Updated: 27/06/2022 12:14:45
While the Great British Summer may be short, Rattan garden furniture is a great addition to any patio, garden, or with increasing popularity, the home. It may seem tempting to let it take care of itself, but proper rattan furniture maintenance can be the difference between your set lasting a lifetime and the need for an upgrade every couple of years. We’ve put together our top tips and products to help you get the best out of your set.
Rattan garden furniture can prove to be relatively low maintenance throughout the year, but there are a number of avoidable (and sometimes unavoidable) factors that can shorten the life of your furniture drastically. These can include but are not limited to:
While the list of risk factors can get long, usually only a handful of solutions are needed to prevent all significant damage.
The first and seemingly quickest way to avoid significant damage is to store your garden furniture inside your home or garage. If your storage space is a garage or garden shed, it might still be worth using a protective cover for an extra layer of protection against any dust or dirt from other items being stored nearby. Alternatively if you don’t have an indoor space for your set, a waterproof protective cover allows you to keep your furniture in the garden. Most manufacturers sell protective covers made to fit their sets. It is best to find a cover that is both waterproof and breathable to keep the set dry without the risk of accumulating odours. Don’t forget to store your cushions inside and cover where you can. While many cushions are showerproof, heavy downpours can cause discolouration and a buildup of bacteria and even mould.
In the summer months it might be tempting to leave your furniture out since it’s dry, but Sun damage can cause bleaching and discolouration of the frames. When it comes to synthetic and plastic sets, UV damage can even cause weakening of the structure, leading to breaks and chipping of the corners and legs.
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While it might seem obvious when you think about it, quite often we overlook the damage we can cause from constantly dragging and moving our rattan furniture around the garden. Not only can this weaken the feet of your furniture, it can even lead to the legs of your set being damaged. To avoid this, fit rubber feet or covers to the bottom of your furniture. Alternatively, just ensure that you not only keep the feet clean, but that you avoid dragging across patios and concrete when you can, lifting by the frame and not the weaker panels. This also prevents scratch marks ruining your patio stones.
Cleaning your rattan garden furniture regularly is a great way to increase its lifespan. Stains are a quick way to compromise the look of your furniture and stubborn stains can be a nightmare to remove. Like in the home, the easiest stains to remove are fresh stains. A lot of outdoor cushions and covers are somewhat showerproof, so a damn cloth and occasionally some detergent or rattan cleaner should be enough to keep your piece looking fresh for years to come. It is also important to give your patio sets a general clean weekly if you can, especially glass items to avoid the build up of mildew and moss. Hoovering the pillows to remove food particles and dust also prevents attracting insects and bacteria.
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When you’ve invited your family and friends round, you might provide some extra throws and blankets for those cold British evenings. This in fact can be a great way to increase the life of your rattan furniture! Extra cushions, throws or pillows provide extra padding to prevent scratching and damage from dropped keys, phones, cutlery and other objects capable of causing general wear and tear. They can reduce UV damage from the long term exposure to the Sun, preventing plastic sets in particular becoming brittle. Cushions also help evenly distribute weight on your furniture, helping reduce the formation of weak spots. And many rattan garden furniture stores sell waterproof or showerproof cushion covers, though we still recommend storing them inside when not in use.
A great way to help combat UV and sun weakening is to rotate the positioning of your chairs. It is inevitable that parts of the sides of your garden receive more sun than others, meaning that the rate of degradation of chairs can be varied. Be sure to move your chair positions around often to help them wear evenly and increase the lifespan of the whole set.
One of the easiest ways to protect your rattan set is to apply a UV coating if your furniture is natural. You won’t need to do this if your set is synthetic, but if it is made of natural materials it is important to keep it protected from the elements. Repainting can be a great way to freshen up a dying furniture set. Be sure to clean the item thoroughly beforehand before using primer coats and multiple coats of your furniture paint.
On top of this, be sure to check and tighten any screws when necessary and replace worn rubber stops. Apply boiled linseed oil once a year to prevent drying out and cracks. This will be absorbed into rattan, before you can wipe away the excess. Be sure to allow your furniture to dry thoroughly before use and don’t use raw linseed oil. For other repairs, Youtube can be a great source for videos on fixing small breakages in the woven pattern and other minor issues. If you find an issue is too difficult to fix, it may be worth using a professional restoration service as this can still turn out to be cheaper than buying a completely new furniture set.
Rattan garden furniture can last decades with a small amount of maintenance. While cleaning and storage can seem like a long list of chores, just a few care routines little and often can make all the difference, saving you significant money in the long run. Use the tips above to get the best out of your rattan furniture and keep it looking great and holding strong for the years to come!
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