Yes, at last the longer evenings are coming in, and people are beginning to cast their eyes outdoors once again.

Outside, you’ve got the patio, or deck if you are really with it, and maybe some wooden garden furniture that needs a bit of tidying up or restoration to get them all spruced up for the better days coming, now literally just around the corner.  Here are a few useful ideas that will help protect and enhance your wood.

This week we will take a look at outdoor wooden tables and chairs, they may be faded, dirty or even a bit mouldy from lying around in the damp.

If there is an old stain or oil that looks bad, get rid of it first with either a good strong cleaner like PrepDeck or you could do it the hard way.. sand it off. 

If they are faded and look like the wood is dry and in dire need of some attention, there are a number of products now available that can work wonders. Firstly, I recommend you wash the wood with a new environmentally friendly product called Net-Trol, which is very easy to use, and brings the original colour right back.

All you need to do is wet the entire surface area thoroughly, and apply the Net-Trol with a brush of some sort.

Leave it for about 10 minutes and then agitate it slightly with a stiff brush. Wait for about another 15 minutes and then just rinse off fully with water. When it dries out you will be amazed at how new looking the wood appears again. If the wood is in a really bad way, it may need a repeat of the above exercise. If you have to use a stripper, do the same cleaning exercise with Net-Trol after using the stripper, prior to application of any topcoat.

In order to keep the wood looking good, you have several choices. If it is a hard wood, a few coats a well known marine product called Deks Olje D1 really soaks in, and will protect the wood, leaving a matt finish. If you would like a high gloss finish, (maybe on a table top) apply a few coats of Deks Olje D2. (D2 can be used alone but it works even better on top of D1) These products tend to be more upmarket and would be available mainly in the more specialised paint or marine type outlets. If it is soft wood, two coats, of another great product called Textrol wet on wet, will do the business. This stuff soaks in and leaves a lovely anti-UV,matt finish which enhances the natural wood grain. It is also a non-peel finish which will ensure your hard work does not go down the tubes after a few months.

Last but not least, if you really want to go for it, you could paint the wood with any colour under the sun with another well-known specialist paint product called E-B (Emulsa-Bond). All you do is clean the wood with the Net-Trol and when it dries out fully, mix the E-B 50:50 with any good quality outdoor emulsion and apply (first coat only). It is very easy to apply.

The E-B ensures that the paint remains tightly stuck to the wood. You may well be satisfied with just one coat, but if you need a second coat, apply the emulsion this time without the E-B. This is a great idea also for all sorts of garden sheds, fences, superlap, sleepers, dog kennels etc. Have fun!