Nothing beats being outside when the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the birds are singing. On these beautiful days, you want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. With the right patio furniture, you can create the perfect outdoor living space to entertain your friends, family, and neighbors.

Which Material is Best for Outdoor Furniture?

When deciding on which outdoor furniture material is best for you, the most important thing to remember is to get patio furniture that will stand the test of time.

Since the furniture will be outside almost all the time, it will be subject to a variety of weather extremes, such as below-zero temperatures, snow, rain, and harsh sun rays. Therefore, the climate you live in plays an important role in the ideal materials for your outdoor patio furniture setup.

The most popular materials used for outdoor patio furniture include:

  • Hardwoods
  • Teak
  • Metal
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Wrought iron
  • Rattan
  • Resin
  • Plastic

Just like you dress for the job you want, you should make sure to pick furniture in a material that is best for the area in which you live. If you live in a dry, desert climate, you should stick with materials that withstand intense sunlight. If you live in a humid area, stay away from furniture made of mold-prone materials. For example, if you are a fan of wicker furniture, you might consider more durable resin wicker over traditional rattan.

Metal vs. Wood Outdoor Furniture

Two of the most durable materials used to make outdoor furniture are metal and wood. The better option is a matter of personal preference. While some people believe that metal furniture like wrought iron is the sturdiest material for outdoor furniture, others may prefer woods like teak for both aesthetics and durability.

In the end, choosing metal furniture or wood furniture is ultimately your own to make. Do you want the more natural look of wood? Select teak for its strength and resistance to the elements. Or maybe you’re into a more modern look. Choose lightweight aluminum for your outdoor dining sets.

Don’t Forget the Comfy Cushions

Besides determining the material you want, you should also think about the type of fabric you want on your outdoor furniture’s cushions and pillows. Think durability, easy cleaning, and fade resistance for the pieces that will spend a lot of time in direct sunlight. Adding a patio umbrella will also help shade your furniture from harsh direct sunlight.

How to Care for Outdoor Furniture

Now that you’ve added your new outdoor furniture to your patio, you’ll want to ensure that you take proper care of it so that it will last for years to come. That new outdoor sectional will be exposed to certain weather extremes, leading to fading and other damage. One of the best ways to prevent wear and tear on your new outdoor furniture is by investing in waterproof slipcovers that protect the different pieces when you’re not using them.

Outdoor patio pieces like lounge chairs and dining sets tend to get dirty over time, especially if they aren’t regularly covered. Just imagine how embarrassing it would be if you hosted an outdoor dinner party and your guests got their clothes dirty just from sitting on your lovely Adirondack chairs. To make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s recommended that you clean your patio furniture at least a couple of times a year. If you live in a warmer climate that enables you to use your outdoor living space year-round, you should consider washing things down four or five times throughout the year.

Washing your outdoor furniture can be as easy as wiping the surfaces down with a damp cloth. Don’t use a power washer, as this may damage the furniture materials. After you’ve cleaned your patio pieces off, let them dry completely before putting the outdoor furniture covers back on. Trapped moisture under a slipcover is a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Wood furniture does tend to develop mold, especially if you live in a humid region or your patio is located in a shady area of your yard. One handy home remedy to get rid of mold on wood furniture is using white vinegar and baking soda. Apply the vinegar and baking soda to the moldy area and scrub it with a scrub brush. Then wipe the area with a damp cloth. The mold should wipe away clean.

Rust can be a problem for metal furniture. Vinegar is also an excellent DIY remedy for removing rust. When you see patches of orange rust, apply vinegar and water to the area, then scrub using a brush or steel wool pad.

How to Waterproof Outdoor Furniture

If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, you might want to consider waterproofing your wooden outdoor furniture to give it an extra layer of protection. You can easily do this by applying a sealant or varnish to the wood. Both provide waterproofing protection without changing the look of the natural wood.

Natural oils such as tung oil or linseed can also be used to waterproof wood furniture. However, its protection doesn’t last as long as sealants or varnishes. Even if you weatherproof your outdoor furniture, it is still a good idea to add waterproof slipcovers for that extra layer of protection.

Create the Perfect Outdoor Living Space with Ashley

Kick back, relax, and enjoy all the outdoors has to offer with high-quality, durable patio furniture from Ashley. Whether you are looking for poolside lounge chairs, outdoor sectional and firepit sets, or just a couple of Adirondack chairs, you can get ideas and inspiration from Ashley. Visit our Instagram at #MyAshleyHome or check out our Pinterest boards for more outdoor patio ideas.