Whether you’re enjoying family dinners on your patio or cocktails on the deck, Summer is the time of year when your outdoor spaces get the most use. It’s important your outdoor hangout area be comfortable and enjoyable. Could your furniture use some sprucing up? Do you have that old chair or loveseat that no one wants to sit on? Before you purchase new furniture, consider if your existing furniture is worth saving.
If you have metal furniture, rust is likely your number one problem. It can sometimes be found on the metal hardware on plastic furniture as well. Not only is it unattractive, but it can stain clothes and the patio itself. If the rust is light, using a steel wool pad or brush is the easiest solution. It should come right off. For heavier rust, a wire brush can do the trick. Consider applying a clear coat afterwards to seal it. There are also many rust remover products on the market that can also help with more stubborn rust.
Wooden outdoor furniture presents a different set of issues. Weather is its largest enemy—moisture causing mildew and rot, sun causing the wood to change color and age. To fix up your wooden furniture, cleaning is the first step. Use a damp, non-abrasive cloth and follow it up with a mild soap for stubborn areas and mildew. Keep the furniture dry, wiping it off after heavy rainstorms, and avoid putting it directly on grass. If possible, cover this furniture from the elements.
Time is another factor—with age, wood can break down and become less stable. Some woods hold up better than others—teak and acacia for example because they’re solid and resilient. But, if you have a problem with stability look into the hardware holding it together. Use long-lasting, galvanized fasteners, like the Mini-SCRAIL® collated fasteners. This fastener shares the same advantages and innovations of the SCRAIL® fastener, like fast and easy adjusting and removal but the Mini-SCRAIL® is specifically sized for the finishing of finer projects like furniture. The small size makes this product perfect for handling intricate details where space is limited. It’s also available in a range of finishes and colors to complement any look.
A Simple Solution: Paint
Painting can solve multiple problems quickly. With wooden furniture, paint can cover up age and discoloration. The same can be done with wicker. Paint can cover rust found on metal furniture and sunspots on plastic. After cleaning, sanding, and/or removing the problem area, select a primer and a paint color with the desired finish and get to work. For an even faster job, consider spray paint (you can skip the primer with this option).
Sometimes the problem is simply in the seating. Cushions easily stain from food, general use, mildew, and over-exposure to the sun. This is another simple fix, and one that doesn’t require you to buy completely new cushions. Like everything else, start by cleaning them (can the covers be removed and washed?). After a thorough scrub down, there are several avenues you can explore to liven up your cushions: spray painting with fabric spray, cover them completely with slipcovers, reupholster or purchase new covers if the cushions themselves are still in good shape.
Sometimes your outdoor area just needs a pick-me-up, and some accessories are a great and inexpensive way to accomplish this. Some new throws, pillows, plants and outdoor decorations are an easy solution to give your patio a new look, plus add color and freshness.
Revamping your outdoor furniture is simple as long as you take the time to properly clean and care for it over the course of its life. It will help you enjoy your outdoor space for years to come. For more on the SCRAIL® fastener, watch our video that showcases how it can help you fix and build furniture.