As you begin closing the pool and covering your plants, it’s time to turn your attention to the patio furniture. You’ve just had a wonderful season with it. Why not give it a little TLC before you store it for the chilly months ahead? We’ve gathered some tried and true tips from our backyard pros to keep your patio furniture looking as new as the day you purchased it.
1. A Cleaning That’s Anything But “Basic”
No matter whether your furniture is made from wood or from plastic, the first step you’ll take will be the same. Brush off or take a hand vacuum to your furniture and remove loose debris. Create a solution of soap and warm water and rinse off the surfaces. You may need a scrubber to remove tougher, baked-on impurities.
2. Replacing Bits and Pieces
Your patio furniture is consistently exposed to outdoor elements, chlorine, lotions and body oils. It only makes sense that it’d take a toll on it. Eventually fabrics fade, straps break, and slings rip. Before we repair the aesthetic, it’s important to take care of the bits and pieces supporting your furniture. Call our store and we can check on the pieces you need or point you in the right direction of somewhere that would.
3. Time to Freshen Up
One of the biggest drawbacks to metal furniture is running the risk of rust. During your cleaning, check the joints of your furniture for rust or corrosion. If you spot some, rub it down with steel wool or sandpaper. If you’re wanting to change the color of your furniture, you also have the option to repaint it. If you decide to do that, make sure to dull the existing finish with steel wool, spot prime any bare metal with an oil based primer, and use an alkyd paint.
Most wood furniture is easily maintained with some mild scrubbing and rinsing. If your pieces are made of cedar or other soft wood, scrub in the direction of the grain. If you’re working with Teak, it’s hardy enough that the direction doesn’t matter.
Most often, you have the option to purchase either natural or synthetic wicker. Natural is plant-based, often topped with paint while synthetic uses man-made materials such as vinyl. Use a sponge or rag for painted wicker so you don’t run the risk of chipping the paint. If it’s unpainted or synthetic, you can use a scrubber. If you spot strands sticking out, wicker becomes more pliable when damp. If you’re interested in repainting wicker, we recommend using an exterior paint for durability.
Though plastic stands up to a lot of things, it’s a bit of a difficult material to refinish. Painting it often results in beading or peeling. If you’re attempting to paint it yourself, be sure to scuff the surface with fine sandpaper or steel wool. Next, you’ll wipe up the debris before spraying with a super bond paint. Not only does it work well on plastic surfaces, but comes in a variety of colors. If your plastic furniture is just looking a bit stained,
4. Sounds Fabricated
Especially if your patio is poolside, it’s easy for fabrics to collect mildew and odd smells. Also, they have the ability to fade with the sun and other outdoor elements. If your cushions have zippers, remove the inner filling. When you go to wash the covers, add a cup of ammonia or vinegar (depending on the fabric) to your wash in lieu of your normal detergent. We also recommend using warm water. After the cycle, you’ll put your fabric covers through a second cycle but with your usual detergent. The type of fabric will depend on whether you can place in the dryer or lay it outside to air-dry. When the covers are completely dry, we recommend using a fabric-protecting spray. A water-resistant spray could also work!
5. Maintain Your Cool
Now that you’ve seriously upgraded your patio furniture, here’s some tips for maintaining it next season!
- Wipe up and beverage or food spills right after they happen.
- Remove any buildup or deposits as soon as possible.
- Be conscious of sunscreen, tanning lotions and body oils, using a towel as a barrier between yourself and the furniture.
- Make sure to cover or store any furniture that doesn’t stand up well to mass exposure.
- Check bolts, screws, along with any rusted or missing pieces.
- If your furniture has wheels or hinges, we recommend using a silicone lubricant. This will help keep the squeaking to a minimum as well.