Buying a High Maintenance Bench
High maintenance benches are always wooden. They will need treating either every 6 or 12 months with a wood stain or varnish, this is usually applied by brush. This is time consuming and generally requires preparing the surfaces and ensuring the product is under cover or the weather is going to stay fine while the treatment dries. Providing the bench is treated to the standard required, a moderate hardwood can last for many years and stay in pretty good condition. You should weigh up the cost of treatment over a ten year period and the time invested in applying the treatment; use this information when comparing prices between high maintenance benches and low maintenance benches. When using a varnish or stain, it is important to get the correct colour or benches will often lose their natural appearance and the colour of the treatment will take over. Using a clear treatment will give you the best chance of keeping the characteristics of the natural wood.
High Maintenance Woods
I would consider this list of woods as high maintenance. Whilst this is not an entire list of moderate hardwoods, it covers around 95% of the most popular woods used for garden furniture and garden bench production.
Yellow/Red Balau / Meranti / Shorea
Regardless of any other recommendations from retailers of these woods I would always suggest you follow our high maintenance routine. However, some warranties are only valid if you use selected treatments and this should always be your first concern. These treatments will go out of date, so buying large tins or in bulk is not often an option. Applying the treatment can be time consuming, messy and if you have no inside space you will need fine weather to allow one or two coats to be applied & dry.