Bench renovation

We have a large old oak bench tucked into a flowery corner of the garden and it's really too big to move it far. 

We have bought a Cuprinol Revival Kit. You paint this on then wash it off and after drying you repaint with wood oil. 

Apparently the kit will bring the seat up like new. However the renovator is oxalic acid and I was worried about the effect on my plants of having this washed off on to the ground near them. I looked up the acid and found it can encourage a pathogen to grow in many plants which breaks down the cell structure producing downy mold.  it then stays in the soil and is impossible to remove. 

We have decided to put this renovation off until the winter and try to remove the bench to the centre of the lawn and do it there but I am still worried about adding this poison to my soil. 

Should I be so worried? Any ideas please?


  • steephillsteephill Posts: 502

    Plants make oxalic acid to protect themselves from predators, famously in rhubarb leaves but also in edible plants like spinach and swiss chard. Even a cup of tea has around 50mg of oxalic acid in it! So nature can cope with it but of course it is the dose that makes the poison.

    If you have a hard surface in the garden you could do the job on that as I suspect that most rocks will help neutralise the acid, especially limestone. Just use plenty of water to wash it away and you should be OK.

  • Tina_i_amTina_i_am Posts: 177

    I cleaned my bench with a scrubbing brush and sugar soap. I couldn't believe how well it removed all that grime. Then I applied a stain. It's like a new bench.

    Last edited: 19 July 2017 22:25:03

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Like Tina; I had a bench I was convinced was past it. But being tight fisted (this is Yorkshire after all) I pressure washed and scrubbed it with a wooden brush and plain water. It took a few coats of oil to sink in but it looks grand now.

    It might be worth considering a bit more elbow grease in favour of not working about your plants.

  • chrissieBchrissieB Posts: 772

    We found an old bench when clearing brambles in our garden. Going off the old makers plate we guess it's about 30 years old. Definitely looked past its best but hubby scraped off the moss and then scrubbed it down with water and a touch of bleach (cap full in a washing up bowl of water) and it came up as good as new and all the algae and mould gone. We let it dry and then painted straight onto the wood, still looks fab 12 months on.

    We used a Cuprinol paint - is it just me or do none of the shades look anything like the brochure or in several cases for us the tins weren't even the same as the tester pots?

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,137

    Wooden furniture gets jet washed allowed to dry then oiled, it is still good after 25 years apart from renewing some of the bolts. Why waste money on fancy paints that do not do what it says on the tin, this is the North East even tighter pockets than my mothers Yorkshire.


  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 683

    Greenmum, if I were using this product you've bought, I think I'd wait for the flowering plants to die down, then protect the soil and any shrubs with plastic sheeting. A lot easier than moving the bench.

    Palaisglide, if you read the request carefully, you'll see they've already bought the stuff.  Don't tight pockets dictate that, having bought it, you're obliged to use it whether you want to or not?  Maybe they could sell it.image

    Last edited: 20 July 2017 12:19:01

  • GreenmumGreenmum Posts: 21

    Well thank you guys. Lots to think about here. Why did I waste money on the Cuprinol stuff. i have two lovely old oak benches which we recovered from neglect under brambles and my husband has made new mortise and Tennon joints for those missing. They are both probably 50 years old and will be lovely to sit on and view the garden from different angles I will scrub them as you suggest and then oil them. Thanks again - greenmum ?

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,137

    Josusa, tight pockets mean you look at every option first before trying to get your hands in the pockets. It appears to be a modern trend to buy first and think later we old gardeners in our younger days had to make do and mend, it becomes part of your Genes. I got mine from Dad who fed the extended family out of our smallholding as well as his day job, "tha niver buys what yer can make lad" Not a bad motto when the trend is to spend more on your garden than you do on a mortgage, we call it Daft up here.


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