From pretty pergolas to the decking of your dreams, the natural aesthetics of timber are ideal for creating organic lines for outdoor spaces.
However, if timber is left untreated, it will soon start to look tired and will rot over time, making it a potential safety hazard.
If you’ve invested in a wooden structure, timber sleepers, garden furniture or a decking area for your garden, here are some tops tips from independent builders' merchant D.W.Nye for making sure they are well-maintained and kept in great condition for years to come.
Oil or paint?
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Whether you use an oil or paint to preserve your wood depends on the type of timber and the look you want to achieve.
First, check what type of wood you are working with. Softwood or pressure-treated timber for example, won’t necessarily benefit from any treatment for extending its lifespan and will only be necessary if you want to adjust the look and feel of the wood for cosmetic purposes.
If you do decide to pick up your paintbrush, then a coat of oil or varnish will keep it looking neat, natural and tidy. If it’s a contemporary look you’re after, paint is available in a variety of colours from relaxing greens to earthy browns. Before committing to a colour, it’s worth buying a tester pot first and applying it somewhere hidden so you can see the end result once it has dried on the wood.
Inspect your deck
To keep decking from looking dull and rot resistant, make sure it is given a regular clean and treated with a specialist decking preservative and oil once a year.
A preservative should be applied first to help protect against mould, rot and insect attacks and then finished off with a decking oil on top.
Before applying a treatment, give the wood a good sand down to remove any mildew and muck that has built up and won’t budge from washing.
Fix up your furniture
To prevent furniture from fading fast, use a paint remover or restorer before reapplying a new coat. For older furniture that has seen better days, fear not as it can be fixed up! Address imperfections or damage such as holes and splits by using a good quality wood filler or wood putty to fill in the cracks. Pre-coloured treatments are available that look like wood or you can simply apply a plain wood filler and paint over the top in your chosen colour.
It might seem like a lot of effort and elbow grease, but with a bit of attention once a year, your timber should stay looking tremendous for years to come.