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When summer finally arrives, one of the best ways to enjoy it is relaxing on your garden furniture. However, after spending the winter and spring in storage or exposed to the elements, your wooden pieces may need some upkeep to ensure they are summer-ready. The process of conditioning and preparing your wooden garden furniture for the summer season is quite straightforward. Set aside an afternoon to freshen it up and you'll soon be able to get the most out of your outdoor space, with furniture that looks and feels as good as new.


The first thing to do, even if your furniture was covered or put away over winter, is give everything a good clean. The thoroughness of your clean will be determined by the condition your stuff. If it has been covered or stored in a shed or garage, there’s a good chance it will only need a wipe over with a damp cloth. However, if it has spent time outside and exposed to the elements, you might need to give it a brush down and scrubbing with soapy water to remove moss, twigs and leaves that have built up.


When you’re cleaning, it’s also a good idea to flip your furniture over. Having it upside down gives you a good chance to check the state of the legs and lower joints. If you have chairs and tables that have been standing on grass, make sure that the feet haven’t taken on any water damage. It’s better to fix any damaged areas before you get to treating and decorating. If the wood is starting to silver with age, you can actually get specialist products like garden furniture restorer. Just work it into the wood, leave it for a bit and wash it off and you’ll find that it will lighten in colour.


Once you’ve cleaned it and made any necessary repairs, it’s time to prepare your surfaces for treatment. For bigger pieces, it’s worth using an electric sander but you could do it by hand using sandpaper or a sanding block. Give it a good sanding to reveal the new wood underneath. It gives you a nice, smooth surface and removes any lingering dirt and imperfections. Anything you then treat or coat the wood with will adhere easier and have a better finish. Just make to brush it down afterwards to get rid of any dust that remains from sanding.


The last thing to do is either treat or paint your wooden garden furniture. If you want it to age naturally, a clear hardwood oil will preserve its appearance and give it some protection. You could add a splash of colour and completely change the look by giving it a fresh coat of a coloured paint. Or you can keep a more natural look but keep it looking like new by coating it with a stained oil. Apply your first coat, making sure to paint in the direction of the grain. Give it time to dry and then add a second coat if you need to. Give it around 48 hours and your furniture is ready for summer use again.

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