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How to Keep Rust and Splinters From Ruining Your Outdoor Furniture

A woman sands a wooden chair armrest using a sanding block

Image: Ingo Bartussek (Shutterstock)

H2o, temperature fluctuations, and sunlight can all problems your out of doors furniture—but the good thing is, a number of simple upkeep procedures can restore dried-out wooden, convey again color, prevent water destruction, and bolster the joints of your home furnishings. You will get a lot more lifetime out of your patio, deck, and garden pieces, saving you revenue even as you make your out of doors areas a lot more comfy and inviting. (No one likes sitting down on a chair protected in splinters.)

Use sandpaper to easy out your surfaces

Sunlight, heat, and rain can trigger fading, greying, and splintering in bare, unfinished wooden, but really don’t fret—a little sandpaper goes a very long way. Begin by sanding off any splinters, going from making use of coarse- to fantastic-quality sandpaper and doing work with the grain of the wooden as a great deal as probable to clear up any likely snag places. You can find “project packs” for sanding at most components or property advancement suppliers that occur with a coarse, medium, and fine grit sandpaper included. Each form of sandpaper will be marked with a number that refer to the distribution and measurement of the abrasive surface area on the paper. Reduce numbers (say, 60 or 80) are extra coarse, even though greater quantities (180 or 220) are additional high-quality.

To pick the correct grain of sand paper, study your piece for huge splinters (even bigger than, say, the tip of your index finger), medium splinters (about the thickness of your thumbnail), or scaled-down splinters (that could possibly look to be fuzzy on your floor). Match your paper to your splinters: If you have massive splinters, a coarse sandpaper will function finest at very first. For medium-sized protrusions, a medium grit sandpaper will operate or anything more compact, a wonderful grit paper will perform greatest.

Commence with a coarse grain to clear away greater splinters, and get the job done your way down to more compact grit until finally you realize your wished-for level of surface smoothness. A sanding block is pretty beneficial here, and will help you save you some disappointment. Basically wrap your sandpaper about the block to give you included rigidity and help save your sore fingers. Sanding blocks are out there in hardware shops and are normally built from dense, a little bit adaptable foam, but in a pinch, you can also use a block of wood or even a dense sponge.

If your floor is somewhat new and undamaged, it is nonetheless a very good concept to hit it with some sandpaper ahead of applying a protective coating—all the much better to protect it in advance of it turns into dried, faded, greyed, or splintery.

Use ferrous sulfate to age your surface for a rustic search

Sanding your piece can also clear away a gray, discolored surface area, exposing the organic color of the wooden beneath. If your furnishings seems a minor as well new, you can give it a extra rustic, greyed appear by applying a compound identified as ferrous sulfate. This non-harmful compound, generally bought as a vitamin dietary supplement, will oxidize the floor of your furnishings, turning it a normal-searching, weathered grey. Ferrous sulfate typically really hard to discover in shops, but can be quickly ordered on line.

To use, dissolve 1.4 ounces (or 2 tablespoons) of ferrous sulfate in a person gallon of h2o, then brush, spray, or wipe it on your furnishings with a rag and allow it to dry. To be positive the treatment method will obtain the sought after final result, do a examination patch on the underside of your home furnishings very first. A word of warning: Ferrous sulfate operates by leading to oxidation—also known as rust—so continue to keep it away from exposed metals, which includes components and equipment.

Issue and take care of your wood furnishings

As soon as you are completed getting ready your surface area, transfer on to managing the wooden. Most possible if your furnishings is bare wooden, you’re aiming to retain that glance. For normal-searching final results that will past, apply an outdoor furniture wax. There are a wide range of waxes produced for out of doors use, so decide on just one with a UV protectant as perfectly as waterproofing houses.

To utilize your wax, make absolutely sure your piece is cleanse and dry (and that you’ve remembered to browse the label on your solution for protection info). Also, test the weather report if you are working outside—rain and superior humidity could interfere with your wax’s ability to properly seal the wooden surface as it dries.

The moment you’ve received a clean, dry, and protected doing the job natural environment, you can apply your wax to the home furnishings. Some waxes are intended to be slathered on with a rag when many others are supposed for use with a plastic putty knife or spatula, so go through the label and observe directions. Use the wax in a clean, even coat and enable it to dry for about 24 hrs.

Just after a day or so, your wax ought to begin to come to feel like it is hardened, but it will still possible also experience a bit tacky or sticky. To cure this, buff it with a dry rag or a buffing pad, the exact same way you may well buff a automobile just after waxing it. The buffing must take treatment of any stickiness and also enable easy out the wax. It can choose one more few days for the wax to completely treatment, based on the weather conditions, but it shouldn’t require any extra assist from you. Your household furniture will now be splinter-absolutely free and protected from sunshine and rain hurt.

A couple of extra suggestions to maintain out of doors household furniture

Look at your home furniture for free or rusted hardware and tighten any unfastened screws with a screwdriver. If it’s a free bolt, you are going to have to have an adjustable wrench to do so, and potentially an additional to preserve the bolt from spinning although you are tightening it.
For rusted pieces, if the damage is nominal, use a rust remover and use a wire brush and rag to choose off most of the discolored floor. If it is intensely broken, greater to replace the hardware.

Lastly, if you system to embark on a home furnishings upkeep journey, make certain you’re wearing gloves, performing outside the house or in a well-ventilated place, and following all protection data detailed on your product’s label. Sprucing up your outside area can and need to be entertaining, but inhaling potentially unsafe substances in a inadequately ventilated space is no enjoyment at all.