Cozy Outdoor Patio Seating By Collov Home Design [Source : unsplash]

Tips For Choosing Wooden Garden Furniture

How long will your garden furniture last, and what will you spend time and effort on maintenance?

Read on to get some good advice before deciding to buy your choice of wooden garden furniture.

How should you use your garden furniture?

The selection of garden furniture is large, yes, almost unmanageably large. There is something for everyone when it comes to type, material, design and when it comes to how much it needs to be maintained. So there is a lot to choose from.

Before you throw yourself into spending a lot of money on new garden furniture, it is worth considering what needs you actually have for garden furniture. For example, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Where exactly will the furniture be used?
  • Will the furniture be fixed in one place only, or should it be possible to move it around?
  • How is the surface of where it will stand?
  • What price, quality and durability should they have?
  • How much time do you want to spend on maintenance?
  • Where should the garden furniture be stored in the winter?

One or more terraces

If the furniture will be used in the same place most time of the year, you can buy a heavy and solid garden furniture. You should preferably only move the furniture back and forth twice a year, namely spring and autumn. If, on the other hand, you have several terraces between which the same set of garden furniture must be moved, it is of course an advantage if the furniture is easy to handle.

You can also consider investing in a luxurious set of heavy and stable furniture for the terrace you use the most and in addition have a cheaper easily collapsible set that is easy to move around as needed.

Wooden Garden Furniture By Natural Goods Berlin [Source : unsplash]
Wooden Garden Furniture By Natural Goods Berlin [Source : unsplash]

The substrate

You also need to consider what surface the furniture should be on. On an uneven stone terrace – or on gravel – small, wobbly chairs will stand unstable.

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If, on the other hand, you have a wooden terrace or a smooth tiled terrace, you can in principle use all types of chairs – thin as thick and heavy as light. If you want to avoid getting marks on the wooden terrace, avoid furniture with pointed legs.

Price and quality

There is a big difference in price, quality and durability when it comes to wooden garden furniture.

If you buy a cheap furniture in a hardware store, you probably should not expect it to last many seasons. Garden furniture acquired for cheap money can be poorly fitted and have a very flimsy construction. Some furniture has also not received surface treatment from the manufacturer and will therefore very quickly look dull and dull.

There are also choices of very expensive garden furniture, where the prices not only reflects the quality of the wood and carpentry, but also to a large extent reflects a particular design or brand.

On the other hand, at the end of the garden season, you may be lucky enough to find good quality garden furniture at a highly reduced price. If you are looking for a cheap garden furniture in good quality and can wait to buy until the summer is over, it is wise not to buy garden furniture in the spring.


Wooden garden furniture should preferably be maintained at least once a year and preferably twice. The optimum is to clean and sand them and then oil or paint them. As a reward for your hard work, you get garden furniture that ages gracefully with a beautiful patina.

Also keep in mind that when buying new garden furniture, it can be quite difficult to maintain furniture that is composed of thin wooden furniture, for example in table tops and chair chairs.

Backyard Wooden Furniture By Cagin Kargi [Source : unsplash]
Backyard Wooden Furniture By Cagin Kargi [Source : unsplash]


If you think that you will not be able to move the furniture indoors during winter, it will be better to go for garden furniture in forests with a long shelf life outdoors. Alternatively, you can choose garden furniture made of materials other than wood, e.g. Plastic or steel. You can also consider covering the furniture with a tarpaulin.

What kind of wood is best for garden furniture?

There are many different types of wood on the market today that can last for outdoor use for a long time.

Oil-Treated Garden furniture

If you want garden furniture that appears with the natural colour of the wood without paint, you should choose wooden furniture such as:

  • Teak
  • Mahogany
  • Oak
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Teak is the only type of wood that by nature has such a large content of e.g. resin that garden furniture can withstand standing outdoors without wood protection. The teak tree, like other trees, becomes grey and looking worn out gradually, but the tree is not degraded. Many people even prefer the grey look and see it as a beautiful patina.

Mahogany and oak have some of the same good properties as teak, but not quite the same long shelf life. However, they are still a very good choice if you want unpainted garden furniture that can withstand the weather outside for many years. However, their durability still depends on them being maintained with wood oil.

In recent years, garden furniture has appeared in many exotic woods such as meranti, jatoba, dau and nyatoh. There is still little experience of how the new, exotic forests cope the harsh climate with fluctuating temperatures and humidity.

Painted garden furniture

If you buy painted garden furniture, you do not have to go so high in what kind of wood they are made of. Here, practically all types of wood can be used, eg pine, spruce and beech, as the wood is protected and sealed under a layer of primer and paint.

You do not necessarily have to paint the furniture every year, but it is a good idea to wipe them off to keep them clean from algae and dirt. If the paint starts to crack or crack, however, it is definitely time to get them painted, as rain and moisture can penetrate the cracks and break down the wood.

Garden furniture in heat-treated wood

Wood that is heat-treated has greater resistance to rot and fungi. When the wood is heat treated, the sugar in the wood is broken down. These are sugars from which the fungal spores feed. And if you remove them, you give the fungal spores poorer living conditions.

Heat-treated wood has a slightly darker look than “ordinary” wood. Like all other wood, it must be maintained with oil to retain the wood colour.

Outdoor Patio Deck By Cameron Smith [Source : unsplash]
Outdoor Patio Deck By Cameron Smith [Source : unsplash]

How do you check the quality of garden furniture?

It is important to be critical and examine the quality carefully when looking for a new garden furniture.

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Grab them, lift them and sit in them. Review them slavishly according to this checklist:

  • Check how the furniture is screwed together. Is it with small flimsy screws and are they not stainless? Or is it with solid, stainless steel bolts that can hold the furniture together year after year and only occasionally need to be tightened?
  • Look for cracks in the wood. They only get worse with time.


  • Sit in the chair. Are you sitting comfortably? Can you sit in several ways, or is it just good to sit upright in e.g. Can you sit on the armrest? Are your legs shaky?
  • Check the joints between the seat and legs. A lot of water can get into the wood if the joint is not made properly.
  • Examine the slats on the chair. Are they thin and slim or thick and solid? The slats should have an organic shape that oscillates slightly. That way the chair is more comfortable to sit in.


  • Check if the table legs are robust and stable. Do they fit on the table top so that they can easily carry the weight?
  • Check the places where the legs are built together with the table top. Are the legs well mounted with hidden fittings and bolts? Or are they just screwed together so that they quickly dangle and become unstable?
  • If there are additional plates for the table, you should examine whether it is easy or cumbersome to put them on when you need to have guests for the summer party.
  • Check if the surface treatment on the table top is in order.
Cozy Outdoor Patio Seating By Collov Home Design [Source : unsplash]
Cozy Outdoor Patio Seating By Collov Home Design [Source : unsplash]

What are the labelling schemes for wooden garden furniture?

If you choose garden furniture from FSC-branded wood, you are sure that the wood is produced in a sustainable way.

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council and is an international non-profit labelling scheme. In an FSC forest, no more wood is felled than the forest can reproduce.

At the same time, the FSC is a guarantee that animals and plant life are protected and that the people who work in the forest are provided with education, safety equipment and a proper salary.

PEFC labelling is another labelling scheme. The PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certifications schemes) label can only be used if it can be documented that the operation of the forest takes place in a sustainable manner. The trees’ path from the forest and all the way through the production chain to the store is controlled.

Wooden garden furniture can also be CoC-certified. CoC stands for Chain of Custody Certification. It means something like a “chain with controlled joints”.

There are different CoC systems, each with its own labelling scheme. Some provide assurance that all wood in the garden furniture comes from a certified forest. Others simply guarantee that a certain minimum of certified wood has been included in the production.


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