How to keep your oak furniture looking its best, no matter what the weather throws at it
We are delighted you have chosen a Mena Woodwork product, a great choice if we say so ourselves. Your new piece is made from beautiful raw European Oak. Oak is a natural hardwood which is renowned for its strength and durability, as well as its everlasting contemporary vibe. It will outlive countless other materials with very little maintenance which is why we think it’s the best. We supply your furniture raw, with no treatment. We prefer oak to be in its natural state and for it to weather naturally. However, if you would prefer to treat your furniture with an oil, feel free to do so.
Like many of us, oak has a mind its own and over time through being exposed to the elements it will develop cracks and slight twists along the grain, particularly around knots and at the ends. These cracks will change with the weather, closing in wet conditions and opening when it is dry. This is a totally natural characteristic of oak, so there is no need for concern over the structural make-up of the timber or furniture, it’s all good. In fact, the joinery techniques we use are only strengthened by tension created in this movement, clever stuff.
At the start of its life your new product will arrive as a light honey tone. As it works in harmony with the outside elements (and here comes the science bit) the high tannin content in the oak reacts with the sun’s UV rays and rain. This gradually seasons the oak, naturally changing it to a beautiful silver-grey colour. This is one of the reasons we love working with oak. Through nature’s own doing, your beautiful piece changes to a natural hue which will sit harmoniously in your garden.
As well as this, the tannins which are brought to the surface create a layer on top of your oak, effectively protecting the wood inside. It is important at this stage to note that these tannins can discolour stone paving, however this is easily removable with soapy water and a stiff-bristled brush. This discolouration will only occur after the first few rain showers, after that the excess tannins will have dissipated.
Over time, you may notice some natural mildew and fungal growth appear on the surface of the oak, especially if positioned in the shade. If left untreated this can cause damage to the structure of the timber. We recommend regular cleaning using warm water mixed with a mild household detergent and a stiff brush or domestic green scourer to ensure an even patina. A quick clean with a stiff brush really enhances the even grey patina of the oak and doesn’t take long. The key to this cleaning is little and often.
The exposed end grains at the bottom of all our pieces are finished with a wax sealant and fitted with a rubber glide to avoid any contact with the ground which could lead to moisture getting into the grain. Bearing this in mind, should you wish to place your piece on a lawn area, we recommend placing a small piece of paving or stone under the legs to protect it.
Our upholstery is made with Sunbrella Heritage. Sunbrella Heritage is a soft, breathable, solution-dyed acrylic that is UV and mildew resistant and does not noticeably shrink or stretch. For care and cleaning guides please visit the Sunbrella website by clicking here.
To keep upholstery in the best condition possible we recommend storing indoors through adverse weather conditions.
If you have any further questions about your product do not hesitate to get in touch, we are always happy to help.