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Wooden garden furniture

Hi, I bought some lovely wooden garden furniture about 8 years ago. I have treated it with teak oil each year - chairs and the table. I have always put it away in the shed over winter which is a shame as when we get a nice winter's day, I would have liked to have sat out. But thought that I was looking after it. However, my son now uses the shed to store his fancy cycle and tinkers in there so space is limited. Years ago I had other furniture and bought a cover, left it outside and it went mouldy under the cover. So, is it OK to leave wooden furniture out and will it do any damage? Please.



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,312

    Is it real teak?  If so it doesn't need any treatment and is quite ok left outside.  We have a set of teak garden furniture which we bought second hand and we leave it outside 365 days of the year.  It's lovely to be able to sit out on the terrace with a cup of coffee on a sunny midwinter morning.

    We like the silver patina of naturally aged teak so we don't even oil it.  Teak is such a hard wood that it doesn't need any preservative.  We just give ours a good scrub over once or twice a year with a stiff bristle scrubbing brush to get rid of dust and grime.

    If you prefer the honey-coloured look you can sand the teak to remove the patina and then oil the timber.

    Don't use plastic covers on teak furniture - they trap moisture and can cause rot - it's far better to leave it in the open air to breathe.


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • HaisieHaisie Posts: 108

    Thanks, Dove. I think it is real teak. I can't remember what it said on the box... It was expensive, the dearest one in B & Q and better than what they have now. I bought it in the sale of course! It is hard and has brass bits on the matching brolly and plaques on the back of the chairs! Ha, I was so proud when I bought it all. I knew that it would last for years and was a good buy. It went a black colour after a couple of years. Why did it do that. My son power washed it this year, wich he hadn't as it didn't feel good after that but got the honey colour back. I sanded it and teak oiled it. I remember a man at B & Q saying that he didn't bother using teak oil anymore. Great, I'll leave it out But why did it go black?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,312

    The black is oil on the surface being attacked by mildew - teak is such a hard wood that the oil doesn't soak into it, it just sits on the surface and in our climate the mildew gets it!  When we bought ours the previous owners had oiled it and it had gone black  - that's why they didn't want it any more.  We've just left it outside and rubbed it down with scrubbing brushes when it's been dry and it's turning that lovely silvery colour.

    If I were you I'd get your son to power wash it again and then leave it alone, don't oil it or anything.  That way it'll develop a lovely silver patina like the  furniture in the gardens of stately homes image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • HaisieHaisie Posts: 108

    Flippin eck, I have been wondering about that for years! Good grief, I love this site!

  • HaisieHaisie Posts: 108

    Thanks, Dove image

  • DaintinessDaintiness EssexPosts: 980

    Really good advice. We bought hard wood furniture years ago and my husband treated it with oil/varnish too - when it was new and he was enthusiastic! Only now as the varnish is wearing off are we beginning to get that lovely silver colour - it looks better now than it did when we bought it imo. Never thought of using the pressure washer though but could speed up the process of losing the varnish in some parts. We leave our outside over winter too now!

  • HaisieHaisie Posts: 108

    Thanks - this has solved such a big issue for me. I used to get mad at my son for not putting away in the shed early enough. How daft. Thanks Daintiness.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    We put ours away in the autumn and bring it out again on the few really warm and sunny days after that. Saves us having wet botties.image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,367

    I put one bench in the cold GH. Handy for coffee breaks in winter.

  • Birdy13Birdy13 Posts: 595

    I have a little hardwood table that's been left out all winters - it is probably teak because it seems to have suffered little apart from a bit of green mould And one slight crack (see below*)

    My only concern is that because the table legs are in constant contact with the ground during all the wet weather they are more likely to suck up water by capillary action through the end grain of the wood and can retain water longer standing on the wet ground - not good if followed by frost.

    *Since noticing a bit of a crack in one of the legs which I put down to frost damage, I now like to try and 'perch' the legs on 4 round pebbles during Winter which gives them a chance to drain / dry out after each soaking. Fussy, I know, but it seems to work. 

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