wooden outdoor furniture

The air is warmer, you haven’t put on your winter coat in weeks and the birds are chirping up a storm — spring must be just around the corner. The shifting weather means it’s time to get excited about patio season. Is your furniture ready to face the elements?

Proper spring maintenance plays an essential role in protecting your wood furniture and making the most out of your outdoor living space. Here’s what you can do to take great care of your favorite pieces and maximize your daily dose of alfresco relaxation.

Set Up Your Spring Cleaning Plans

Start your prep by making a list of all the surfaces you’d like to protect and then gather key tools:

  • Outdoor Additive
  • Outdoor Defense Oil
  • A clean, lint-free rag
  • Real Milk Paint
  • A container for mixing
  • Stir stick(s)
  • Brushes and/or rollers
  • A clean, debris-free surface and well-ventilated space
  • Cleaning tools such as a pressure washer or soap and water

Set Yourself Up for Success With Clean, Dirt-Free Surfaces

Even the best paint will look sketchy applied over a dingy, dirt-riddled surface, which is why it’s important to clean up your project space before you start rubbing on any oil. For decks and porches, we like to use an air compressor to get rid of leaves and other loose materials before breaking out a pressure washer (stick to a low pressure setting to preserve the quality and natural texture of the wood) or deck cleaner if needed.

For smaller areas and furniture in need of a quick cleanup, you can usually meet your goals just by dusting, or you may need to do a deeper clean with a simple combination of soap and water.

Protect Your Furniture With Outdoor Additive

A solid paint job is the foundation of any kind of furniture protection. We recommend cleaning and prepping your patio furniture before mixing up a combination of your chosen shade of Real Milk Paint and a bit of our Outdoor Additive. This special all-natural, nontoxic borate compound helps inhibit mold, block stains and restrict bacteria growth. All that helps preserve your furniture so you can picnic in your backyard or lounge in your wooden chaise for years to come.

Use Outdoor Defense Oil for a Beautiful and Protective Finish

For an extra layer of protection, top off your paint job with a layer of Outdoor Defense Oil. We’ve harnessed the combined power of pure tung oil, pine oil and zinc to create an environmentally friendly all-weather product known for keeping the sun’s rays and pesky rain showers at bay.

Outdoor Defense is easy to apply:

  1. Start with a liberal first coat applied with a natural bristle brush, sponge or roller.
  2. Let that first coat sit for at least 40 minutes until it soaks in, then apply as many coats as the surface will take until it’s completely saturated.
  3. Let sit for 40 to 90 minutes and then wipe off the excess.
  4. After the wood cures for 24 hours, you can add another multi-coat application — up to four coats for typical conditions and as many as six if you deal with lots of inclement weather — or wrap up your project and get ready to enjoy your newly finished deck, garden bench or what-have-you.

Don’t Forget About Your Non-Wood Surfaces

Both our Outdoor Additive and Outdoor Defense Oil work wonders on outdoor wood furniture, but that’s just the beginning. You can use this powerful combo on wooden decks and siding, as well as other materials such as concrete, stucco, stone and brick. Both products are food-contact safe, too, so feel free to detail the butcher block you just installed in your outdoor kitchen or safeguard your built-in prep surfaces so you can chop vegetables or carve up BBQ without worry. From stepping stones to garden boxes, wood pergolas to concrete water features, almost everything can benefit from a little TLC and our Outdoor Defense Oil.

Take Care of Your Projects Before Temps Soar

There’s a reason spring cleaning happens before the hot summer sun starts scorching the earth, and your patio prep should take place in cooler temps, too. Applying the oil in a high-heat environment or in direct sun will speed up polymerization and result in a frosty, rubbery and otherwise unsightly finish. You may even want to move your spring cleaning to fall; that way, you’ll complete all your projects before the deep freeze of winter, and once spring rolls around, you’ll be raring to go.

A Few Extra Tips

To help make your paint project go as smoothly as possible, here are a few more expert tips and tricks:

  • You are looking to fully saturate your wood project with the oil, but, you don’t want to have the oil sitting on the surface. It’s key to give your project a thorough wipe down after your last coat to avoid having that oil puddling on the surface rather than laying in the wood
  • Use solvents in a well-ventilated area. If you’re using Outdoor Defense Oil indoors, make sure to open some windows and turn on a fan or two during your work and for two to four hours afterward.
  • Shake your oil before using it, as the contents could separate and you want a fully integrated project in order to achieve the best results.
  • Touch-ups are to be expected. Depending on how much wind and rain your furniture will be exposed to over the years and whether you’re working on a high-traffic area like a deck or wooden walkway, you may need to apply a touch-up coat from time to time.
  • While every wood is different, fully saturating by applying multiple coats it will give you the best finish. Don’t rush the process – good things take time!”