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Easy ways to clean and restore your garden furniture

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Learn how to bring your garden furniture back to life with a few simple tips and tricks.

Spring has brought us some beautiful weather, and with summer just around the corner, dare we say the weather could be here to stay. Now’s the perfect time to get the garden furniture cleaned up and restored to enjoy as much of the glorious sunshine as possible.

The most effective way to prevent your furniture from getting damaged is to keep it covered and take appropriate measures to prevent it from happening again once you’ve followed our tips below.

If you have hired the services of domestic cleaners to help keep you home spick and span they can keep the house in check, while you tackle the garden this spring. Learn how to restore each type of garden furniture here:


Wooden furniture is a beautiful addition to any garden and looks great with its natural surroundings. However, if left out to face all of the elements, it doesn’t fair well and needs to be looked after.

If you have left your wooden furniture out in the rain and it needs a little clean, use a warm solution of water sugar soap. Leave the solution on stubborn areas for a few minutes. You can use a scrubbing brush to then rub off any dirt. Rinse it off with clean water and leave to dry.

If you want to glam up your wooden furniture and give it a whole new lease of life you can paint it. Here are some tips to ensure your paint job lasts:

  • Remove any visible paint already on the piece of furniture
  • Smooth all of the surfaces using sandpaper. Remove any dust which has settled
  • Apply on a coat of primer and be sure to follow the grain
  • Once that has dried, you can then paint it with the colour you want. Be sure you allow it to completely dry before adding any more coats. Paint as much as needed.


Metal garden furniture is sleek and stylish, but like wood, the elements are not metal’s friend. Rusting is one of the biggest issues with metal outdoor furniture. You don’t want to sit on a rusty chair or eat off a rusty table, so here’s how you can clear it.

  • Use lime and salt on the affected area. Sprinkle salt and then the lime, repeat once. Leave this for three hours. Lime juice will activate the salt and it will soften the rust, making it easy to remove. Use the rind of the lime to clear away the salt build-up and then wipe the area clean.
  • You can also use baking soda and water in a similar way to the lime and salt technique. Apply some baking soda to the rusted area, add a dash of water. Repeat this until the area is evenly covered. Leave for two hours and scrub away with a brush.

Ready to give it a lick of paint? Metal is a little trickier than wood, but it’s not impossible. Here’s how you can tackle it:

  • First, remove any bolts and screws – if they’re rusted, it might be a little more difficult. The last thing you want to do is paint over them and make it even harder to unscrew later.
  • Remove any flakes of paint on the piece of furniture. To make it easier use a scraper or steel brush.
  • Use sandpaper to smooth any badly rusted areas.
  • Clean the metal with hot water to remove any dust and grease and leave to dry.
  • Use a primer suitable for metal furniture and for the type of metal you’re wanting to paint.
  • You can now paint your furniture the colour you want.

Give your garden furniture a spruce up now that the weather is turning a little warmer and enjoy your outdoor space in style.

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