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9 Tricks to Update Old Patio Furniture

As we transition into spring and the weather begins to warm up, sunny days and balmy evenings seem to be just on the horizon. The pandemic has sparked a lot more interest in outdoor living and socializing in outdoor spaces, so you will likely be making ample use of these types of spaces at your home. However, if you dropped the ball on taking care of your patio furniture this winter, your outdoor amenities may be looking a bit shabbier than you would want to show to company or even just for your own enjoyment.  

Fortunately, there are many easy ways to spruce up your patio furniture if it did not survive the winter well or is looking a little bleak from too much sun. Read on to learn our top tips for making that outdoor furniture look as good as new again. 

1. Spray Paint 

A fresh coat of paint is a tried-and-true way to bring new life to ancient pieces of furniture, but regular painting can be a little more involved than some people want to get with their DIY projects, with cans of paint that are hard to store and equipment required to paint with that may never be used again. 

However, spray paint is an easier and cheaper option for most and works really well for outdoor furniture materials, such as metal. It is also a lot easier to get into all of the nooks and crannies if your items have slats or curly iron details. This method of painting is so easy that you can do it every year and change up your color scheme. Make sure you wash and dry your piece properly before painting so that you get an even coat. 

You can even extend the life of worn and drab cushions and pillows with a little spray paint in the right spots. Another fun and easy technique to try is creating a funky pattern by apply painter’s tape in stripes or other patterns. Simply apply your first coat of paint, let it dry, add the tape, then spray with a second color and remove the tape to reveal your base color underneath. 

2. Reupholstering 

If your furniture has been sitting out in inclement weather or the direct sunlight often, your chair cushions could look pretty faded by now. Reupholstering your seat pads can make your seating look cleaner and more inviting, and it will allow you to stay up-to-date with the latest styles of the season if your patterns are a bit dated. 

You may be worried reupholstery is hard, but it does not have to be. You can simply remove the pads from the chairs and use a staple gun to secure your new fabric. You do not even have to remove the old fabric, as long as it is not too thick or badly damaged. 

3. Revive Your Teak 

Teak wood furniture is a popular choice for patio pieces because it is known for being very hardy and long-lasting. However, to get the most out of your teak pieces, you should take proper care of them and refresh the wood every few seasons. Start by applying a cleanser made specially for teak wood. Next, you can give your furniture a light sanding to smooth any rough edges that could become bigger issues. Finally, use a protective sealer to help your furniture be more weather-resistant. 

4. Use a Slipcover 

One of the easiest and quickest fixes to reanimate lackluster and dingy furniture is to use a slipcover. The light airiness of the fabric can give your pieces a summer vibe. If you decide you do not like the look you have chosen, a slipcover is not permanent and can easily be swapped out for a new one. In fact, this method is very affordable, so you can have multiple slipcovers for every mood and occasion. Another benefit is these are easy to remove and are washable. 

5. Tung Oil for Wicker 

A popular and stylish alternative to treated, plasticky wicker is natural wicker. Unfortunately, a natural finish is more vulnerable to the outdoor elements. You can keep your wicker furniture looking good and lasting longer by finishing it with tung oil. Wash you pieces first to remove any debris and dirt that has collected, then coat the entire surface with tung oil, making sure to really get into the nooks and crannies between the wicker pieces. This finish will protect your furniture and will give it a deep, rich oiled look. 

6. Add Some New Accessories 

Maybe your furniture is still in pretty good shape, but your pieces are out of style or look bland and boring. Or perhaps you recently updated your patio or outdoor living area, and your old furniture does not match as well with your new design. Sometimes, simply adding a splash of color with an accent piece is all you need. New throw blankets and pillows are a great choice, but you can also get creative by adding decorative items to tables, such as potted plants or ornamental watering cans. You can make new updates year after year, as trends change. 

7. Rust Removal 

Even finished or coated metal pieces can rust when exposed to the elements and moisture season after season. That tiny chip in the paint you thought was a minor flaw can quickly turn into a large rust spot. Before you trash your beloved pieces, assess the damage. If the rust is just on the surface and has not damaged your furniture structurally, it is completely salvageable.  

This fix can take little more elbow grease to renew a piece, but it is well worth it. Acquire a stiff wire brush and use it chip away any loose paint around the rusted areas, then get to scrubbing the rust itself. Sand the painted edges so they are smooth, then wash the metal thoroughly and let it dry completely. After this, you can apply a fresh coat of primer and paint, and your metal furniture will look good as new. 

8. Whitewashing 

To get that crisp, summery look to your outdoor furniture, try whitewashing it. Water down some white paint with two parts water to one part paint, and brush it on and wipe it down with a dry towel. You can go over the finish once more with a dry brush to give the look more depth. Remember that your paint job does not have to be perfect. Luckily, that is the point of this look, to appear a little rustic. 

9. Restain Wood 

Even the most weathered of wood furniture can look brand new with a fresh coat of wood stain. Sand your piece first to remove the rough edges, then clean it of any debris. After you wash it, make sure it dries completely. Next, apply a coat of the stain according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and enjoy your dramatically improved piece. 

These are some of our favorite tips, but they are far from the only tricks you can try to give your patio furniture a new and refreshed look for the upcoming outdoor season. There are many ways to make your outdoor living area more beautiful and enjoyable, and with the money you save on frequently buying new furniture, you can upgrade your yard with fun amenities, such as a firepit from us!