During the winter, this harsh, wet and windy weather can be hard to bear. Whilst we can all escape to the comfort of our homes, unfortunately, your outdoor furniture doesn’t have this luxury. Despite how amazing, and weather resistant your suites may have been, your garden furniture is bound to suffer out in the poor conditions. Over the coming weeks, you’ll slowly start to revisit your garden to start tidying it before spring hits. Outdoor furniture in its own right can be tricky to clean and if you’ve not bought an extravagant range, chances are it will have experienced some damage during this cold time. When you come to get back in that garden, you’ll need to know what you can do in order to restore some life back into your set so you don’t have to go and buy a new one as soon as the summer hits! So where do you start?
The First Step–Assess The Situation
You need to start by giving your outdoor furniture set or suite a long and hard examination. Remove your cover and let it breathe. Next, remove the cushions and place the range where there is a good source of light to allow you to examine what exactly is worn, damaged or that has changed. Following this, assess the damage and make the decision of if it can be cleaned, if you need a new set or if it just needs a coat of paint. You need to check if the frame has suffered from any damage and if there are any parts where the weave has come away or loosened.
The Second Step – The Cleaning
You’re now on the part where you need to clean your range. For cleaning, make sure you used a stiff, bristled brush or even a toothbrush to scrub away all the grime or mould that has set in. You can also dig out your vacuum brush attachment if you want a more thorough clean. After the brushing has commenced, make up a solution of warm water, combined with dish washing soap, and use a soft sponge to address the area with. Wipe the furniture down using a rag and fresh, clean water. Do not hose the suite or use excess amounts of water, as soaking the suite will cause it to lose it shape and you might damage the wood.
The Third Step – Attending to Those Loose Pieces
Check for any strands that have come away around the legs or rear of your rattan set. Invest in epoxy glue or even super glue in order to secure it properly back into shape. Make sure you don’t use too much glue as you don’t want to ruin the appearance of wicker or create any places where the range will need re-sanding because there are glue bubbles.
The Fourth Step – Replace and Weave the Loose Strands
If you have tried to mend the loose pieces, they may just be beyond repair after the testing winter conditions. If you’ve arrived at this point you may have to cut the piece loose and replace the new strand. If that’s the case, you can buy a wide range of wicker strips from either your suite manufacturer or a local home and crafts store. If you take this approach, then make sure you soak the wicker strips in water for 1 or 2 hours so that you can bend them and manipulate them more easily. Whilst the new piece is soaking, cut the old, worn section out just above where it is damaged, you will then be able to measure the area and cut your new rattan piece to the length you need. Always add 2 inches to your desired length just to be safe. All that is left to do is to weave it back into the same pattern (make sure you have some glue to hand as these complex weaves can be tricky!).
The Final Step – The Finish
The fifth and final step is to paint your rattan or cane furniture. Spray paint typically works best for this as it gets into all of those little-hidden bits that the eye would naturally miss. You can finish off the job by touching your range up with a lacquer for that finished look or you could alternatively spray primer to the piece before letting it dry for a day, then repaint it with a fresh white paint. Last, of all, complete the look with a coat or two of varnish in order to restore a natural and authentic look to your outdoor furniture.