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How to look after your garden furniture

24th July 2012 Print

Making the most of your outdoor space is key to enjoying life alfresco and thanks to leading garden furniture supplier, Alexander Rose, we can now ensure our garden furniture is kept in tip top condition for many years to come. Most timbers, e.g. Teak, Roble and Mahogany have a natural oil content which acts as a natural preservative and will mellow to a silvery grey colour in 3-6 months. Treatment is recommended for use on softwood timbers such as pine which will eventually degrade if it has not been treated with a preservative. Severe stains such as spillages, bird droppings and mildew etc., can be removed using a suitable cleaner.

Below are recommendations and suggestions from Alexander Rose for ensuring the maintenance and care of your garden investment.

Q. Should I treat my garden furniture? Do I have to?

A. It really does depend on the type of wood your furniture is made from. Pine needs to be treated with a quality oil to ensure it remains in good condition. However, hardwoods such as Iroko, Mahogany, Teak and Albizzia don't have to be treated and if left in their natural finish they will eventually mellow to a beautiful silver/grey colour.

Q. Is it OK if my wooden furniture cracks, and can I prevent it from happening?

A. Small cracks will naturally occur on the end grain of timber over a period of time. This is normal. Sometimes the cracks will open wider, especially in hot weather. They will close when it rains or the temperature cools. This cracking will not affect the stability of the furniture and is a particular quality of the weathering process of timber. Furniture can be cleaned using soapy water and a stiff brush; allow it to dry fully before the application of any treatments.

Q. I want to keep the 'new' look rather than the 'weathered' look to my garden furniture, what should I do?

A. All timber furniture will 'weather' if left outside so if you want to keep it looking 'like new' you'll need to treat it soon after purchase. You should choose a quality outdoor furniture oil and this should be reapplied every year. If your furniture is dirty it should be cleaned with a specialist product, such as the Alexander Rose Cleaner product and then the furniture oil should be applied.

Q. My furniture is covered in stains, mildew and bird droppings - what should I do?

A. Stains can be removed with the Alexander Rose Cleaner product. Alternatively, you can sand the furniture down using a medium grit sand paper.

Q. Can I leave my cushions out overnight?

A. If your cushions are made using water resistant fabric, they may be left out during a shower or overnight without worry. However, be aware that 'water resistant' means that they are not totally waterproof; so long term exposure to water is not recommended.

Q. Will my synthetic rattan furniture last long outside?

A. If looked after well, rattan furniture will weather well and provide years of comfort. Make sure you choose a quality synthetic rattan, such as Viro. Viro is a superior quality polyethylene fibre. High flexibility, tensile strength, durability, as well as UV and weather resistance distinguish the characteristics of this fibre. Viro can also be washed with warm soapy water and is pest and fungus free.

Q. How should I look after my stainless steel garden furniture?

A. All grades of stainless steel will stain and discolour over time and is never completely maintenance free.  In order to maintain the original high quality finish, and to protect your furniture from tarnishing, you'll need to keep it clean and polish it when necessary. The Alexander Rose 2 in 1 Stainless Steel Cleaner and Protective Polish can be used on all stainless steel furniture to keep it in good condition.  

Alexander Rose offers the following treatment products that are available in all leading garden centres:

Alexander Rose Cleaner - This can be applied to wet furniture to restore the discolouration of wood and remove atmospheric dirt; recommended for use on all timbers.

Alexander Rose Protector - Designed to nourish and give a more uniformed appearance of the timber.  It is environmentally friendly, water based and recommended for use on Teak, Roble and all other hardwoods.

Alexander Rose Timber Treatment Plus - A multi-purpose timber treatment specially formulated to enhance, help protect and preserve the natural beauty of all types of hardwood furniture. It is oil based and recommended for use on Karri, Teak, Mahogany and Acacia.

Alexander Rose Sealer - A protective coating designed to allow the wood to breathe, whilst reducing the amount of weathering, dirt and moisture absorption. It can be used in conjunction with timber treatment plus which seals in the treatment to make it last longer, can be used on teak, roble, mahogany and acacia.

Alexander Rose Karri Treatment Oil - This product can be used once the furniture has weathered to restore the Karri wood to the original state when first purchased.

Alexander Rose Timber Sealer - This is suitable for all softwoods.

To find out more about Alexander Rose garden furniture, visit