How to look after oak garden furniture >>
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Oak garden furniture may be the more luxurious option as far as garden furniture goes, but is certainly the most beautiful, the most durable and the most maintenance-free choice. It also gives you added peace of mind that you are opting for a sustainable product. So how to ensure that your furniture remains at its best whilst being exposed to the elements?
Oak tree is native to the British Isles and as such is best equipped to withstand the very specific weather we all enjoy here. And with ‘scattered showers’ being the name of the game in British weather forecast, you certainly don’t want to be rescuing your furniture as well as your lemon meringue pie when you get caught out on a Sunday afternoon.
Oak is a natural hardwood and has a mind of its own. It will develop cracks and change colour as it pleases, but with these changes, it becomes stronger. Oak is so hardy, that with very little maintenance, it will outlast any other material.
Why does oak turn grey outside?
Untreated European oak is a light honey colour, which, when left outside exposed to sun and rain, gradually turns silvery grey over a period of time. This is due to high tannin content in oak. Sun and moisture bring the tannins out to the surface and these create a layer on top, protecting the wood inside. The rule is: the sun turns oak silver and moisture adds black. You ave two options of how to deal with this phenomenon: a.) you fight to preserve the honey hue, or b.) you let oak take its course and enjoy its natural beauty.
Our Some Like It Bendy Oak Table NEW Same table a year later WEATHERED
Preserving natural honey hue outdoors
If you love oak and are determined to preserve its natural honey hue, you will need to invest in a waterproof rain cover. Best material to use is fabric used for the manufacture of canopies and sails as it is weather and UV light proof. You will have to be meticulous at putting it on each time there is a risk of rain and for the winter.
In addition, there is a selection of products available to help protect the wood against discolouration, which we would recommend:
Reduce water absorption:
Use OSMO end grain sealing wax to reduce water absorption through the ends of your table and through the feet. Apply annually.
Protect oak against UV rays:
Use OSMO UV protection oil annually to minimise colour loss.
Restore oak colour:
Some discolouration is likely to occur after a while. You can get a pretty good result using oxalic acid such as OSMO Wood reviver power gel.
Enhancing the natural silver colour
Most people choose to allow their oak garden furniture turn naturally grey. It is a beautiful natural hue and goes best with the environment. This way, your outdoor oak furniture will be truly maintenance-free.
Reduce water absorption:
To minimise water absorption through end grain and reducing the appearance of black streaks, we do recommend using the end grain sealing wax.
Clean black streaks:
We find the easiest and the most natural way of brightening up your oak garden furniture after winter is to clean it with a power hose and allow it to dry naturally in the sun. This will bring out the silvery shine beautifully.
How to stop wood bleeding
Natural tannins in oak find their way out of the wood through the end grain. Whilst the tannins are actually easy to clean off the stone paving with just water and a brush, it may not be what you want to do after each shower spell.
Using the end grain wax on the bottom of the feet and on the table ends annually will protect your patio against this ‘bleed’.
Get inspired with our oak dining tables, all suitable for indoor or outdoor use: