May 22, 2019

Update Your Outdoor Living Area

If you are like the majority of middle class Americans,  this year, you are probably planning to do more entertaining at home and you may be thinking that your outdoor living area is a perfect place to do it.   If new outdoor furniture isn’t in the budget for this summer, maybe you can renew the furniture you already have to make your outdoor entertaining area more attractive and comfortable.  Here are some easy and economical ways to update your outdoor living area.

Wrought iron Furniture is pretty simple to make it look almost new.  Remove existing rust with a wire brush, some sandpaper or a sandblaster if you have one.  I prefer the wire brush.  Using a rust inhibiting primer spray paint from your favorite home improvement center, spray the spots and allow to dry.  Finish in a spray paint color of your choice.  I like the new modern colors like blue, green, and yellow.  A perfect update!

Cedar or Redwood Furniture ages and gets a weathered and gray hue to it.  Some people love the look of weathered cedar but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  You have a couple of options here;  Cedar furniture can be painted and if you want a real change this may be the way to go.  Keep in mind however that should you change your mind about the look next year you’ll be in for a LOT of sanding.  The other option, and my preferred method, is to stain the cedar.  Use a deep penetrating, water- repellent stain, that inhibits mildew and helps preserve the cedar’s beauty.  Ask at your home improvement store’s paint desk for suggestions on the right stain.  Follow the directions on the can and repeat in two or three years.

Mesh and Webbed Furniture can be repaired as well.  I haven’t been able to locate the materials locally but you can find them online.  Do a Google search for “vinyl mesh sling fabrics” or “chair webbing”.  You can sand the frames and  spray paint using a paint for metal finishes if you want to really want to jazz them up.

Wicker and Rattan can be cleaned using a brush and soapy water and then spray painted for a fresh look.  Try a new color and update your cushions.

Updating your cushions.  They aren’t your mother’s same old outdoor looking cushions any more.  The selection of cushions is endless in styles from elegant to casual. Be sure to look for a weather resistant fabrics which are available in an array of attractive fabrics and color schemes.   They are available at home improvement centers, discount big box stores, and of course, in hundreds of e-commerce stores.

Garden Decorative Items.  Why not update the decorative items in your outdoor living area as well.  Consider adding a water-feature or fountain.  These can be tabletop styles or can be free standing and  sit directly on your patio or deck.  The soothing sound of the water will ease away your stress  while adding an attractive feature to your outdoor living area.  Some large plants in colorful pots are a nice touch too, don’t forget to keep in mind how much sun or shade your outdoor living area gets when making your plant selections.

Lighting.  Last but not least, don’t forget about lighting.  It’s a bit more expensive initially, but solar lighting is a great option here.  There is no cost to run it and you’ll be doing something good for the environment at the same time.  Solar lights come in many different styles now in everything from spot lights to strings of individual decorative lights.

Invite your family and friends over for refreshments and enjoy your new outdoor living area!

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Comments

  1. Nice article. A word of advice on painting the metal portions of webbed furniture.
    Most modern manufacturers of “suspended web” style furniture powder coat the metal portions of their products- an electrostatic process where the finish is actually bonded to the metal. Repainting with regular spray paint will required the surface to be properly prepared to receive a primer and then the paint coat. Otherwise, the paint will not hold and will come off on your clothing while you are sitting.

    Thanks!!

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