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You may have just renovated your patio and backyard to entertain friends and family, but what kind of outdoor furniture should you buy and what are the best measures to protect them?

Many people look for outdoor furniture that has all kinds of weatherproof guarantees and claims to be protected from the elements – but a few years later it looks terrible and is falling apart anyway.

So what should you look for when you buy new outdoor furniture? Nothing, really. Most outdoor furniture today is made of materials and finishings that protect it from sun and rain much more efficiently than ever. So why does outdoor furniture still wear out so quickly?

The answer is that most people get their outdoor furniture, put it in the backyard and forget about it. Many people don’t even bring it inside during the winter months. Any kind of outdoor furniture that is not taken care of will age just as quickly as anything else left outside for any amount of time. The solution is to take (only minimal) care of outdoor furniture and it will last a lifetime, it really isn’t hard at all.

“guarantees and claims to be protected from the elements – but a few years later it looks terrible and is falling apart anyway”

The first thing to do is to mark your calendar as to when you bought the pieces and when you put them outside. Then mark a day on your calendar to remind yourself to put everything in storage when the season is over. The other steps are easy as well:

1. After the initial season of use, you will have to apply some kind of outdoor furniture protector or paint. Specialised exterior Paint is the best for outdoor furniture, because it can protect from UV rays, heat and water. If its a polished wood or is already painted, use protectant you can pick up from Bunnings. Clean the furniture thoroughly and then apply the protectant. This needs to be done every season to keep the outdoor furniture from deteriorating.

“most people get their outdoor furniture, put it in the backyard and forget about it.”

2. Keep all cushions in storage when not in use. Having a big plastic bin on the patio where you store the cushions will help them last and keep them looking new for a much longer time. Move the bin inside and store it there in the winter months.

3. Store the furniture indoors when it is not in use. Outdoor furniture simply cannot make it through long periods of bad winter weather and cold temperatures and then be expected to last any amount of time.

Most of these are no-brainers, but you would be surprised on how often we are asked for advice in this area. Just because the product is sold as “outdoor furniture” it doesn’t mean its as outdoor as a car. And even then, you should try and keep it garaged at all time. I guess they should re-name them “seasonal outdoor furniture”, lol.

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