Wood Maintenenance

To obtain the optimum durability of your new piece of furniture, a full oil treatment is highly recommended up to 3 times a year, depending on the weather conditions to which the furniture has been exposed. Without treatment the wood will turn a natural dark grayish color. All wood species used for garden furniture will when aging turn gray with small splits and cracks in the surface due to the constant change in temperature and humidity. These small cracks and splits do not relate to the quality of the wood, as they have no influence on the durability and are therefore not to be seen as mistakes or flaws.

If the natural color is desired again, when furniture has turned gray, a simple treatment by buffing with sandpaper (grain 120 –240), followed by the application of hardwood oil can be used. Danish oil is highly recommended. Alternatively, sand your wood by dipping the sandpaper in cheaper oil such as Linseed oil and sanding wet. Wipe off the excess oil and debris when you have the wood back to its original color. Maintain with better quality oil, such as Danish oil.

Spring treatment:
Start by washing the furniture with water containing a mild natural soap or soda or use a finished outdoor wood-cleaning product such as Timber Reviver. (Make sure to follow the product manufacturer’s instructions). Make sure that the furniture is cleaned well before applying the oil. If not, dirt and dust will stick and become glued to the surface and mold and mildew can flourish. If there are spots or dark marks that do not disappear when cleaning, a light sanding can be used to remove these. Do not use steel wool for the cleaning, as it will create black spots (rust) on the wood when the small particles get stuck in the fibers of the wood and then react with the water from rain and humidity in the air.

After this cleaning and sufficient drying the surface can be treated with outdoor protection sealer or wood oil applied with a soft brush or a cloth.

Due to the dense structure of some of the exotic dark wood species the penetration of the applied oil/sealer can create an almost invisible film. Surplus oil or sealer must therefore be removed within 15 minutes after application.

Skin that has been in contact with the oil or sealer must be cleaned with soap or shampoo. Hinges and hardware should be treated with acid-free oil. Surplus oil must be removed at once.

Summer treatment:
Normal cleaning can be done as required with water and soap and rinsing with clean water. Should a strong detergent be used a new surface treatment as described above may be needed. Spilled food or drinks should be dried off immediately as it can stain the wood. As a rule of thumb, keep a lint free cotton cloth wet with a little Danish oil and wipe down your outdoor furniture weekly as you would for dust. This is especially important if your furniture is fully exposed to the elements.

With your garden furniture, after a long period with humid and rainy weather and especially in autumn, small dark spots of mold may appear. These can normally be removed by the use of Tropic Trader Reviver..

If during the summer the furniture looses its golden color, it can normally be regained by applying hardwood oil. The sun can be strong and will dry out and bleach all surfaces and edges pointing upwards.

Storage in winter:
During the winter the furniture should be stored in a cold and dry location—best in a unheated room like a garage. If the garden furniture is stored in a heated room it will dry out and shrink so all connections may become loose. Therefore it is best to place the furniture outside two weeks before the actual use of the furniture for them to absorb the humidity of the air and restore the previous stability. It is also advisable to tighten all screws on the hardware at this time. Before use, all surfaces touching the ground should be treated with a sealer or an outdoor-glue to avoid the humidity from the ground to penetrate into the legs.

Please bear in mind that the weather conditions in South Africa are extreme and this will have a tremendous impact on your wooden furniture, no matter where you live. Unless you are prepared to maintain your furniture on an ongoing basis, don’t buy wooden furniture.

Although out of all the wood species Teak is the most durable and will withstand the weather better, if you choose to leave your teak to go silver grey, we will not be held responsible for the deterioration in the quality. You do so at your own risk.