Acacia Wood Furniture Maintenance

Remember how I talked about maintaining our acacia outdoor chairs last year? Well guess who forgot to bring them in the garage over winter (hint it was us) and they were looking pretty shabby.

This year we decided to try out a different type of wood oil, in hopes that it would bring back some luster.

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Mixwax Teak Oil (or “Huile de teck” when you wanna be fancy and say it in French/forget to turn the bottle around when taking pictures for your blog)

We gave the chairs a wash, and placed them out in the yard to dry, and get oiled.

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Prepping the chairs for oiling

We used applied the Minwax Teak Oil with a foam brush, and after a few minutes work, our chairs were looking so much better! We plan on potentially giving them a little sand and a few more coats of oil because they guzzled it down. Poor thirsty chairs.

They look so much better!
They look so much better!

We’ve got a lot more to do in the backyard, but at least the chairs are looking a bit better!

What do you use for your wood furniture maintenance? Have you used Minwax Teak Oil before?

Don’t Crank That

Sometimes in home ownership you make costly mistakes. Case in point: We close our skylight too tightly.

We have an opening skylight in our bathroom. It opens and closes with a big pole that you turn the handle and it cranks open.

When we had one of our cold snaps I walked into our bathroom to find out skylight had shattered. Don’t worry, it was just the inside piece of plastic (they’re double layered with air in the middle for insulation.) The skylight has a screen, which luckily caught all the jagged pieces of broken plastic.

It still caught me completely off guard. Who knew skylights could just shatter? Why did it happen?


We called our roofers and they assured us that it wouldn’t leak or anything, and it was marked as a low priority. Flash forward to the bitter cold snap we’ve been suffering from (grrr polar vortex grrr). Because it is just sooo darn cold out, and nice and toasty warm inside, we were getting a whole lot of condensation on our now uninsulated skylight. The condensation was dripping down onto our floor and making puddles. We called the roofers back, they upped the importance and scheduled a site visit on one of the coldest days of the year. Upon inspection they discovered that we appear to have tightened the skylight too tightly, and when it expanded with the cold it broke.

A new skylight was ordered, and it was safely installed yesterday taking all the broken pieces of plastic and condensation with it.

Our pocket is lighter, or egos a little bruised, but at least we have a drip free skylight back in our bathroom.

While talking with the roofing company we learned the following:

Only JUST close crank windows & skylights. Over tightening can warp the frame and put pressure on the glass/plastic risking breakage.


On the positive side, dude I’m the freakin HULK. I am so strong my muscles break skylights!!!!


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.