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How to Care for Wood Patio Furniture

Wooden furniture adds a timeless charm and natural beauty to any space. Whether you have a stunning teak dining table or pressure-treated pine chairs, proper care is essential to maintain their appearance and longevity. In our blog post on patio furniture trends, we noted an increased interest in incorporating these natural elements in backyard design as it helps to connect us with the outdoors. However, opting for furniture made from hardwoods, especially teak, can come with a heavy price tag. With this in mind, we want you to know how to care for your furniture to get the most value for your money. In this guide, we'll explore how to care for different types of wooden furniture to ensure they remain in top-notch condition for years to come.

wooden folding patio chair beside concrete pot with a cactus

1. Understanding the Types of Wood:

Before diving into care routines, it's crucial to understand the characteristics of the wood types commonly available for outdoor furniture in Jamaica.

  • Teak: Teak outdoor furniture will repel water, deter insects, and won’t warp with changes in humidity.

  • Cedar: Cedarwood emits a pleasant aroma and natural oils making it naturally resistant to fungus, bacteria and insects. However, it is not as durable as teak.

  • Acacia: Acacia wood is prized for its rich colour variations and durability. It's often used for indoor and outdoor furniture due to its resistance to weather and wear.

  • Pressure-Treated Pine: This type of pine is infused with chemicals to increase its resistance to decay and insects. It's a common choice for outdoor furniture and structures due to its cost-effectiveness.

different sized cuts of wood

2. Cleaning:

Regular cleaning is the foundation of wooden furniture care. Dust, dirt, and grime can accumulate over time, dulling the wood's natural shine. Follow these steps for effective cleaning:

  • Dust: Use a soft, dry microfiber cloth or a feather duster to gently remove dust from the furniture's surface.

  • Mild Soap Solution: For more stubborn dirt, mix a small amount of mild dish soap with water. Dampen a cloth in the solution, wring it out well, and gently wipe down the furniture. Wipe again with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue.

  • Avoid Harsh Cleaners: Harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners can damage the wood's finish. Stick to mild solutions and avoid using all-purpose cleaners unless they are specifically recommended for wood.

a hand in a glove spraying a spray bottle on wood

3. Protection from the Elements:

If your wooden furniture is exposed to the elements, such as rain and sunlight, it's essential to take steps to protect it:

  • Outdoor Furniture Covers: These covers will shield the furniture from rain, dust, and direct sunlight when not in use. The reduction in exposure to the elements helps to preserve the wood's colour and overall longevity.

  • Umbrellas and Shades: If possible, place your furniture in a shaded area, like under a pergola, umbrella or shade sail. Direct sunlight can cause fading and drying of the wood.

wood patio dining set covered by patio umbrella

4. Oiling and Sealing:

Some wooden furniture types benefit from occasional oiling or sealing to maintain their natural lustre and durability:

  • Teak: Teak furniture can be oiled to enhance its natural colour and protect it from the elements. Use teak oil specifically designed for outdoor furniture.

  • Cedar: Cedar's natural oils offer some protection, but you can apply cedar oil or sealant to maintain its appearance and aroma.

  • Acacia: Applying a food-safe mineral oil can help prevent cracking and maintain the wood's moisture balance.

  • Pressure-Treated Pine: These pieces are already treated, but you can apply a sealant every few years to ensure their longevity.

5. Regular Inspections:

Regularly inspect your wooden furniture for signs of rotting cracks, or splinters. Replace any broken or rotting parts as soon as possible and lightly sand away splinters.


By following these tips on how to care for wood patio furniture, you can ensure that wooden patio furniture pieces remain beautiful and functional for years to come.

What hacks have you used to preserve your patio furniture? Leave a comment below.

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