Time to Repair/ Restore Your Outdoor Wood Furniture

Time to Repair/ Restore Your Outdoor Wood Furniture

Do you have outdoor furniture that you do not use because it is damaged or affected by sun rot?  Do you have outdoor furniture that you are afraid to have people sit on because they may “fall through?”  Do you have outdoor furniture that is wood, perhaps teak, that needs to be refinished to protect it and enhance its appearance?  Do you have outdoor furniture that you spent a lot of money on that is worn out and needs to be refreshed?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, now may be the time to consider having your outdoor furniture repaired, restored, or refinished.

During the spring and summer, people like to take advantage of their outdoor living spaces.  The furniture that people put on their patios and porches makes these spaces more comfortable, but it is also exposed to the elements.  Rain, sun exposure, and wind can cause damage to outdoor furniture and accelerate wear and tear.  If your outdoor furniture is damaged or worn out, you do not need to replace it with new furniture.  In many cases, you can refresh your outdoor furniture with restoration and repair.

In this guide, we will discuss how you can repair, restore, or refinish outdoor wooden furniture.  If you are not the DIY type or believe that the level of damage or wear and tear requires a professional, Furniture Medic by MasterCare Experts provides complete furniture refinishing and repair services.

What Causes Damage to Outdoor Furniture?

Outdoor furniture is vulnerable to damage and wear and tear over time because it is exposed to the elements.

 The following are the main causes of damage to outdoor furniture:

  • Sun exposure: During the summer, outdoor furniture is exposed to sunlight for hours each day. The UV rays from the sun can cause the colors of wood and fabric to fade and it can penetrate materials like plastics, wood, and finishes and break down adhesives.  The heat from the sun can also cause warping and cracking in the wood, paint, or varnish as well as oxidation and corrosion of metal.
  • Rain and humidity: Most types of outdoor furniture are affected by rain and humidity. Wood is especially vulnerable if it is unsealed as it can absorb water which leads to warping and cracking.  Cushions can also absorb water which makes them vulnerable to mold and mildew.  Metal furniture can rust with prolonged exposure to moisture.
  • Wind: It is possible for strong enough winds to blow over outdoor furniture or blow things into the furniture which can cause damage. You can prevent this type of damage by using furniture covers and ensuring that your outdoor furniture is secured.
  • Repeated use: Each time you sit on or use your outdoor furniture, the furniture experiences a certain level of stress that can affect it over time. Sitting on the same chair can put stress on the frame and the condensation from putting drinks on a teak table can wear out the finish over time.

How to Restore Outdoor Wood Furniture

Many people choose wood outdoor furniture for the same reason they choose wood for their indoor furniture, it is durable and naturally beautiful.  A lot of wood furniture is made from teak wood because it is more resistant to certain environmental factors than other types of wood.  However, sun exposure and moisture can still cause damage to outdoor wood furniture, including sealed furniture and teak furniture. 

If your outdoor wood furniture has become faded and worn out, you can refinish it with the following steps:

  • Sand away what is left of the old finish and smooth out the surface of the wood using 150-220 grit sandpaper. Use a vacuum or a damp cloth to remove the dust.
  • Thoroughly spray the furniture with a garden hose to remove dust, dirt, and debris. You can also treat the surface with a wood cleaner at this stage.  Let the furniture dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
  • Apply the new wood finish using a paint brush while following the directions for the specific finish you are using. You can wipe away the excess finish with a clean rag, and make sure to put the rag in a bucket of water after use so the buildup of the finish does not cause it to become flammable.  The finish needs 8-10 hours to dry before the furniture can be used.

How to Restore Outdoor Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture is another popular option for outdoor furniture because of its durability and natural appearance.  However, it is also vulnerable to damage and wear and tear from the outdoor elements.  Sun exposure can cause the color of the wicker to fade, and the weaves of the wicker can crack, split, or become loose.

The following tips will help you repair and restore your wicker furniture:

  • Clean the furniture: Before repairing or refinishing your wicker furniture, clean the surface to remove dirt, debris, moisture, and mildew.
  • Replace loose and broken weaves: It is common for weaves in the wicker to become broken or loose with repeated use. When this happens, remove the broken or loose pieces with pliers.  Measure the length of the replacement pieces to match the ones you removed and soak them in warm water for 30 minutes to increase pliability.  You can then put the new weaves in place of the damaged weaves but be careful not to pull them too tight.
  • Repair cracks and splits: The wicker material is vulnerable to cracks and splits that are typically caused by stress from regular use or dryness. Spraying the wicker with oil can add moisture that will help prevent cracks.  To fix the cracks, you can use a glue gun or wood glue.  If this is done carefully, the repair will be seamless.
  • Painting and refinishing wicker: You can restore the appearance of your wicker furniture with a fresh finish or paint job. First, clean the furniture and sand it to remove any leftover paint or finish.  If you want to paint your wicker furniture, apply a primer and then a coat of paint in your desired color.  If you want a natural look, apply a wood finish to the surface.

Outdoor Wooden Furniture Refinishing from Furniture Medic

Outdoor wooden furniture brings a natural beauty to your outdoor living spaces, and it has the durability to endure the outdoor environment.  However, extended use and exposure to the elements over a prolonged period of time can cause damage and general wear and tear of the furniture.  By following the tips outlined above, you can repair damage to your wood furniture and restore its natural beauty.

At Furniture Medic by MasterCare Experts, we understand that repairing and refinishing wood furniture is not a DIY project for everyone.  We can help with our wood furniture refinishing and repair services.  Our expert craftsmen can provide the repairs needed to ensure the structural stability of your furniture and we can refinish or repaint the furniture to revitalize its appearance.  You can choose from our available paint and wood color samples to restore the original appearance of your furniture or give it a new look.

You can call Furniture Medic by MasterCare Experts at (630) 653-3131 to talk about your project or submit pictures through our Submit Your Project form.

Posted by Rick Armstrong