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07/09/2013 at 07:41

Hi, I bought some lovely wooden garden furniture about 8 years ago. I have treated it with teak oil each year - chairs and the table. I have always put it away in the shed over winter which is a shame as when we get a nice winter's day, I would have liked to have sat out. But thought that I was looking after it. However, my son now uses the shed to store his fancy cycle and tinkers in there so space is limited. Years ago I had other furniture and bought a cover, left it outside and it went mouldy under the cover. So, is it OK to leave wooden furniture out and will it do any damage? Please.

07/09/2013 at 07:54

Is it real teak?  If so it doesn't need any treatment and is quite ok left outside.  We have a set of teak garden furniture which we bought second hand and we leave it outside 365 days of the year.  It's lovely to be able to sit out on the terrace with a cup of coffee on a sunny midwinter morning.

We like the silver patina of naturally aged teak so we don't even oil it.  Teak is such a hard wood that it doesn't need any preservative.  We just give ours a good scrub over once or twice a year with a stiff bristle scrubbing brush to get rid of dust and grime.

If you prefer the honey-coloured look you can sand the teak to remove the patina and then oil the timber.

Don't use plastic covers on teak furniture - they trap moisture and can cause rot - it's far better to leave it in the open air to breathe.

07/09/2013 at 08:01

Thanks, Dove. I think it is real teak. I can't remember what it said on the box... It was expensive, the dearest one in B & Q and better than what they have now. I bought it in the sale of course! It is hard and has brass bits on the matching brolly and plaques on the back of the chairs! Ha, I was so proud when I bought it all. I knew that it would last for years and was a good buy. It went a black colour after a couple of years. Why did it do that. My son power washed it this year, wich he hadn't as it didn't feel good after that but got the honey colour back. I sanded it and teak oiled it. I remember a man at B & Q saying that he didn't bother using teak oil anymore. Great, I'll leave it out But why did it go black?

07/09/2013 at 08:11

The black is oil on the surface being attacked by mildew - teak is such a hard wood that the oil doesn't soak into it, it just sits on the surface and in our climate the mildew gets it!  When we bought ours the previous owners had oiled it and it had gone black  - that's why they didn't want it any more.  We've just left it outside and rubbed it down with scrubbing brushes when it's been dry and it's turning that lovely silvery colour.

If I were you I'd get your son to power wash it again and then leave it alone, don't oil it or anything.  That way it'll develop a lovely silver patina like the  furniture in the gardens of stately homes 

07/09/2013 at 08:20

Flippin eck, I have been wondering about that for years! Good grief, I love this site!

07/09/2013 at 08:20

Thanks, Dove

07/09/2013 at 08:28

Really good advice. We bought hard wood furniture years ago and my husband treated it with oil/varnish too - when it was new and he was enthusiastic! Only now as the varnish is wearing off are we beginning to get that lovely silver colour - it looks better now than it did when we bought it imo. Never thought of using the pressure washer though but could speed up the process of losing the varnish in some parts. We leave our outside over winter too now!

07/09/2013 at 08:32

Thanks - this has solved such a big issue for me. I used to get mad at my son for not putting away in the shed early enough. How daft. Thanks Daintiness.

07/09/2013 at 10:06

We put ours away in the autumn and bring it out again on the few really warm and sunny days after that. Saves us having wet botties.

07/09/2013 at 11:11

I put one bench in the cold GH. Handy for coffee breaks in winter.

07/09/2013 at 11:47

I have a little hardwood table that's been left out all winters - it is probably teak because it seems to have suffered little apart from a bit of green mould And one slight crack (see below*)

My only concern is that because the table legs are in constant contact with the ground during all the wet weather they are more likely to suck up water by capillary action through the end grain of the wood and can retain water longer standing on the wet ground - not good if followed by frost.

*Since noticing a bit of a crack in one of the legs which I put down to frost damage, I now like to try and 'perch' the legs on 4 round pebbles during Winter which gives them a chance to drain / dry out after each soaking. Fussy, I know, but it seems to work. 

07/09/2013 at 11:56

Our chairs are the folding ones, so if we're not sitting on them they're folded and leaning against the table, then if it rains the seats don't really get wet and by the time the sun's out again they're fine to sit on.  The big wooden garden benches are out all the time too - if they're damp I've got some old cushions that live in the garage and we just grab them to protect our btms.

The only precautions we take is to make sure that if strong winds are forecast the chairs are folded and laid down flat on the terrace, so they can't be blown over and damage expensive terracotta pots. 

07/09/2013 at 12:48

That's a good tip: raising the legs. The table's so posh that it has little screw feet things, like on the bottom of a fridge, and so it's off the ground. So, i will make sure the feet of the chairs aren't sat in a puddle. Thanks, Birdy13.

07/09/2013 at 14:26
If you lot spent more time working instead of sitting supping you wouldn't need to worry about seats teak or not Teak,,, Tea break over comeon move it u lot!!!
I cant do smilies oriwud imgon
07/09/2013 at 14:30

sorry Alan

but I have raked and carted a very large area of cut meadow this morning. And been stung by a wasp

07/09/2013 at 14:37

But it saves on electiricity as i don't need to hoover up my biscuit crumbs inside the house and I have to have a perch to contemplate where and what to plant! And cus I work so hard on my garden, it allows mre time spent in there as I can rest inbetween doing strenuous jobs... I will have to start wiping the kitchen table now after eating - no more eating outside until I get used to the dropping temperatures and then will sit with coat on. Must go and see if some sort of garden fire pit thing is on offer at B & Q...

07/09/2013 at 14:47

Yak, wasp stings...

07/09/2013 at 15:42
break23 wrote (see)

Talking of garden tables - mine is very shabby and I wanted it painted using proper wood stain but OH said ordinary cheap cooking oil would be sufficient to do the job.  However, it's now looking very shabby again after just three months of using cooking oil.  Was that effort a waste of time and money and should he have gone to B&Q?

Oh dear, you'll need to train him better than that or he'll be no good as an under-gardener!   If a job's worth doing, and all that ....

 

I'm surprised you've not ruined the seat of your best frock!!!

Yes he should've gone to B&Q - however now the table is going to be oily and horrid - he'll need to clean it down properly before he paints it for you, with some lovely woodstain especially selected by you - there are colourcharts online 

I hope you don't let him do any cooking for you, goodness knows what he'd use .... 

07/09/2013 at 15:55

Olive oil with a drop of lemon juice is fine for sealing wooden worktops in kitchens.  i sue it on my beech counters.  However, for external use, teak oil is best as it absorbs and preserves well without making a crust and is easily cleaned up in spring.  

I like the golden glow of my teak table but it's too big to take under shelter so it gets left out all winter in temps down to the late -20sC.  last year, I was fed up of doing the annual spring clean with the sander and oiling it so I spent extra time giving it a coat of special wood preservative with a pale grey patina an dthen sealed that with a special coat of protector.

Lo and behold, these too products are not good down to -28C and have flaked off or grown algae so I've had an even longer job sanding it all off and have gone back to feeding with teak oil.  Next spring will be the last so I know it has a good seal of oil and then it can age with grace and go a natural silvery grey.

 

07/09/2013 at 16:28

obelixx, cor blimey what a lot of work you have put in to your table! I won't be putting teak oil on mine again and will let it weather naturally and hopefully I will get that much wanted silver-grey! You must live somewhere very cold!

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