Northern Beaches, Sydney-based outdoor furniture shop Le Bench provides a few useful tips on caring for timber furniture, especially when it’s exposed to the elements.

For everyday care, make sure the timber furniture is not exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Extreme changes in humidity can also cause warping. Embrace practices such as using coasters, pads, cloth or felt to protect the furniture surface and place protective mats under hot dishes. Clean the timber regularly using a light detergent solution if the furniture is dirty or has mould, algae or mildew.

Additionally, apply a suitable coating such as Intergrain’s UltraClear Exterior to preserve the life of the timber.

Taking care of outdoor timber furniture:

1. Use painter’s masking tape on all surrounding furniture frame edges to protect the frame from surface scratches while sanding and from stains during coating.

2. Put a drop sheet underneath to protect the floor.

3. Lightly sand the timber with 240 grit sand paper, working in the same direction as the grain of the timber.

4. Thoroughly remove dust with a dust cloth.

5. Apply the coating using a paint brush with all strokes in the same direction as the timber grain. Ensure a smooth finish by staying away from wind or dust during the coating process. Do not apply in direct sunlight or in temperatures above 35°C or below 10°C. Remove any coating spill on the stainless steel frame with a soft cloth.

6. Apply two coats and ensure the second coat is applied only after the first coat is completely dry.

7. Allow two days for coating to fully harden and cure before use.

Protecting the stainless steel frame

Even if you use masking tape on the stainless steel frame, you may still get stray paint marks or stains on it. Follow these instructions to remove the marks or stains using WD40 and a nylon scouring pad.

1. Dust the furniture.

2. Spray WD40 onto the nylon scouring pad. Ensure you do not get WD40 on the timber as it will stain. If you do get WD40 on the timber, wipe off immediately with a soft cloth.

3. Scour the steel lightly in the direction of the grain, i.e. along the length of the steel to avoid scratches.

4. Clean with a soft cloth.