Tag Archives: Repairing Furniture

Restoring Teak Wood

Restoring Teak Furniture; The Do’s and Don’ts

Restoration is a practical as well as an emotional process, you don’t just restore your grandfather’s wall clock so that it works properly but you do it because the clock reminds you of him, it still smells like him conjuring up for you all the sweet and wondrous memories.

Restoring your furniture is no different, you do it to lengthen its life and also because you may have some memories attached with it. However, if the furniture in question is teak wood then you actually don’t even have to spend a lot of time maintaining it.

Tectona Grandis or teak wood is widely known for the abundance of natural oils and silica in its grain. These oils and silica make teak one of the most durable and rot resistant wood out of all the other types of woods. This is the reason why teak is the favorite choice in patio and other garden furniture.

And while maintaining and restoring teak doesn’t take up as much time as other wood types do, it still requires a little time and effort.

The Colour of Teak Wood

Counted among the specialties of teak wood is the fact that it changes colour naturally, from being golden brown when it’s new and then fading into a steel grey colour when it is exposed to normal weather conditions.

The thing that a home-owner has to decide then is; what colour they want their teak wood furniture to be? because restoring both the colours involves a different process for each.

Let’s look at both these restoration processes separately, shall we?

Restoring the Natural Golden Brown Colour

To keep the natural colour of the teak it is a good idea to either seal or stain your teak wood, the process is really simple all you need is a sealer or stain along with sandpaper and a paint brush.

The stained teak look varies from the sealed look, and both have different properties. Stained teak furniture is better protected and is hence more durable than sealed wood. However, when you seal the teak it gives off a more natural look.

If you ever think of oiling your teak furniture to maintain its colour – Don’t!

Oiling teak furniture is only a good idea if you are planning to keep the furniture indoors, because if you oil furniture and then keep it outside the oil can seep into the wood causing it to become black because of mildew.

What to do with your Silver Grey Teak

If you leave your teak wood furniture outside and don’t put any sealant on it, then you’ll see that in a span of around 6 – 8 months it will naturally weather to a grey colour. How long the graying process takes depends on the amount of sun and rain that your furniture is exposed to.

Image of old teak bench

Weathered Teak Bench

During the weathering process, you’ll notice that the wood grain will start to roughen and crack, however, this is not a structural problem but in fact is a completely natural process- the wood naturally expands and contracts in response to the climatic conditions that it’s exposed to. The discolouration spots eventually even out into a silver grey colour.

If you don’t like the silver grey colour, don’t fret it because you can easily restore it back to its golden brown colour all you need for this is mild soapy water and a soft bristle brush, if you can grab a teak cleaner do so because with that by your side you don’t have to do any heavy scrubbing or cleaning.

After you’ve used a teak cleaner, you can then apply teak sealer on your furniture to help maintain the original colour. You then need to apply teak sealer after regular intervals of time to maintain your furniture, once a year is usually enough.

Cleaning Teak Wood

You can easily clean your teak wood furniture by using a damp cloth and a soft bristle brush. To clean the crevasses and corners of your furniture you can use a garden hose with a pressure hose, be careful while pressure cleaning though- make sure you’re not causing any harm to your outdoor furnishings.

If you find the furniture has stubborn stains on it, it is a good idea to either use a soft bristle brush or for the most persistent stains you can use sandpaper lightly. Ensure that you use the sandpaper with the wood grain and not against it. After you’ve sanded the wood, you can apply a bit of oil or sealer on it to restore the glossy look.

Oily foods, drinks and ketchup can easily stain your teak wood furniture; you can apply a clear coating on your furniture to protect it from such stains. Even though, teak wood has natural water resistance, still you should make sure that there are no water deposits where you are keeping your furniture.

If you want to remove rings or water marks from your teak furniture all you’ll need to do is rub non-gel toothpaste into the wood grain with the help of a soft cloth, then just wipe it dry. If you have tough stains that just won’t go away it’s a good idea to use teak cleaning products.

Some home-owners choose to cover their teak furniture with a cloth during rainy weather, if you decide to do this make sure that the cover that you’re using is breathable because a plastic cover will simply trap the moisture in and will cause mould growth.

Isn’t taking care of teak wood furniture an easy task!

Repairing Rattan Furniture

Repairing Rattan Furniture – Tips and Tricks

Rattan furniture is highly flexible and versatile; this is what makes it such a common choice of home-owners all over the world. However, the trouble with rattan is that it needs just the right kind of setting to ensure its longevity. The furniture needs absolute moderate conditions if it is to be used as outdoor furniture (which is what most home owners go for), the conditions can’t be too humid or even too dry or else the furniture suffers.

If you do manage to keep your rattan furniture in a suitable environment and keep on maintaining and cleaning it at regular intervals it can last you a very long time. You do have to remember however that the furniture should not be kept somewhere that’s:

Too Dry

Your rattan furniture is essentially a dried plant so if you tend to leave it in a place that’s too dry and has a lot of sun well then the material gets even drier and starts to get brittle and finally cracks. If you are using rattan furniture in the patio, be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight- place it under a shade somewhere.
And if you’ve kept your furniture inside, it would be better if you keep it as far away from heating ducts and open fireplaces as you can. If the air inside your home is too dry, you can think of using a humidifier to keep the furniture from drying and cracking.

Too Damp

As mentioned above as well, neither too dry nor too damp conditions are good for the life of your rattan furniture. If you place your furniture in a place where there’s a lot of humidity in the air and not enough natural light, mould or mildew will form on your furniture, giving it a blackened look and a bad odour.

If your furniture is kept outside in the rain, it will become damaged very quickly and quite easily. It is best to move your rattan furniture inside if you sense that there’s rain coming. As an alternative Lloyds Garden Furniture offers all weather PE Rattan furniture which can be left outsid all year round.

Rattan Care

So, it’s understood that you need to keep your rattan furniture in just the right place with just the environment, but what also needs to be mentioned here is the fact that if you want your rattan furniture to last you a long time, you need to properly maintain it.

The good news is that rattan furniture maintenance is actually not that hard. Just make sure that you dust and clean your furniture at regular intervals. Making a cleaning schedule will help a lot.

You can either dust your furniture gently using a feather duster or if you see some persistent stains on it, you can use liquid detergent mixed in with water, take a soft brush or a sponge to clean off the stains.

Just remember that if you have dampened your rattan furniture in the cleaning process, you need to dry it off properly and immediately. You can do this by either using a dry towel, a hair dryer or even a fan.

If you’re looking to give your furniture a brand new look, you can apply lacquer on it after you’ve cleaned it. And if you’re bored with the same old traditional rattan colour, you can even stain the furniture into whatever colour you want. One of the best qualities of rattan furniture is that it can easily be stained and painted.

While all this is good and fine, you have to be wary of the fact that your rattan furniture can be damaged, because of the intricate wicker work on this type of furniture there’s a chance that some of the reeds will get loose over time. If this situation comes you have to look into repairing your rattan furniture, which you can either get done by a professional or you can go for the DIY option.

Professional Repair

Because wicker work is so delicate the restoration or repair of your rattan furniture by a professional can take days or in some cases even months. Antique wicker work charges can cost you about $60 per hour on top of tax.

Also, intricate wicker work is a lost art, so you will need to search high and low for an actual professional to get the job done.

Because the repair and restoration tends to be such an expensive option, you need to figure out if the furniture is even worth repairing or should you just go and buy some new rattan furniture.

There are some rattan furniture repair specialists located in the UK which you can look up.

The DIY Option

Image of conventional rattan weave pattern

Conventional Rattan Weave

Image of Rattan Open Weave Pattern

Open Weave Pattern

Image of Rattan Closed Weave

Rattan Closed Weave

If you can’t afford to get your rattan furniture repaired by a specialist or don’t have the funds to buy new furniture, you can always go for the third option which is the Doing It Yourself option.

First off you would need to get your hands on some pre-woven rattan, which is available in the following three styles;
You would also need water, cane splines, wood glue, a clean cloth, wood stain, a blunt edge chisel and a hammer. First off, you need to remove the damaged part of the old rattan, clean out the grove meticulously soak the pre-woven rattan in water for at least 30 minutes so you can handle it easily.

When the pre-woven rattan is good and wet, wedge it into place on the furniture, move it from back to centre adjusting the rattan into the groove. Do this first from the back end and then from the front end when the piece has fitted in properly apply the wood stain on it and allow it to dry.

Repair it Yourself

Whether you go for professional repair or decide to fix it yourself, after the repair your rattan furniture will look as good as new.

If yo are looking for synthetic rattan which can be left ourdoors in all weathers the look at http://lloydsgardenfurniture.co.uk/rattan

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