Today we have a Guest Post from Rebecca:
Wooden outdoor furniture can look amazing, and it’s often the focal point of your patio or porch. However, over the years, even the best wooden furniture will start to show some wear and tear. You may eventually decide you need to refinish it to remove the cracks and other age spots. All types of wood will do this, even those that have been pressure-treated or rated for years of continual outdoor use. Here are some of the most common issues with refinishing outdoor furniture and a simple refinishing process.
Step 1: Cleaning Furniture before Sanding
Before you sand your furniture, you need to clean it. One easy cleaning solution is a mixture of one part bleach to three parts water along with about four tablespoons of detergent (non-ammoniated). Scrub down your furniture with a sponge, working it as deep into the wood as you can. This will help kill any mold or other fungus growing on your furniture in addition to cleaning it off. After you finish scrubbing it, allow about 20 minutes for the bleach to fully take effect. Then wash the mixture off with regular water. Let it dry before sanding.
Step 2: Splinters and Surface Spots
Use a simple electric hand sander (or you can sand the furniture by hand with sand paper, although this is a fairly labor-intensive process) to remove all of the original finish from each piece of furniture. You may need to use sand paper to sand some difficult to reach areas that a hand sander cannot fit into or to fully sand corners.
Be careful that you don’t sand too deeply, especially around splinters. Doing so may actually cause the splinters to stick out and become thinner, making it more difficult to see and remove them. Lightly sand the area instead.
Step 3: Rinse off Sand Dust
Give your furniture another quick rinse with the garden hose to remove any dust left by the sanding process. Once again, be sure to allow it to completely dry before you begin the staining process.
Step 4: Apply the New Finish
Using an old rag, apply your stain or acrylic finish. Work it into all of the grooves and crevasses, and be sure to wipe away any drips or excess liquid with a dry rag. You will probably need to do several coats of this, so make sure your Garden Furniture is set up in a place where it can be left overnight without getting damaged or affected by the weather. You may also want to have it set on a drop cloth if you’re worried about getting finish or stain on the floor.
Another option is to combine stain and acrylic finish. This method takes a little more time and effort, but the final product can look really good and is really useful on furniture that has a lot of splinters. You’ll need a small, hard roller, the type often used to push out all the air bubbles from wallpaper. You’ll also need to buy some thick acrylic varnish or stain that gets sticky during the drying process.
First, paint the entire piece of furniture with the varnish using a brush. Be sure to get around and even underneath splinters. Get a full, even coat on it. As it gets sticky, use the roller to push the splinters down. The varnish will hold them down, gluing them to the furniture. While one coat may be enough for most splinters, if you have any that seem particularly uncooperative, you mean need to apply a second coat.
Once all the splinters are held down by the varnish, sand everything with very fine sandpaper, then apply one more coat. This will stain the wood and give you a nice satin finish.
Selecting a Good Stain
For outdoor furniture, you’ll want to use an oil-based stain because it will help protect the wood from the elements.
What are Acrylic Finishes?
Acrylic finishes are a bit more difficult to apply than stains, but they do create a seal around the wood that is clear, strong, and impenetrable. The downside is that they’re expensive, and applying the finish evenly to the entire piece of furniture can be difficult. Some people also don’t like the look of the finish.
Be sure to work on this project in an area that is somewhat protected from the weather and animals (you don’t want a stray cat jumping up on your furniture while the stain dries). Also be sure it’s well-ventilated since stains and acrylic do give off fumes that can make you light-headed. Put down a cloth if you want to protect the pavement or your garage floor.
Author bio: Rebecca is an author and blogger from London. He often writes about outdoor entertainment and how garden furniture sets, garden benches, patio furniture & sun loungers can create the perfect environment.
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