I hope these answers to our most commonly asked questions will help you to choose the type of outdoor furniture that is best suited to your lifestyle. Of course, we hope that you will choose ours, but most important, we want you to be happy with your decision. We know you are one of the savvy shoppers because you are taking the time to research the product or you wouldn’t be reading this page! Please let us know if we can provide further assistance, we would love to hear from you.
Do I need to refinish my furniture?
This is not a cut and dry question like most people would expect. There are many variables that can affect your decision, for instance, is your furniture in the direct sun? Do you store it in the winter? Are you in a wet or dry climate? Well, you get the idea!
Many customers choose to let their cedar furniture weather to a silver gray and they love it! Others hate that look! The direct sun and constant exposure to weather conditions changes the surface color, but should not affect the structural integrity of the furniture. If you prefer the golden color of cedar, you will probably want to periodically refinish your furniture by applying a weather protectant of some type. If your furniture is not exposed to a lot of rain and it is stored in the winter, you may not have to ever or rarely refinish. On the flip side, if your furniture is out year round and you want to maintain that natural golden color of wood, then you will definitely want to clean and reapply a weather protectant.
It is all a matter of personal preference!
What kind of product do I use?
There are many products available and you can generally find them at your local paint supplier or home center. There are several factors to consider when choosing a product. For example, what is your weather exposure? Do you live in a dry or wet climate? Do you choose oil or water based products? Environmental issues are also important! Is the product toxic and difficult to dispose of or clean up? Clean up is a big factor, my opinion! Do you have a problem with insects? Cedar is naturally resistant to bugs, but some products have additional resistance. If you live in a very wet climate, you will want to make sure you find a product with a mold inhibitor; this is usually included in a good product. Mold will grow on anything including glass if you let it! Always make sure you clean it off! UV protection (protection from the sun) is also an important thing to look for, and all of the good products should feature this aspect.
We have used a several types of weather stains, and there are some good and some bad ones! It is surprising that the most common ones are some of the worst! We have had nothing but terrible comments and results with Thompson’s Water Sealer, and in our opinion, it is not a good choice.
A good product to use is called SUN FROG. It is a premium oil-based sealer that provides long lasting beauty enhancement for your patio furniture. When applied correctly, it will provide a minimum of 12 months of excellent protection. Log on to www.sunfrogwoodsealers.com for more information.
Here are a few that work pretty well and are non-toxic and easy to clean up: Cuprinol (black label), Weather-Tek (but can be hard to get in some places), Super Deck has been pretty good, but not my personal favorites.
I think that the best products are probably the most toxic, so I do not really recommend them, but here are a few: Penofin is great, but again not available everywhere. Duck Back is also very good (a marine type finish) and Sikkens is excellent. Keep in mind that we are working in a manufacturing situation and are held to very tight compliance regulations for people and the environment. However, you are not under such tight restrictions and have more flexibility that we do. Please, always consider your health and safety and follow all manufacturers’ directions.
How do I clean my furniture?
If you have a pressure washer, you are way ahead of the game! Just use a wood cleaner and water and let it dry before you apply anything. If you do not have a pressure washer, then you can sure apply a cleaner with a brush or rag and rinse with the hose. It really is easy and on a nice day, it is kind of fun! Well, maybe not fun, but once in a while, it’s not a bad task. Always be sure to clean your furniture before you apply paint, stain or any other product.
Do I need to store my furniture in the winter?
It is always best if you can put the furniture away in the garage or shed for the winter, to prolong the aging process. If you do not have a place to store the furniture and you would like to cover it, just remember to make sure the furniture is dry before you cover it! Plastic tarps often can promote mold growth or will leak, so be careful! Furniture covers are available in some stores.
Is cedar a good wood for outdoors?
Western Red Cedar is one of the best woods available to make anything for outdoors as it is naturally decay & insect-resistant. This wood is used to build houses, decks, roofs, etc. It is native to the Pacific Northwest, so it is a product of a wet climate and will withstand a lot of moisture. However, it is also very good in a dry climate, but will require some sort of UV protection and is best to keep a weather stain applied in this type of climate. In my travels, I have heard time and time again from people who have had a particular cedar piece of furniture that their parents or grandparents made and it is still being used. I believe, with a little care, your furniture could last 40 or 50 years! We use only kiln dried cedar, which is the very best because it will not shrink or warp!