Your garden bench gives you many months of enjoyment in the summer months, but when the cooler days and darker evenings of autumn and winter arrive, we rarely use it.
Many garden benches stand firm in the face of winter weather for years on end. But the weather from the sun to rain, ice and snow, take its toll of the garden bench. Thus when you come to enjoy the summer weather and your garden, you find that the garden bench is no longer usable nor safe to sit on.
It is possible, however, to protect your garden bench so that over the years, it gives a splendid performance, year after year, summer after summer.
#1 Cover it
A waterproof cover is one of the many must have garden bench accessories along with anchor brackets so your bench cannot be removed without your permission.
A waterproof cover will keep the worst of the winter weather off of your garden bench. Better still, they come in a range of sizes and dimensions, perfect for fitting over your bench, no matter how big or small, or high backed or ornate that it is.
Simply throw the waterproof cover over, secure in place by placing it under each leg of the bench and that’s it. You can, if you like, secure it further by tying it onto the bench, a great idea for the long winter months but you can use the cover in any season, especially when inclement weather is forecast.
#2 Paint it
Paint forms a protective layer over a material which is why it is commonly used in exterior applications from wooden benches to masonry, window frames and garden fencing.
As well as adding a protective layer against the weather, painting your garden bench is a way of either making it stand out with colour or blend into the background.
There is a range of paints available that are suitable but always use one that is suitable for use of exterior wood.
#3 Stain it
Similar to paint, but thinner and prone to soak into the wood, the idea behind a stain is that it protects the wood from the outside in.
Again, staining products are available in a range of colours although the finish is not as bright nor as ‘block’ as a paint. It is a far more subtle colour and finish. Some people prefer a stain because unlike paint, you can still see some of the wood grain beneath.
However, even top-quality stains don’t last as long and so you will need to re-stain an item several times in order to keep it protected. However, it adds a layer of protection not only against moisture but against the harsh effects of sun too.
#4 Oil it
Oil is another garden bench accessory that many people opt for. Mariners and sailors often used oil on wood on the exterior and interior of their boats because oil is naturally water repellent. Oil nourishes the wood too and so, if you have wooden garden furniture that is cracked and parched-looking, oil is great for restoring the bench to its former glory.
However, before you start laying on oil on your garden bench, there are a few things you need to know;
- There are different oils for soft and hardwoods – for hardwood benches, teak oil is commonly used.
- There are various teak oil products from the raw material through to processed products that offer even better water and stain repellent properties.
- Oil is not easily removed from a garden bench or other wooden item thus, if you intend painting or varnishing the item in the near future, using oil may not be the best idea.
- Three or four thin layers of oil applied with a sponge or rag is better than layering the oil on thickly.
- Always allow the oil to dry between coats too.
#5 Varnish it
And finally, to really protect your garden bench for all weathers, the best solution is to varnish it with a high-quality exterior varnish is essential.
Varnish forms a protective but flexible top coat to an item. As the wood shrinks and expands with changing humidity, so too does the top coat of varnish.
However, this takes a little more effort as any old varnish or paint will need to be removed (used a chemical stripper or a heat gun), the bench sanded down and then thin layers of varnish painted on sparingly, allowing the varnish to dry between each coat as well as a light sanding.
Taking some time to protect your garden bench from the worst of the winter weather means it gives years of faultless performance, an ideal seating solution for your garden.
With several designs, shapes and sizes, Sloane & Sons understand the unique qualities that make a hardwood bench an ideal addition to any garden. And with only a little care and attention, hardwood benches last a lifetime too!