Garden Furniture

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Garden Furniture

Sitting Pretty in Your Outdoor Room

Look at all the types of outdoor furniture available!  
Here is OGG's primer on selecting and caring for garden furnishings. 

Cast Aluminum


This type of furniture is an "investment piece" - and can actually become an heirloom to pass down.  It lasts forever, and can be left outside all year with little maintenance.

Select all-welded construction.  The strongest finishes are electrostatically applied and baked on.  This makes for a smooth surface that resists scratches, chips and fading in the sun.

Wrought Iron


Formal, solid and enduring!  This type of furniture can last for generations too, but requires more maintenance.

The surface will require touchups every three to four years, and a total refinishing will be required occasionally.  You can avoid or minimize refinishing by covering wrought iron when not in use.

So Many Choices!

Hard to make up your mind?  Get the best buys you can find and mix and match pieces for best effect and savings.  That way, some inexpensive pieces can be designated for children (or pets) only.  Your pricier pieces can get the TLC they deserve to give you years of use.

Teak, Cedar, other Wood


Teak is one of the hardest and most durable woods - used for boat decks, docks and boardwalks.  It's immune to warping and rotting.  Look for renewable plantation grown teak (usually from Indonesia).  Teak requires little or no maintenance, and ages to a silvery grey.  You can maintain the honey-color of the teak by oiling it annually.

Cedar and redwood are also quite durable, but should be protected over the winter months.  Painting and refinishing will be regularly required.  Shorea is a newcomer to the scene - hard and durable as teak, but slightly less grain in the wood.  It is less expensive than teak.



Wicker style furniture can be made from water hyacinth, rattan, and wicker.  They are elegant, and newer types can be used outdoors.  Vintage pieces are too fragile and should be kept in a covered area out of sun and rain.

Modern "faux wicker" furniture is now made from synthetic materials which are durable and weather resistant.  Poly-resin plastics on aluminum framing can be made to look identical to wicker, but should be stored under cover during the winter months.



Resin furniture won't last as long as most other types of outdoor furniture, but is an affordable solution - especially for those with growing families.

Resin comes in a variety of shades (that hide dirt nicely!), many attractive styles, and it is easy to care for.  Storing indoors in winter will prolong the lifespan of this type of garden furniture.

Caring for Garden Furniture


Metal furniture:  Use mild soap and water.  If the surface is not textured, apply a car wax several times a year.  Spray oil lubricant on chair swivels or glides.

Umbrellas:  Clean with mild soap and water and a brush.  Spray silicone on the joints of wire frames, and use wax or furniture polish on wooden umbrellas.

Outdoor Wicker:  Use a soft-bristle brush or vacuum with brush attachment to remove surface dust.  Rinse with a hose every month or so, and occasionally clean with a mild detergent.  Completely rinse and allow to air dry.

Cushions:  Vacuum regularly.  Use a sponge and mild soap and water for regular cleaning.  Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.  If cushions are mildewed, use a solution of one cup of bleach and a squirt of detergent per gallon of water.  Scrub with a soft brush, rinse and dry.  Test an inconspicuous spot before using bleach.

Tempered Glass:  Use commercial glass cleaner, or use a soft cloth and mild detergent and water.

Wood:  Some manufacturers recommend occasional applications of oil.  Otherwise, clean with mild detergent and water.  Some woods like teak can stay outdoors all year.  Others like pine, oak and cedar should be stored indoors during winter.  Painted or stained woods will required re-doing every few years.

Poly-Resin:  Rinse with a hose every few weeks.  Apply a good resin furniture cleaner a few times during the season.  There are products specifically made for resin furniture that will repel stains.  These can be a God-send on table tops that are in the "fly zones" of your neighborhood birds.

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