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After having our garden landscaped 2 years ago, including more decking than you could shake a stick at, we decided that our old, white plastic garden furniture just didn't match anymore.
After much deliberation, we decided on aluminium furniture and scoured all the local outlets.
We settled for a hexagonal table, with a bronze coloured aluminim frame and a frosted glass top. The top had a hole in the middle to take the cream coloured wind-up parasol. The six aluminim framed chairs had a sort of plastic coated wire mesh as a seat, which was light and practical, and dried out within minutes after a shower of rain. It cost a total of £500 for the lot, including 2 matching sun loungers.
The whole suite looked excellent, and was very easy to keep clean - just a wipe with a damp cloth. The glass top did, however, get grubby and dusty easily, but as it was frosted it was easy to wipe over without any smear marks showing.
At the end of the summer we put the set into the garage to store, as we did last year, but we managed to smash the table top in the process! My husband contacted Li Lo direct, but they said the table was not being made any more. Just our luck! But my husband left our details anyway. The staff at the factory were excellent, as several weeks later they called us to say they had come across a spare hexagonal glass top in their factory! We collected it a few days later, paying only £50. But, when we got there, we discovered it was clear glass, not frosted, and had no hole for the parasol...
Rather than be left with no table, we bought it, and, with all the knowledge gained from many a wasted evening watching 'Changing Rooms', I used a can of glass etch spray to frost the underside of the table.
It wasn't totally successful, but beggars can't be choosers. The only problem we now had was that the torrential rain had caused the deep bronze coloured aluminium to fade to a light, grubby grey colour - not what we wanted at all.
So, with a heavy heart, we decided to return to the warehouse we had bought the set from to see what else they had - we loved the fact that it was an original look, and wanted something similar. They had a virtually identical set, which had a more glossy look, and the manager said they were now being made with a coating to help stop the fading. But at the last minute, he gave us an ordinary bottle of furniture oil and told us to rub it into the metal and see if it made a difference.
And did it! Whilst the furniture is not back to it's original colour, it is indeed bronze again, and this application of oil lasted 2 months before it needed doing again - not bad, considering all the wet weather! This is just ordinary garden furniture oil that you pick up anywhere for about £5.
The staff at both the Li Lo factory and the retail outlet were very helpful to us, and although the furniture didn't turn out to be exactly ideal, they have made every effort to resolve our problem.
So thumbs up for Li Lo!
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