Wooden Furniture Buyers Guide
Wooden furniture is a traditional staple in so many gardens – and for good reason. Sturdy, stylish and strong, this durable material can withhold weather extremities, constant use, and long periods of time with limited signs of wear and little regular maintenance. In this buyer’s guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about outdoor wooden furniture to help you make the right decision when completing your purchase.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this page, please do get in touch with the Sefton Meadows customer service team by calling on 0800 157 7265 or sending an email to [email protected]. See our full range of wooden furniture here.
What To Consider Before Buying
There are a few things you should take into account when investing in garden furniture so you can know for certain that you are making the right choice. Before making the final decision, make sure that you consider:
- The Size of Your Garden – You don’t want to bring in some beautiful new furniture only to find that you don’t have enough room for it.
- The Style of Your Garden – Choosing furniture that fits with the aesthetic of your house and garden overall is important for a harmonious finish
- What You Will Be Using Your Garden For – If you are going to be mainly relaxing in your garden, you’ll want comfortable, strong pieces that function exceptionally well, whereas if you are going to be mainly entertaining guests, you’ll want something just as functional but much more stylish.
- Your Budget – Over-buying is just as bad as opting for something solely because it’s cheap – investing a little more in good quality furniture will likely prove to be a long investment.
Different Wood Types
There are a few materials that wooden furniture is commonly made from, and all of these are either hardwoods or softwoods. Hardwoods – which have a higher density than softwoods due to their slow growth rate - are more likely to be found in outdoor furniture due to their durability, but some softwoods also serve the purpose successfully. The best woods to look for in garden furniture are:
- European Oak
- Western Red Cedar
Although you don’t have to limit yourself to these materials, you won’t go far wrong with furniture made out of them – they are all strong, long-lasting woods with a charming finish. Here at Sefton Meadows, we use a combination of these quality wood types to create our range of beautiful furniture.
Styles of Wooden Furniture
Wood is an extremely versatile material that can be used to create any type of garden furniture, from comfy seats to private bowers. Here are the most common styles of wooden furniture on the market – and why wooden options are a good idea.
A timeless addition to any garden, wooden benches are elegant, versatile, and charming.
For a sturdy investment of any size, a comfortable wooden table set will set you up for hours of easy outdoor entertainment.
From your regular chairs to sun loungers and seating sets, the range of wooden seating options on the market is large, each one made to last.
For a little private area in your garden and a unique seating option, a wooden arbour provides a cosy space with a touch of elegant style.
A classic touch to any space, a wooden swing brings a fun twist to your garden that allows for relaxation, entertainment or play time at any hour of the day.
Maintaining Your Wooden Furniture
Wood is an amazing material for outdoor furniture because it can withstand different climates and weather changes. That being said, wooden garden furniture will require some maintenance every now and again to help keep its beautiful colour and prevent unnecessary cracks. Though not much is required regularly, maintaining your wooden furniture whenever you can is best to increase its longevity.
To keep wooden furniture in its peak condition, it’s recommended that you clean it at least every month or two. Although it might be tempting and timesaving, do not reach for the pressure washer – it could break down the structure of the wood and lead to irreversible damage.
Instead, take a soft cloth or sponge dipped in warm, soapy water (you can use a wood-friendly water-based cleanser if you’d like) and gently scrub the surface of your furniture. Make sure that all visible debris, such as dirt or moss, is completely gone before putting the cleanser away. Always be gentle when cleaning wooden furniture – if you are too rough, you could damage the wood.
Regularly varnishing your wooden furniture is a great idea to protect it from any extremities and save you any issues in the future. A good quality varnish should last two to three years – you’ll know when it needs refreshing because the furniture will take on a chalky appearance – so investing the time and money into a good varnish is well worth it.
Strip Off Any Old Varnish
Sand It Down
Apply The Varnish
Applying fresh varnish over an old layer often results in a noticeably bubbly finish, so use a stiff bristled brush to rid the surface of any peeling bits before coating it in a good quality paint or varnish stripper – follow the instructions exactly to avoid any damage.
To ensure a smooth varnish application and get rid of any stubborn debris, you should lightly sand down the furniture using a medium or low-grit sandpaper. Always sand with the grain of the wood, never against it as this will damage the material.
Using a varnish specially designed for hardwood (or softwood) and a soft brush, apply a thin layer of varnish across the entire surface of your furniture. Leave it to dry completely before using or moving.
Storing Wooden Furniture
Storing away your wooden furniture through winter is highly recommended to protect it, and there are a few ways you can go about keeping it safe through the colder months. However, before you put it away, make sure you give your wooden furniture a deep clean – you should do this at least once a year, and there’s no better time than when you’re about to put it away. Wait for it to dry completely before storing it away.
The best option for wooden furniture is to keep it in a shed or garage – we have a perfect range of sheds durable enough to protect not only your garden furniture but all your other bits and bobs too. As many wooden furniture pieces are optimised for storage (many fold away or are built for stacking), investing in a good quality storage shed specifically for all your garden furniture to guarantee ultimate protection.
If a shed or garage isn’t an option, don’t panic! Good quality furniture covers will do the job just as well, as long as you buy a breathable piece with a small gap at the bottom for circulation and to avoid the build up of moisture. It’s also best to move them to a covered area, preferably on a concrete surface, to lessen their exposure to the weather. Don’t worry if you can’t move it off the lawn though – you can treat the whole surface with a preservative and raise the legs off the grass to protect it.
Take a look at our storage options
General maintenance with wooden furniture tends to be simple things, such as cleaning it down and brushing off any dirt, but there are a few extra things you can do to increase the longevity of your furniture and keep it looking brand new.
Applying a UV preservative or varnish regularly is a good idea for wooden furniture to help the material retain its original colour plus offer an extra layer of protection from all weathers. If cracks or other signs of wear begin to become noticeable, you can gently sand these away with a medium grit sandpaper, but, again, always sand with the grain of the wood.
Invest in good quality covers for your furniture and make regular use of them – although wood is an extremely durable material, you don’t want to risk anything by leaving them unprotected during the worst weathers.
Will I need to continually treat or oil my wooden furniture?
Although wooden furniture won’t require constant treating or oiling, it’s best to retreat it once or twice each year. If the wood looks particularly dry, you can oil it once more, but as a general rule, once or twice a year should be okay.
Is it normal for my wooden furniture to crack?
Yes, seeing a few cracks in wooden furniture is completely normal. When the temperature drops, the humidity rises or the weather changes, the wood will contract and expand, resulting in small cracks across the surface. High quality wood is strong enough to handle the cracks without weakening, so a few cracks is nothing to worry about.
Can I prevent my wooden furniture from cracking?
Although a few cracks are inevitable with wooden furniture, there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of some appearing. Avoid keeping your furniture in direct sunlight, damp rooms and extremely dry areas, and avoid any excess heat being applied. If you’d like, you can also fill in the cracks with putty and polyurethane.
Can I use bleach to clear stains on my wooden furniture?
There are differing opinions on this matter – some swear by bleach, others curse it. To be on the safe side, stick to using detergent diluted heavily by water to reduce the risk of the liquids lifting the colour of the material while cleaning.
Our Wooden Furniture Range
Here at Sefton Meadows, we have a beautiful range of garden furniture made from a mix of the best quality woods optimized for comfort, longevity, and durability. Fit for all tastes and outdoor areas, our garden furniture will fit seamlessly into any space and prove to be a long-lasting asset. Whether you’re looking for wooden seating options, wooden table sets or wooden sheds, we’ve got you covered.