How to restore weathered wooden garden furniture – a simple guide

Weather damaged furniture can be a sight for sore eyes, but often it looks a lot worse than it really is.  Before you splash your cash on a brand new set, check out this guide on how to restore garden furniture.  It may just require a few simple products and a few hours of your time to have that garden set looking almost new.

Tips to give your wooden garden furniture a new lease of life

Wooden garden furniture is a great choice as it can be left outdoors in all weather conditions, all year long.  However, this is also its downfall as the wood does eventually become ‘weathered’ whereby it turns to a duller grey colour which makes it look old and tired.

Luckily there are plenty of products on the market that can help to give your outdoor wooden furniture a new lease of life.  By maintaining your garden table, chairs and benches annually (or as often as needed depending on whether you cover when not in use), you will be able to prolong their life and make them look like new once again.

Here are the simple steps you should follow to restore your weathered wooden furniture:

Before you get started

Before you begin the process, make sure you check the weather forecast.  Not only does the furniture need to be dry to start restoring it, but you will also need to allow time for the primer and paint to dry.

Step 1 – Clean

Firstly, make sure the area is clean and dry.  Ensure it’s free of cobwebs, dust and debris.  Depending on the severity of the dirt you may be able to simply use a cloth or it may require a stiff bristle brush.

Step 2 – Sand

Once your furniture is dry and free from dirt you will need to scrape off any large pieces of old paint.  Then use a piece of sandpaper to smooth the surface.  It’s best to start with a coarse piece and then switch to a finer piece of sandpaper to get the smoothest finish.  I used a 125mm orbital sander to clean and prepare the surface.  Start with 80 grit, then 120 and finish with a 240.  Try buying a selection pack of sanding disks like these on eBay.

Step 3 – Prime

Before painting you should always use a primer.  To protect against resinous knots and water vapour you should choose a primer that contains aluminium flake such as Sovereign Chemicals‘ aluminium primer.

Primer shouldn’t be skipped as not only does it provide a base for the paint to be applied to for a smoother finish, but it adds an extra layer of protection to the furniture.  The primer will fill in some of the grain and seal the surface of the wood so the paint will look its best.

Here are a couple of other exterior wood primers I’d recommend: Sandtex wood primer, Dulux Weathershield

To use the primer, simply stir it and then paint it on with a paint brush ensuring your strokes are in the direction of the grain.

Leave the furniture until the primer is completely dry.  The drying time will depend on each primer brand so check the instructions on the tin.

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Step 4 – Paint or stain

Finally it’s time to paint or stain your wooden garden furniture!  Make sure you buy paint or stain that is suitable for outdoor wooden furniture.

Try one of these: Rust-oleum graphite chalky effect, Rust-oleum teal satin or Rust-oleum duck egg

Stir the paint and apply one coat using a paint brush.  Leave this coat to fully dry before deciding whether you need to apply additional coats. Apply with a brush in the direction of the grain taking care to avoid drips and get into all the corners.

Step back and admire your handy work!

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