Outdoor Furniture Maintenance

**My heart is with those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy. I cannot imagine the sorrow and terror for those involved. **

It’s (almost) spring in Toronto.  I hope.  My backyard still looks like a brown pile of old grass and sticks, but I do have a few budding spring bulbs in the front garden. So last weekend we hauled out the patio heater and the wooden patio furniture, and I declared it spring. I sat on my favorite chair with a cup of coffee and my ebook. I was still wearing winterboots and a vest, but hey I was outside. I was enjoying my coffee when I grazed my arm across the chair to find the wood scratchy and dry.  We have had this furniture for two years, and even though it sits under a covered deck, and gets put inside during the winter, its starting to show its age.

Our backyard furniture (photo from last summer)
Our backyard furniture (photo from last summer)

Its our fault. We know that we should oil the furniture at least once a year, we just, well, haven’t done it. It’s okay thou, we haven’t destroyed the furniture yet, but its high time we did some maintenance on it. So I broke out the (unopened) container of furniture oil we purchased with the furniture. I placed one of the chairs on some newspaper (so that I didn’t get the tinted oil all over the deck, cause I am bound to spill some) and got to work.

The chair all ready for its oil treatment
The chair all ready for its oil treatment

I used a soft rag and applied a thin but even coat of oil. I could immediately see the difference as the thirsty wood soaked in that oil.

The slat on the top has been oiled,  whereas the slat at the bottom has not.
The slat on the top has been oiled, whereas the slat at the bottom has not.

Sorry for the terrible photo, it was one of those “grab a quick shot while not spilling oil all over the camera” situations.

Coffee in hand, I oiled away. About 20 minutes later, my coffee was empty (sad face) but one chair was done. It’s a bit of a PITA task (pain in the ass) but it makes such a difference. One chair down, a chair and a bench to go.

After the oil had dried, the chair arms were so smooth El Granto thought that I had sanded the chair.

Pretty freshly oiled chair arm
Pretty freshly oiled chair arm

It’s now ready for a summer full of backyard parties. Now if only the rest of my yard wasn’t full of dead plants, a sunken path, and a patchy brown lawn…

If you’re curious we have the Ikea Applaro armchairs and bench, and we used the Ikea Varda wood treatment oil. We are very happy with our Applaro furniture. It is very solidly built with beautiful Acacia wood. We purchased the furniture at Ikea’s summer midnight madness sale, and scored it for 50% off.

Author: Kristen

Kristen & her husband El Granto & their Vizsla Odin live in a converted Storefront in downtown Toronto.

2 thoughts on “Outdoor Furniture Maintenance”

  1. Hi! I checked the IKEA website for the Varda oil. Did you use the Varda stain? Was it the Varda colorless or brown stain? Thanks

    1. Same question as Amie above. Looking to treat our Applaro set this Spring. You said you used Varda “oil”, but Ikea’s web site shows it as a “stain.” So, I’m confused. Is is an oil treatment (like Teak oil) or a stain (like a Minwax product)? Please advise.

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