Two years ago I built this pergola from rough-sawn cedar, and hung a new cedar porch swing so that we could relax and enjoy the view. But two years of sunshine and rain have begun to rob the wood of its natural oils, so today I decided it was time to take some preventative action. If you’d like to see how you can add several years of life to your outdoor furniture, just follow along.
As you can see, the sun had robbed the cedar of its natural oils, leaving it susceptible to water stains, bird droppings, and eventual decay.
My first step was to give the porch swing a light sanding with #150-grit sandpaper. This opened up the pores and revealed more of the original color of the cedar.
Quick Tip: I keep an old, clean paint brush hanging on my workbench just for getting the sanding dust out of corners, cracks, joints, and the pores of the wood. The soft bristles do a great job of removing the dust without leaving streaks or scratches in the bare wood.
For my finish I selected Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil, designed to refresh the natural color of dense woods and help protect them from both moisture and the ultra-violet rays of the sun. For ease in application, I poured the Helmsman® Teak Oil into a clean container.
I then used a natural bristle brush to apply a generous amount of the Helmsman® Teak Oil, giving it 5-10 minutes to soak into the wood. Without wiping off any of the oil, I applied a second coat, leaving it on an additional 15-20 minutes. The total time you leave the Helmsman® Teak Oil on the wood before wiping it down should not exceed 30 minutes.
After no more than 30 minutes, I begin wiping off any excess oil that has not been absorbed by the wood. The key to Helmsman® Teak Oil is allowing it to dry in the wood, not on the wood. Wipe it completely dry with a clean cloth, going in the direction of the grain of the wood, then give it 6-8 hours to cure.
As you can see, the Helmsman® Teak Oil has replaced the missing natural oils, and is now protecting the wood against both the sun and the rain. You can use it on either indoor or outdoor furniture constructed of dense woods, such as mahogany, cedar, teak and other imported hardwoods. And anytime the wood starts to dry out, simply repeat the process to get years of use out of your furniture.
Until next time,
Thanks for stopping by!
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