Farmhouse garden furniture is otherwise known as rustic garden furniture and harkens back to the olden days of farms and country living. It is a style all of its own and is fairly distinctive. By and large, farmhouse garden furniture is coarse, massive and heavy. Sometimes it is roughly cut, but that is not always the case although it is rarely carved in great detail. Farmhouse garden furniture is made to last.
Farmhouse garden furniture includes the whole range of garden furniture such as tables, chairs, benches, gazebos and arbours. Farmhouse garden furniture is usually made of local timber, but can also be made of iron.
To compliment the garden furniture, there is also indoor furniture in the farmhouse style although this may be a bit better-quality, a little 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 bit of staining might help bring out the charming 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 bother you, you can stain and varnish it instead. In either state of affairs, all farmhouse garden furniture should be treated every year in the autumn; that is while the sun is no longer at its hottest and before the rain and cold weather set in. The trouble with anything manufactured of any timber is rot.
Hardwood contains more natural oils than softwood so it is better able to protect itself, but all wood ceases 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 patches then suck some oil up from deeper inside itself, but the further inside it needs to draw the oil from the less it can suck, which means that eventually the outside becomes dry and then it will suck in water.
When that happens, rot has set in. Hardwood can last a couple of years before it gets to this sorry state, but softwood will probably 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 case of hardwood.
You could paint hardwood as well if you want to, but most people purchase hardwood farmhouse garden furniture because it has a lovely grain and paint would only cover up that grain. Good farmhouse garden furniture is not cheap, but it is beautiful, difficult to steal and will last a lifetime if well looked after by a few hours maintenance once a year.