by Claudia Hausken
I work at a store that sells amazing durable outdoor furniture that never needs repainting or refinishing. So really, I should know better than to purchase inexpensive outdoor wooden furniture that I have to assemble myself with funny screws and special tools. My only defense is I purchased the set a couple years before I began working at this really cool general merchant named Zinger. I have been religiously treating this outdoor dining set every year with the recommended store brand clear sealant, but the hot Texas sun wreaks havoc on wooden outdoor furniture and it can fade quickly.
I decided to do it differently this year and tried Cabot Australian Timber Oil for decks, siding, railings and outdoor furniture. It was originally formulated to protect dense tallowwood, cambara and merbau from the extreme Australian sun and weather – so now the Texas sun can meet its match. It sounds great – it penetrates deep into the wood due to the high-grade linseed oil and also brings out the natural patina and wood depth. The long-oil alkyds increase durability and tung oil provides color depth and its natural water repellant qualities. It even has complex translucent iron oxide pigments for lasting U.V. protection. Wow, sounds amazing…but how will it work on my inexpensive furniture that still has last years’ sealant on it?
So the directions instruct you to properly prepare your surface for maximum performance. I cleaned and wiped down all the pieces and since the surfaces I was treating were weathered, I gave the table top a a pretty good sanding. Since the set was originally stained a slightly darker color, the sanding lifted some of that color so I just sanded the chairs very lightly and preferred the finished product better. I still felt the penetration was good and the protection will last (plus it’s easier). I recommend assessing the each individual piece you have to determine the best approach. Cabot has several other products to help with preparation of the surface if needed including Cabot Problem-Solver® Wood Cleaner, Cabot Problem-Solver Wood Stripper #8004 , and Cabot Problem-Solver Wood Brightener.
Cabot Australian Timber Oil has a variety of shades to fit your preferences, I chose a darker shade (Jarrah Brown) to get my outdoor furniture close to its original tone. I applied the product with sponge brush. Since this is furniture that we would be sitting on, I chose to apply the timber oil as I would apply stain, letting it penetrate the wood for a while and then wiping off the excess with a clean cloth. I let the pieces dry for a few days to ensure they were safe for sitting.
Our outdoor furniture now looks like new and will last for several more years. I was very happy with the results and I highly recommend the Cabot Australian Timber Oil for for decks, siding, railings and outdoor furniture for its ease of use, superb results and its durability.