Lazy Susan founder, Michael Scott, took the decision when he started the company, that cast aluminium garden furniture would form the core of our collection. This decision was not taken lightly, it came after extensive research, possibly a little soul-searching, and many years experience of working in the industry.
For Michael, cast aluminium garden furniture was simply the right material for the UK in terms of both style and performance in our climate.
If you've purchased garden furniture in the past, then you'll know that there's a variety of different materials, costs, and styles to choose from. The big problem can be finding furniture with the qualities and features you want, without paying the big bucks.
Teak for example is extremely durable, it is naturally high in oils making it highly resistant to the erratic British climate, but it is very expensive to buy. Or you may prefer traditional wrought iron furniture, but again it’s expensive, and it rusts. Yes, it looks great, but it requires a high level of care and attention to keep it looking great, plus it is bloomin' heavy.
Don't get me wrong, I love wrought iron. It's a beautiful material that makes for stunning outdoor furniture. But I don't think people truly appreciate how heavy a wrought iron table really is, and how much work is involved just in looking after it. However, cast aluminium garden furniture on the other-hand ticks all the boxes for Lazy Susan...
Cast aluminium garden furniture is high in quality and sophisticated in appearance and style, but it is relatively low in cost.
Cast aluminium garden furniture has all the style
The technique involved in the production of casting aluminium, whereby the liquid metal is poured into casts or moulds, allows for a high degree of detail, hence the intricate patterns and designs you just don't see with other metal garden furniture.
You don't need to worry about the weight as much as you would if we were working with iron. Cast aluminium garden furniture can feature more intricate detailing, and more comfort than its other metal counterparts, without the added weight.
From contemporary to classical, there's a cast aluminium piece to suit any taste. And modern powder coating is not only adding to the durability of the furniture, but it is also opening up a whole host of possibilities in terms of colour and finish.
Cast aluminium garden furniture is durable
Thanks in part to its wide availability as the most common metal on planet Earth, cast aluminium has a substantial history of use in industry and engineering. In fact, it is commonly used in the production of everything from automotive components to parts for the space shuttle! Its use is extensive and the reason is down to that resistance to corrosion and rust.
Cast aluminium is the perfect material for use in the production of garden furniture, especially for the UK market. Our climate can never seem to make its mind up, during the summer months alone, your garden furniture is likely to be exposed to anything and everything. From heavy downpours to a hosepipe ban heatwave, and that can be in a single day.
In the summer you want your furniture on the patio, ready to use when the sun makes an appearance... Well, cast aluminium garden furniture is perfect for our climate.
Cast aluminium garden furniture is lightweight
I've already touched on the weight of a wrought iron piece, and timber garden furniture is exactly the same. A large table in either material for example is very difficult for even two people to lift. It is important that you can move your furniture around the garden. You might want to keep it in the sun, move it out for a little shade, or just bring it into the shed for a little extra protection. Again, it has to be cast aluminium garden furniture.
In addition to its resilience to the elements, cast aluminium garden furniture is remarkably lightweight and easy to pick up. If you want to move your chairs and tables into the sun or out of the rain (although you don’t need to) it doesn’t require a lot of strength. Cast aluminium furniture, especially when provided with a high-quality finish, will look just as good as wrought iron, but it will last much longer and won’t corrode with age.
Cast aluminium garden furniture is low maintenance
There are two main types of cast aluminium garden furniture on sale in the UK – Painted/powder-coated and unpainted. The painted or powder-coated aluminium has that extra layer of protection.
It can be looked after like any other painted metal surface. Simply clean it with mild soap and lots of warm water, rinse it down to remove the soap, leave to dry, and then protect it with a good quality car wax/polish.
However, if you get a chip, make sure you touch it up. Lazy Susan supplies touch-up paint for this very reason. The main area to check is the feet, they can chip when moved around a stone patio, so you've got to keep an eye on them.
The unfinished aluminium garden furniture doesn’t rust, however, it can oxidize, especially if you live on the coast. This is where the surface could become 'pitted' and then you are left with white chalky-looking marks. This type of corrosion is actually what protects the metal from the elements, but it doesn't look too nice, and it definitely spoils the appearance of your garden furniture.
It can be easily rectified by using a metal polishing paste or compound. This type of paste contains a very fine abrasive and it will carefully remove oxidation. Once you’ve shined it up, again, as with the painted aluminium, you can protect the surface of the furniture with good quality car wax.
How to care for your cast aluminium garden furniture
Aluminium garden furniture, although designed for outdoor use, will inevitably become weathered. Over time, the shine will fade from over-exposure to the sun and rain.
Severe oxidation can become an issue. Some pitting can look like a harmless small speck, but if left it can be difficult to remove the deeper pitting, even with metal polish. It pays to look after your cast aluminium garden furniture from day one and to avoid this from occurring.
And please be careful with the products you use too. It is vital that you follow the manufacturer's guidelines, and always test any new products on a small innocuous part of the furniture first, such as the underside of a chair or table.
Alkaline-based cleaners can further oxidize cast aluminium, so please avoid products that contain chemicals such as ammonia (which is generally found in things like glass cleaner) and any degreasing type cleaning product that contains Trisodium Phosphate.
If the furniture has only light oxidization, then you can try a simple acidic solution of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water before you invest in any of the expensive off-the-shelf products.
However, if you've left it for a few years, and let's face it we've all done it in the past, then to shine up your cast aluminium garden furniture, just follow these simple steps:
- Use a stiff wire brush to remove any loose debris from the surface.
- Wearing rubber gloves, scrub around the frame with a nonabrasive scouring pad dipped in a marine-grade aluminium cleaner, such as those available from 3M or Starbrite.
- Rinse the frame with warm water, and dry well with a towel.
- To help prevent corrosion and add a little extra shine, again you can apply a very light coat of car wax with a cloth.