Garden bench - stainless steel or brass fasteners?

21 Dec 2011
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United Kingdom

I need to order some fasteners for a garden bench I am renovating. The original bolts, washers and nuts are completely rusted up..

I was originally considering A4 stainless steel replacements, but now I'm thinking that brass might look better.. this will be the most expensive option.

The bench is only a fairly cheap one with cast iron sides, it isn't an antique or anything, just wondering what you guys would recommend?

The heads of the bolts are visible from the top of the slats.

Many thanks in advance!
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brass is very soft and weak.

I'd go for stainless. it is very cheap from Screwfix if they have the size you want. Get some non-seize spray or lube as stainless will stick on the threads. Use stainless washers too.

For exposed nuts, dome, cap or acorn nuts are very decorative and will not snag.

A2 stainless is usually cheaper but I don't know the properties.

I see A4 is more corrosion-resistant to seawater, which may not often occur in your garden.
Hi JohnD,

Thank you for the great advice, I'll go with A2 stainless steel all round.. what kind of non-seize spray or lube should I use, do you have a link to some?

The nuts are on the underside of the bench so I'll just use regular ones, I'll use hex head bolts to be seen from the top, should look good?

Do you know what I need to use to treat the wooden slats? If I have them as bare wood?

Bit of a novice here.. many thanks!

I'm also a novice and don't know exactly where you're suggesting to use hex head bolts, but would coach bolts be more suitable? They've got a smooth head which will be more comfortable to sit on and possible more aesthetically pleasing.
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wooden furniture needs a different stain to sheds and fences, I suppose so it doesn't wear off on your clothes. Cuprinol have a range and are a very sound brand.

places that sell stainless nuts and bolts usually have an anti-seize spray. I got mine from Mr Fast'ner and it lasts a long time. It is more expensive than copper grease and specially made for stainless, so I hope it is better for the job.

you can also get bolts with a rounded head for a screwdriver/
John advice is good but the only caveat would be regarding oak. If the bench is made of oak then brass would be better.
If you use stainless steel nuts and bolts of the same grade they will spall, meaning they may be "tight", before they're tight! A crafty way around this is to use stainless steel of different grades for the bolt or nut.


Hi guys,

Thanks a lot - some great advice on this forum.

I've gone ahead and ordered all of the fasteners.

I was doing some research into how to finish the wooden slats, is it recommended to use 2-3 coats of "Yacht oil"?

The wood is just softwood pine I think. Want it to look nice.

hi guys

i used liberon deck oil "screwFix" sell it, on my 2 seater, and single seater lion head style cast iron garden bench refurb job, replaced the slats with new Oak slatting and Liberon Deck oil on the replaced Oak

they needed 2 coats, one sligthly watered down as it were to soak in better

but 2 years later they still look like new

plus i also used A2 stainless bolts, with a slotted head and A2 stainless nyloc nuts underside ( well no one sees the underside ) and A2 washers

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