How to Clean Your Old Wooden Garden Furniture

So, you’ve had your trusty garden furniture for a while now and you’re starting to think it needs a bit of sprucing up. Don’t forget you don’t to spruce it up for it to last longer, it is only for aesthetic purposes as wood is a natural material which will crack and split. Alexander Rose furniture is designed with this in mind; therefore, its strength and durability will remain unaffected by the weathering process. However, if you wish to revive your furniture back to its former glory then let us take you through the following treatment and maintenance options and hint, it’s NOT using a pressure washer!

If you wish to change the colour of your wooden furniture from silvery grey to brown, then we recommend using Timber Treatment (if hardwood) or Timber Protector (Roble or Teak only) which will physically change the colour. If your furniture is dirty you will need to use a Timber Cleaner before applying either of these. You may want to apply Timber Sealer after Timber Treatment, as it acts as a hard coating which prolongs the Treatment application.

If you want to get rid of black mold spotting on your Teak or Roble furniture, then use Timber Cleaner followed by Timber Shield.

 Timber Cleaner

Alexander Rose Timber Cleaner brings the colour of wood back to life by removing the effects of weathering or dirt, stains and black fungal growth. It is a water-based product which is nontoxic to the environment. If you have applied previous applications of any treatment onto the wood, or if your furniture is particularly dark in colour due to being left out in the elements, then use Timber Cleaner to clean this off. How to apply:

  1. Wear gloves and eye protection. Cover the ground under your work area before starting
  2. For lighter stained areas dilute using a 1-part cleaner two parts water ratio
  3. Apply with a sponge or nonmetallic scouring pad
  4. On heavily stained areas use a sponge backed nonmetallic scouring pad with neat Timber Cleaner
  5. Leave for 10 minutes before washing off with water

For best results, follow up the application of Timber Cleaner by lightly sanding down the wood. This will leave a lovely silky-smooth finish. If working on hardwood (i.e. not Pine), you may wish to apply Timber Treatment as the next step to get that rich brown colour back in the wood.

Timber Treatment

Alexander Rose Timber Treatment will give the furniture a rich brown look and enhances the natural wood grain. It contains water repellent which reduces the access of moisture into the wood and helps protect against the ageing effects of exposure to sunlight. Be careful when using as is toxic. Do not use on Pine. How to apply:

  1. Wear gloves and eye protection. Cover the ground under your work area before starting
  2. Ensure all surfaces of the wood are thoroughly cleaned using Timber Cleaner prior to application and the wood is completely dry
  3. Apply very sparingly with a cloth (over application could lead to fungal growth)
  4. Remove excess oil with a clean cloth

Wait at least two months before applying a further coat. Use undiluted. Follow up with an application of our Timber Sealer. Timber Treatment when followed with an application of Sealer forms a hardy barrier which means your furniture will only need this application combination of Treatment and Sealer once per season.  If Treatment is applied on its own without the follow up of Sealer, then it will require approximately 3-4 light applications per season, but you will need to wait 2 months between applications.

Timber Sealer

Alexander Rose Timber Sealer can be applied after Timber Treatment or on its own. If applied after Treatment, it acts as a hard coating prolonging the Treatment application. It is a protective coating designed to allow the wood to breath, whilst keeping the wood’s original colour. Suitable for most hardwoods but do not use on softwoods such as Pine. Timber Sealer protects against weathering, reduces dirt and moisture absorption. Be careful when using as is toxic. Sealer will slow down the rate at which the wood turns grey. How to apply:

  1. Wear gloves and eye protection. Cover the ground under your work area before starting
  2. Make sure that the Timber is completely dry before application. Treatment application you have previously applied is completely dry. (We recommend leaving at least 7 days before applying Timber Sealer after a Timber Treatment application)
  3. Taking a clean brush, apply sealer evenly over all areas of the wood.

It is imperative that the wood is totally dry before applying Timber Sealer. Use undiluted. 

Timber Cleaner, Treatment and Sealer maybe used on most hardwood furniture including Roble, Mahogany, Teak and Iroko. Timber Cleaner and Sealer are suitable for pressure treated Pine. Do not use Timber Treatment on softwoods such as Pine, instead use treatments that are produced specifically for Pine garden furniture such as Ronseal. 

Timber Protector

Timber Protector maintains the original colour of Teak and Roble for longer. It tints the wood, so we suggest you test it out by applying to a small area first that’s out of view, such as the back of a leg. Protector can be used in place of Timber Treatment and Sealer, and there are some reasons why you may want to choose to apply Protector instead of a separate application of Treatment and Sealer; it maintains the light brown colour of Teak and Roble up to 4 times longer than Treatment and twice as long as Sealer, it’s water based with no chemicals so is nontoxic to the environment, it’s non greasy so clothes stay clean, it’s mold resistant and prevents black spotting. Here’s how to use:

  1. Wear gloves and eye protection. Cover the ground under your work area before starting
  2. Grey wood or wood that’s been treated previously with Timber Treatment must be cleaned first with Timber Cleaner
  3. After using the Timber Cleaner, if the wood feels rough then sand lightly. Make sure the wood is 100% dry and dust free before application of Protector
  4.  Shake and stir the Protector for at least a minuet  
  5. Apply a thin layer using a dust free cloth
  6. Wait for 30 minutes before applying a second layer

We recommend you apply Timber Protector at least once every year. 

Timber Shield

Alexander Rose Timber Shield is the newest member of the Timber care products family. It is water and moisture repellant, helps prevent food and drink stains and prevents mildew growth and dirt build up. It is water based and contains no chemicals making it nontoxic. Shield is for use on the hardwoods Roble and Teak. Shield has no colour to it. Here’s how to use:

  1. Wear gloves and eye protection. Cover the ground under your work area before starting
  2. Make sure the wood is 100% dry and free of dust
  3. Shake for 1 minute before use 
  4. Apply Shield with a soft cloth and allow to soak for at least 10 minutes
  5. Allow to dry for 4 hours and then re-apply a second coat of Shield. Let the wood dry for at least 24 hours after application before it is exposed to any moisture
  6. It is recommended that you treat your Roble/ Teak with Shield at least once every year 

Soapy water

If you have decided to embrace the natural silver grey colour that wooden furniture such as Roble and Teak eventually mellow to and want to continue this colour, we recommend simply using warm soapy water using washing up liquid and a stiff brush to clean the wood. Do this occasionally throughout the year. You do not necessarily need to apply any ointments to the wood after doing this.

Here are two examples of customers who have used the above methods to maintain their Alexander Rose Timber furniture:

This Iroko picnic bench was purchased in 1998 from Alexander Rose by Tina Rivett. Tina used Timber Cleaner followed by Timber Protector to bring this 22-year-old bench back to life.

Before

Iroko old bench

After

Iroko bench like new

Elaine Hall’s bench and coffee table were purchased in June 1999. Elaine has covered her furniture overnight and during bad weather with a waterproof furniture cover ever since she bought it and every spring it gets an application of Timber Treatment.

elaine-hall-bench

Alexander Rose have a range of waterproof furniture covers which can be used to protect the furniture when it is not being used. The covers protect against the buildup of dirt and ensures less furniture maintenance is required. The range includes; table, chair, bench, parasol, sun lounger and relax hut covers as well as small, medium and large cushion bags. Depending on the type of furniture you have, it may be necessary to place an object such as a bucket between the furniture and the cover. This will reduce the amount of sagging and will help the airflow around the furniture, which will prevent the chance of rotting. They come with ties and cords for securing to the furniture.

Our timber care products and furniture covers can be purchased through your nearest Alexander Rose retailer. You can find out where your nearest retailer is by clicking on the ‘retailers’ tab on our website and entering your postcode in the search bar.

So now you’re clued up on how to best care for your old wooden garden furniture, all you need to do is put it into practice. We always love to see your before and after pictures of your old garden furniture, simply include @alexander.rose.furniture or use the hastag #alexanderrosefurniture in your Facebook or Instagram posts of your pictures.