people don’t. If it bothers you, pick up a furniture restorer (like Cuprinol) and apply just like paint. Generally it needs working in, leaving and washing off – but follow the instructions on whichever product you have.

Next, a real clean with soapy water. Blast away anything set into the wood that your brush hasn’t removed, rinsing and drying will remove the last of any lingering dirt. For particularly weathered surfaces, get the sandpaper out and lightly take the edge off.

Now just like you did last season (you did, didn’t you?) it’s time to season the wood. Protecting it in this way can increase the longevity of your furniture for a decade or more. Teak oil is best for hardwood furniture, it looks great, smells great and does a fantastic job of protecting the wood. Work the oil into the wood with something soft, following the pattern of the grain. Apply as many coats as necessary, just make sure each one is dry before you start the next.

Plastic furniture is much easier – as it’s generally waterproof. The task is mainly restoring colour and quality – by washing with hot, soapy water with a little bleach. Stay away from anything abrasive here. To protect plastic, use clear car wax.

Wrought-iron is also straightforward – just wire wool any built-up rust, wash, dry and add enamel paint to stubborn rust spots. Once dry, hit the whole thing with a new lick of paint and it’s back to new.


Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.

We deliver value-for-money on projects of any size, from inner-city courtyards to countryside cottages.

To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.

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