Farmhouse garden furniture is otherwise known as rustic garden furniture and goes back to the old days of farms and country living. It is a style all of its own and is quite distinctive. Generally, farmhouse garden furniture is coarse, bulky and heavy. Occasionally it is roughly cut, but that is not always the case although it is seldom carved in great detail. Farmhouse garden furniture is made to last.
Farmhouse garden furniture encompasses the complete range of garden furniture such as tables, chairs, benches, gazebos and arbours. Farmhouse garden furniture is customarily made of local wood, but can also be made of iron.
To compliment the garden furniture, there is also indoor furniture in the farmhouse style although this might be a bit finer, a bit less heavy so that it can be moved around for cleaning purposes.
Farmhouse garden furniture is usually made from local hardwood such as oak, cherry, maple, mahogany, teak or beech, but in fact anything that is to hand. Softwood, such as pine, is cheaper, but it does not usually last as long as hardwood even if it is maintained regularly and properly.
Hardwood furniture can be stained, oiled or varnished, although it is usually best to just rub linseed oil into the natural timber. A little staining may help bring out the beautiful natural graining in the wood.
Softwood garden furniture is normally full of knots which many people find ugly. If this is how you think, then you can give the furniture three coats of paint in order to safeguard it.
If however, the knots do not worry you, you can stain and varnish it instead. In either case, all farmhouse garden furniture should be maintained every year in the autumn; that is whilst the sun is no longer at its hottest and before the rain and cold weather set in. The trouble with anything made of any timber is rot.
Hardwood contains more natural oils than softwood so it is better able to safeguard itself, but all wood stops producing these oils when you kill it by cutting it down. The oil on the surface is dried out by the sun and these dry areas then suck some oil up from deeper inside itself, but the further inside it needs to draw the oil from the less it can draw, which means that sooner or later the outside becomes dry and then it will take in water.
When that happens, rot has set in. Hardwood can last a couple of years before it gets to this wretched state, but softwood will perhaps last less than a year. This is why you have to seal the oil in and the water out with paint or varnish in the case of softwood or restock the oil by rubbing in linseed oil in the instance of hardwood.
You could paint hardwood too if you want to, but most people buy hardwood farmhouse garden furniture because it has a beautiful grain and paint would only cover up that grain. Good farmhouse garden furniture is not cheap, but it is beautiful, a problem to steal and will last a lifetime if well looked after by a couple of hours maintenance once a year.
Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on a variety of topics, but is now involved with farmhouse dining tables. If you would like to know more, please go to our website at Solid Oak Dining Tables.