Although the next few days are set to be a bit chilly, we all know that summer is right around the corner. What does that mean… it’s time to get your summer patio furniture ready!
Has your outdoor furniture been stored over the winter? Or did it just sit outside in the snow? In either case, it likely needs some cleaning and freshening for the upcoming outdoor season. Below are some great tips from the DIY Network.
Seal Wooden Chairs and Tables
Conditioning wooden furniture with products such as teak oil or blends of natural oils at the start of the season helps to weatherproof natural wood finishes. The protection added helps to prevent sun and rain damage, which contributes to graying wood and both wet and dry rot. UV blocking sealants can also be applied on top of conditioned furniture to further guard against sun damage.
If a fresh coat of oil won’t help, consider completely re-sanding, re-staining, and then applying a coat of wax or sealant to revive, condition and protect the new finish against the elements.
Clean and Protect Outdoor Cushions
Outdoor fabrics are usually high-maintenance in the middle of the spring and summer when they’re magnets for dust lifted by the lawnmower, or pollen fluttering in the air. Commit to a maintenance routine that includes dusting (with a soft bristled brush), vacuuming, or even pressure-washing, depending on where your furniture falls on the scale of “zero to filthy.” Outdoor furniture on a covered or screened-in porch may only require the occasional dusting, while open patio cushions may require more frequent vacuuming. To spot clean, make this gentle cleanser that uses borax, dishwashing detergent and water. Cushions saturated with pollen or tough stains often clean well with soap and water applied with a pressure washer on a fine mist setting. Pool-side cushions not only come into contact with chlorinated water but also the occasional rainwater, so they may require more thorough washes to keep them looking fresh and mildew-free. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines or test a small area before cleaning fabric surfaces. Reminder: We offer fabric protectant!
Outdoor fabrics – including indoor/outdoor rugs – can be treated proactively with a weatherproofing spray to help resist stains and water absorption and also help to prevent sun fading on all materials. Apply it early in the season to alleviate your maintenance routine through the rest of the summer.
Change the Look of Old Plastic and Metal Furniture
Faded and dinged outdoor furniture can be refinished inexpensively with a coat of spray paint. Before you trash or recycle old pieces, buy a can of paint and apply a coat. To refinish plastic furniture, select a satin or glossy finish with a built-in primer. To refinish metal furniture, you might favor the look of a metallic finish (and I can attest, the finish can look as high-end as any manufacturer finish). You might be surprised how easily it brings new life back to something that was just ho-hum.
Clean the Umbrella
Dust and refresh your umbrella before putting it out for the season. With the umbrella standing upright, but folded down, use a bristled brush to loosen and remove dust that gathered in the folds.