The furniture's material determines maintenance requirements. Routine washing with warm, soapy water works for most outdoor furniture. That's about all you need to do with aluminum pieces.
Hose down plastic outdoor wicker to remove airborne dust and dirt; that way, you can wash it with soap less often. However, it's a good idea to keep water away from genuine wicker.
Unfinished teak will weather to a silvery gray. If that's the look you're after, you need do nothing to achieve it. (Teak, a naturally oily wood, is used for ship decking and other marine applications; rain won't harm it.) But if you want to preserve teak's rich, golden-brown color, you'll have to sand the furniture and apply teak oil annually.
Steel and wrought iron need to be painted to prevent rust. You can cover the furniture to keep rain away; just uncover it when the skies clear so that condensation under the cover doesn't lead to rust.
Many furniture makers provide a small bottle of touch-up paint so that you can cover up chips in the finish. You may need to touch up painted aluminum, too, but only to preserve its appearance.
Some metal furniture is painted; some, generally higher-priced brands, is powder-coated. We've found that powder coating provides a thicker, more uniform coating than paint.
Sit in the chairs to get a feel for fit and comfort. Pull them to the table as you would for dining. Take note of the following:
Checking these details can tell you a lot about the overall quality of the furniture:
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