To be able to make the most of our green corner, it is certainly useful to include some interior design elements, such as tables, chairs, racks, and for those who have more space, a nice barbecue or a swimming pool. All these elements can be found in an infinity of styles, materials and prices. Obviously, in general, a piece of design furniture or very resistant material is more expensive than an element of less valuable material or an old-fashioned design.
When choosing garden furniture, it is good to follow a few tricks, considering the use you wish to make, and even perhaps expanding the budget to buy items that we can use for a long time in the years to come.
Garden furniture: Materials and maintenance
There are many garden furniture items available: from simple chairs or benches, to flooring, in plastic or wood; from umbrellas to the most refined wrought iron gazebos.
Surely the choice must be made first of all considering the available budget, but we also try to consider our needs: a small table can be suitable for a terrace, but if we find it extensible it can also be used for summer dinners with friends; a large gazebo can be adapted to the garden, if it is easy to dismantle we can think of storing it during the winter, when it will not be possible to use it.
Even the material is not a negligible element: the simple wood can be found treated, impregnated, painted, or even simply polished; obviously the wood impregnated and treated in an autoclave has a very long life and is not affected by bad weather, while the simply painted wood does not withstand frost and temperature changes well.
Depending on the chosen material we remind you that a good maintenance allows us to enjoy the garden furniture for very long periods of time. With spring on the doorstep we dedicate a few days to cleaning up and taking care of the elements of furniture that we will use in the garden, so as to extend the life and also to obtain a better aesthetic.
- Plastic: plastic materials used for garden furniture are generally treated so as not to be ruined or yellowed by sunlight; exposure to bad weather and outdoor stay, however, causes a thick film of dust, smog, or even earth, which settles on tables and chairs, penetrating even into the joints between the parts that compose them; surely a washing with water can be useful, but it is also good to use special detergents, also degreasing, to remove the smog and the earth. The dirt on the plastic tends to turn gray over time, or it can cause irreparable stains; every year when we put back chairs and tables we remember to dismantle them and clean them, and the same we do before putting our furniture in the garden.
- Wood: the wood that composes tables, chairs or gazebos may have been subjected to various treatments; in any case it is advisable to periodically remember to clean up, with water and detergent, the residues of smog, dust and earth, so as to keep the surfaces clean; periodically then it is necessary to pass a veil of impregnating or varnish on the wooden artefacts. The product that best fits depends on how the original wood was treated: we will pass on the impregnating agent on the impregnated wood and the varnish on the varnished wood (possibly after removing the pre-existing varnish if it has deteriorated over time). The frequency of this operation depends mainly on the original quality of the piece of furniture: a quality product in impregnated wood may not need to be treated for 10-15 years; outdoor painted wood requires maintenance every 4-5 years. Some wooden furnishing elements kept outdoors but sheltered from the elements can remain without paint or impregnating for 5-10-15 years. When we see that the wood of our garden furniture fades or turns gray it is time to intervene.
- Iron: this material is very durable and generally only needs to be cleaned with a cloth and specific detergent; it then depends on how the material was treated at the origin; the plastic-coated iron needs maintenance when the plastic gets damaged: generally after years the plastic coating breaks down, in this case it is necessary to remove it completely and cover the metal with appropriate paints.
In other cases the iron is only waxed, this treatment can be repeated regularly every 2-3 years.
For other manufactured articles instead it is resorted to the painting: the iron painted with appropriate paints is very durable; it may happen that the layer of paint, in contact with the weather, becomes damaged; in this case the raised paint is removed with the help of a wire brush, and the entire product is repainted.
In principle, for any material it is advisable to proceed every year at the end of winter with the maintenance of garden furniture, for aesthetic reasons, but also to prevent the aging of materials.