Perhaps you already have a treasured wooden rocking chair that was handed down to you from your grandparents, or maybe you just purchased a brand new rocking chair that you can’t wait to start spending time in. Either way, caring for your favorite outdoor rocking chair takes a little bit of maintenance and some knowledge to care for it.
To begin with, if you haven’t purchased your rocking chair yet, choose an appropriate material for your outdoor rocking chair such as teak, cedar, redwood or cherry. These types of materials will help your wooden rocking chair stand up to the elements for years and will reduce the amount of time you spend maintaining it.
If you’re like many people, it’s the time of year when you start digging out the outdoor patio furniture in preparation for the summer bbq’s, parties and gatherings. If you are one of those folks that need to get your wooden rocking chairs out of storage and get them fixed up so you can relax and enjoy on a summer Saturday afternoon enjoying your backyard and garden, read on for some useful tips on how to get that done.
Mold is your outdoor wooden rocking chair’s enemy and this is one of the first things you should look for prior to sprucing up your chair. If you live in an area with high humidity and moisture, check your chair carefully. To help prevent mold from forming in the first place, spray a solution of vinegar and water over the chair in areas where mold may form, and especially on the undersides of the chair. Let the chair dry completely in the sun before stowing it away.
Chances are that you will need to clean up your rocking chair and apply some sort of finish to revitalize it before using it again this season. Here are some tips for preparing and finishing your chair properly:
- Use a coarse grade sand paper to smooth out rough spots or remove any peeling paint.
- After sanding, clean furniture by either power washing it if it’s extremely dirty (but be careful if it’s a painted surface since this could peel off the paint), or brushing with a bit of soap and water (which will usually get the majority of dirt and grime off). Use a quality wood cleaner that you can find at your local hardware store, such as Murphy’s oil soap, if you don’t want to use soap and water.
- Let furniture dry completely after washing.
- Make sure furniture is clean and dry prior to applying any type of paint or stain. Oil based stains or paints work best for outdoor rocking chairs.
- Finally, use a sealer so your chair will last much longer – look for one that provides water repellent properties.
Give your wooden chair a good inspection to find any areas that may have become loose such as spindles or joints that may require repair or just re-gluing. Wood putty can be used to fill in any damaged areas.
You should also keep your wood furniture out of the rain as much as possible, even though many of the woods used in outdoor chairs are very good at weathering the elements. Use outdoor furniture covers or store under a patio cover to prolong the life of your wooden rocking chair. Store the chairs inside during winter months if possible, or in a garage or shed, making sure your rocking chair is clean and dry prior to storage to avoid mold.
Remember the better you care for your outdoor furniture, including wicker rockers and wooden rocking chairs in particular, the more seasons and years of enjoyment you will spend rocking and relaxing in comfort. Maybe you will even decide to pass your rocking chair down to the next generation since the loving care you’ve given it over the years will make it a wonderful family heirloom.