Gone are the days of dodgy-looking plastic, wood effect garden furniture. With advances in technology and a wide range of materials, it’s possible to get beautiful, realistic-looking wood-effect garden furniture that won’t need sanding, treating or painting!
Sound too good to be true? Have a look at our pick of the very best garden furniture that looks like wood:
Composite garden furniture
Made from 100% recycled plastics that would otherwise be destined for landfill, composite garden furniture is extremely tough, easy to clean, scratch-proof and won’t peel or fade in the sun. As the plastic is weather-resistant, furniture can be left outside all year round, perfect for our often unpredictable climate.
Lasting up to 25 years, composite furniture is an eco-friendly option, taking empty household bottles and other plastic waste and turning them into functional, long-lasting items. You can watch POLYWOOD’s process of making the ‘lumber’ here.
A growing number of companies are using recycled plastics as the basis for their garden furniture. British Recycled Plastic are cleverly using waste plastic produced by Scotland’s farming community in their furniture, including recycled packaging from hay bales, silage wrapping and crates.
As well as being eco-friendly, composite furniture is incredibly lightweight compared to wood so can be easily moved around. Best of all, it really does look like wood!
This Polywood garden bench from Scotts of Stow is barely distinguishable from real wood, available in a range of colours, the natural version looks and feels like the real thing.
The Sandwick tea set from Winawood is an ultra-stylish and realistic wood-look dining set. There are a range of colours, plus benches, loveseats and armchairs to choose from.
Composites can be combined with aluminium and other materials if you prefer a more industrial look. This stylish, extendable garden table from Maisons du Monde has a recycled plastic wood effect top.
Synthetic resin wood effect furniture
Resin wicker is a relatively new material made from polyethylene synthetic rattan. Like composite furniture, it’s weatherproof, strong, easy to clean and won’t fade. The weaved material looks almost identical to traditional rattan made from bamboo canes.
It can be easily woven around an aluminium frame and, as anyone who’s recently tried to purchase a hanging egg chair will know, is one of the hottest trends in garden furniture. Synthetic rattan is UV resistant and can even tolerate chlorine and salt. It can easily be cleaned with soap and water and will last many years.
This weatherproof, patio dining set from Gardenesque looks completely natural, it’s almost hard to believe that it can be left outside all year round although a cover is recommended.
Looking for a more relaxing option? This Bramblecrest double, cocoon hanging chair has a rust-free aluminium frame with a rattan effect frame. The season-proof cushions have covers made from recycled, plastic bottles. Another attractive, eco-friendly and oh, so comfy option for your garden.
Caring for wood-look garden furniture
One of the biggest benefits of wood effect garden furniture is how easy it is to care for. Often, a simple wipe with a damp, soapy cloth will be enough to restore its former glory. Composite furniture shouldn’t stain but more stubborn marks can easily be removed with a mixture of warm water, vinegar and a little elbow grease. Just add a quarter of a cup of vinegar to a bucket of water and rub clean with a cloth.
Avoid using anything abrasive on the surface of your furniture. Synthetic rattan furniture can simply be sprayed down with a hose (just remember to remove the cushions first!). A brush dipped in soapy water will easily remove any dirt or algae.
With a range of extremely realistic, low-maintenance wood-look garden furniture available, it’s easy to see why so many people are choosing wood effect, recycled plastics over real wood. As companies look at more environmentally friendly ways to source materials, these sustainable products are the future of garden furniture.