Environment Magazine

How to Protect Oak Furniture from Sunlight Damage

By Gfl

Oak is one of the most popular materials for conservatory furniture. It combines elegance, affordability and longevity. However, oak furniture, when it is exposed to sunlight for long periods of time, such as in a home conservatory, can easily be damaged if it is not properly cared for.

If oak furniture is used in a conservatory, the sunlight pouring into the room can have a bleaching effect on the wood. This can be particularly annoying because the sunlight won’t always damage the entire surface. It may just cause discolouring on patches of the furniture that are closest to the sun’s rays as they enter through your conservatory windows. This can make the furniture mismatched and unattractive. The problem is especially common among chairs, tables or stands made from natural oak. In more extreme cases, furthermore, oak furniture can actually become cracked if it is enduring prolonged sunlight.

Although the damage is not immediate and often happens over many years, the effects of sunlight on oak furniture can reduce their resale value, ruin the look of the products and even cause irreparable damage. Here are some ways you can protect the oak furniture in your conservatory though to ensure this does not happen:

Intermittently apply wax to the furniture

Oak furniture, like all natural wood products, is made up of a lot of moisture. Because of this, leaving the furniture in direct sunlight for extended periods of time will cause the moisture to quickly dry up and could result in cracking. This can be alleviated by applying wax to the furniture, which assists in protecting it from sunlight damage. It will create a protective and long-lasting seal that keeps the moisture in, therefore ensuring the wood remains healthy. In the first few months of having the furniture, unless it is second hand, you will need to do this every ten weeks or so. After a while, you should only have to do this once every six months. Here is a useful guide to what specific products are worth your money.

Invest in conservatory blinds

It is worth remembering that brightness will not damage oak furniture. Rather, what causes damage are UV rays from the sun. Therefore, if you are concerned about the wellbeing of, for example, your beautiful oak table it may be worth noting when the sun is most prominently entering the conservatory. If the windows are facing east, the oak furniture is most exposed to damage in the mornings, as the sunrise will cause plentiful UV rays to enter. On the other hand, if it faces west, UV rays are likely to pour in during the late afternoon and evening as the sun begins to set in this direction. Install some conservatory blinds and remember to draw them at the appropriate time of the day when your oak furniture is most likely to be hit by the sun.

Buy window film for your conservatory

Window film doesn’t sound particularly appealing. One of the main reasons people invest in a conservatory is to enjoy the sunshine; you will not want to block it out. However, a good quality modern window film doesn’t necessarily plunge your conservatory into darkness. Instead, they reduce the glare and eyestrain of direct sunlight without harming the beauty of your conservatory. Most importantly, they also have the ability to keep out 99% of the sun’s UV rays so that no oak furniture in the room suffers discolouring, cracking or patchiness. The only real drawback is the cost. As well as buying all the film required to cover up the windows, you will require a professional to install it.

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