My wooden garden chairs and table have faded terribly and look very dry, should I  varnish them or is there another option? (James Moran  Rathmines).

Some people like to simply leave garden chairs etc out there in the wind and rain and forget about them. Others treat them with the wrong finish resulting in the finish peeling off. Here’s a few simple ideas to get your furniture looking lovely again.

Firstly, you need to get the wood cleaned up and its colour restored, you should be able to pick up a new product out there called Net-Trol that is capable of doing this job really well. I use it to bring back the original look to faded wood and even fibreglass. Its great also on faded teak windows or doors after first stripping with Nitromors.

First you must wet the surface thoroughly and then apply the Net-Trol which can be diluted up to 4:1 ratio depending on how dirty or faded the deck is. 

Leave it for about 20 minutes and then give it a quick light scrub with a stiff brush. (Follow instructions)  Rinse off thoroughly with a hose or better still a power washer at low to medium pressure. When fully dry, your wood will be back to how it looked on day one, amazing but true! If you spot any rust present near screws etc, spot prime before going any further with a drop of Owatrol oil and let dry.

Next, to keep them looking at their best with a nice natural look, you could apply something like Textrol, a clear, anti-UV penetrating oil that is easy to apply. Just two coats wet on wet one after the other and you end up with a lovely natural looking matt finish that will not peel or flake. (Wipe off any excess and do not allow it to pond”. 

If you are really fussy, you could apply several coats of Deks Olja D1 that penetrates the wood deeply and leaves a nice, matte finish. This stuff is used a lot on wooden boats. If you want a highly durable, yet flexible gloss finish, apply a few coats of Deks Olje D2 afterwards.

For a completely modern or different look, you could also use a “stain” of any colour oil based paint, gloss or matte mixed 50:50 with my old favourite all-rounder Owatrol oil as mentioned in this column last week. In that case a 4:1 wash with Net-Trol will suffice just to clean the surface before staining. This durable finish would be expected to last up to 6 years without any peeling or flaking. This type of finish would be very easy to wash if needed.