How to fix sun-damaged furniture – 3 hacks to restore surfaces after ‘climate milestone’


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The heat and sunny weather is a welcome change for Britons, but the UV rays can quickly leave surfaces and household items looking worn and damaged. Wooden furniture and painted surfaces are most at risk of fading or peeling when exposed to the sun – so what exactly can you do to correct the damage? These are the most effective ways to restore your sun-damaged items.

Excessive heat is not something the UK experiences often, so it can be particularly damaging to British buildings when it does occur.

Thompson Creek Window Company said: “UV rays from the sun can fade bright colors over time and also cause damage to wood, sometimes causing permanent discolouration.

“UV light can either fade or darken wooden furniture, depending on the type of wood, so it’s important to think about furniture placement in rooms that receive a lot of natural light.”

With the latest heatwave having been branded a “milestone in UK climate history” by the Met Office, now is a crucial time to take a look at the impact of the unusually hot weather on furniture and fabrics in our homes and gardens.

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Sun on sofa/ damaged wood/ cleaning leather

How to fix sun-damaged furniture – 3 hacks to restore surfaces after climate ‘milestone’ (Image: GETTY)

Sofa with sunlight on it

Sofas and other upholstered items can fade in direct sunlight (Image: GETTY)

How to fix damaged paint work

Most exterior paints are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, though it is unlikely that the UK’s most popular brands will work in extreme heat.

Excessively high temperatures can lead to paint damage largely on the outside of a property, where it is exposed to direct sunlight.

According to the property experts at the Goodhart Group, the most obvious signs of heat damage on paintwork include bubbling, chipping and flaking.

The Goodhart Group said: “This damage can cause openings that lead to moisture and potentially, mold issues inside your home.”

If the paintwork is damaged in a small area, you may be able to simply brush off the peeling paint and then prime the wall and paint over it.

As long as the remaining edges of the peeling area are stable, this solution will work.

Wooden floor with sun on it

Wood can become discolored – either lighter or darker than it is meant to be when exposed to sun (Image: GETTY)

How to fix sun-damaged wood

A clear glass window lets in up to 70 percent of the sun’s UV rays, and even with expensive energy efficient technology, this is only reduced by approximately 10 percent, according to wooden furniture designers, Eat Sleep Live.

Some types of wooden furniture require a sealant to protect against the sun’s UV rays, but what can be done to reverse the damage if it’s too late?

In most cases, a wood polish or oil-based wax will work to revive the color – or at least even it out.

Coconut oil, beeswax, or a mixture of olive oil and beeswax are all gentle yet effective on weathered surfaces like front doors, household or garden furniture and flooring.

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DIY sprays can help to restore the color on faded fabrics (Image: GETTY)

Outdoor surfaces such as decking will peel and crack when exposed to extreme heat and a concentrated level of sunlight.

Re-staining the wood is the best remedy for this, just make sure you choose a protective coating product and properly strip the current layer thoroughly before reapplying.

It’s not just wooden furniture that is at risk in the heat. Hardwood floors will swell with moisture and even fill gaps under the baseboards as the temperature fluctuates, and in some cases, expand to the point where the floorboards buckle.

While this is unlikely to happen in the UK, it is important to note that this kind of repair should be dealt with right away to prevent permanent damage.

How to fix faded fabrics

Fabrics are most at risk of sun damage as it can have a bleaching effect on dyes.

The best way to restore faded upholstery is to spot treat stains and discolouration with a stain remover.

Upholstery cleaning products work well for this, or you can try a mixture of white vinegar, water and rubbing alcohol.

Use half a cup of rubbing alcohol and vinegar for every one cup of water, and place in a spray bottle.

Spritz generously over the item, leave to dry and wash off using warm water and dish soap.

Wash and dry items that can be loaded into a machine where possible.

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