‘It’ll take a battering’: How to protect your garden wood – ‘particularly important’

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With temperatures dropping and many spending more time inside, it’s important to make sure any outdoor wood will be protected through the cold winter. This means painting and varnishing as well as bringing any pieces inside that won’t survive outside.

Ronseal’s wood care expert, Jimmy Englezos, said: “Most of us have lots of wood in our outdoor spaces, likely to be in different states of repair, so it’s important to know what you’re dealing with.

“Look at fences, gates, sheds, cladding furniture – even wooden doors and window frames.

“Check for signs of damage or rot in order to evaluate whether parts may need to be replaced or just repaired.

“Also, consider the condition of any existing coatings, including paints, oils or varnishes, to see if they need to be reapplied or removed.

“The great British weather is here to stay so it’s worth investing in an essential kit containing some of the tools you’ll need to keep your wood primed, cleaned and in tip top condition.

“If you buy them this autumn/winter, they’ll serve you well for years to come and you won’t be caught out next time you need them.

“As a starting point I’d suggest buying a stiff brush, for removing flaking or old paint, mould and debris as well as dust sheets to protect plants.”

The expert also recommended buying gardening gloves and a dust mask.

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Jimmy added: “Wide brushes will always come in handy too.”

For most maintenance jobs, it’s best to work in a mild climate, according to the expert.

He said: “When the weather is dry and the temperature is at least 10 degrees – this is particularly important if you’re planning to clean, prime or apply product to outdoor wooden surfaces.

“Even quick dry products will need an hour or two to become showerproof, so keep an eye out for those rare sunny Autumn days.”

The expert recommends weatherproofing fencing before the cold temperature arrives.

“Fencing can take a real battering from the elements,” Jimmy said.

He added: “It’s important to make sure it’s weatherproofed for winter. Give wood a good clean – clearing cobwebs and other debris so you can see its condition.

“Remove or repair any rotten or damaged panels then think about the kind of protection you need. The key thing with fencing is to keep water out, but it’s also important to prevent sun damage which can cause fading or greying later in the year. I’d therefore recommend choosing a stain or paint that offers comprehensive and long-lasting protection.”

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For those with gates, the expert recommends varnishing them to help provide protection against wear and tear.

He said: “If your gate is at the front of the house and you want to create stand out ‘kerb appeal’, then Ronseal’s Garden Paint is a great choice as it offers great protection and comes in a range of 29 colours.”

Outdoor wooden furniture can be extremely expensive to buy, which means it is essential to make sure it lasts year after year.

Jimmy said: “We’re spending more time than ever socialising indoors, including during Autumn and Winter, so it’s vital that any wooden furniture is shown some serious TLC.

“The condition of your furniture can determine the type of product you choose. So, for newer items, in good condition, an oil will highlight the natural beauty of the wood while protecting against the elements.

“For older pieces or pieces that can’t be stored indoors, a paint is better for covering any flaws or imperfections and stopping further weather damage.”

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