With a little elbow grease and patience most of your grotty garden furniture can be given a new lease of life. This picnic bench only cost us £50 but it’s lasted us 4 years so far and if treated each year will last many more. This year I decided to try something a little different and applied this light oak oil finish from Cuprinol. It cost about £15 for 1l and should protect the wood for at least another year or two. Bear in mind this bench sits out in the rain all year round it’s money well spent. My sister told me her bench didn’t last 2 years from new but that’s because she doesn’t treat it.
To start things off I sanded the entire bench with an orbital sander. If you don’t already own an orbital sander you can buy one from about £45. It makes the majority of sanding jobs much easier, just make sure you have plenty of spare pads. I purchased a multi pack from eBay which saved a fair bit compared to buying in a store.
To sand the whole bench took just over an hour and I used 3 x 60 grit and 2 x 120 grit sand pads. Remember to always sand in the direction of the wood grain. To finish off the sanding I lightly sanded with a mouse sander with a 240 grit pad. This left a nice smooth surface to apply the oil. One thing you should do before oiling is to wipe down the whole bench with a damp cloth to remove all the sand dust.
The oil can be easily applied with a medium size brush. Again make sure you apply along the grain and ensure extra attention is applied to the end grains and around the feet. One coat should do it. And that’s it. Some may prefer to use a clear oil and some may prefer a different brand or type including a teak oil. All will give a good finish and prolong the life of your furniture.
And here is the before and after: