Cleaning Your Outdoor Furniture

 

Over the years, stains, blemishes, dirt and other undesirable effects usually make your outdoor furniture their perfect home. However, it’s often difficult to decide whether to buy new furniture or salvage what you have.

It all starts with understanding your furniture and its specific maintenance requirements. The methods you might use on wood patio furniture may not be the same for metal furniture. Take a look below, where we highlight the most important tips for giving new life to your worn out patio furniture. Cleaning your outdoor furniture may be all that is needed.

 

Wood Outdoor Furniture

One of the factors that takes a toll on outdoor wood furniture is too much sunshine, heat and dampness. This makes the paint chip and the color fade, leaving ugly stains. You can start by removing all the chipped paint with sandpaper. Before sanding, consider using a power hose to remove most of the flaking and dirt. Sanding will not only remove the finishing but will also smoothen the surface.

After this, you can apply the new finish using a standard or a foam brush. The idea is to have an even coat of paint on the furniture. Let it dry after applying, but make sure you don’t leave it outside where debris can ruin the wet paint.

Staining the wood can be an excellent choice, especially when you want the wood to retain its exotic look. Apply the stain evenly on the surface and continue applying more coats if you want a darker appearance. Once the stain dries, apply a sealer. You can choose to use oil-based stains because they do not raise the grains, but they do have a strong smell unlike water-based stains.

 

Metal Outdoor Furniture

Rusty, faded lawn furniture isn’t appealing. Luckily, there are simple do-it-yourself tricks to freshen the look and achieve incredible results. To start, make sure the furniture is free from any cloth coverings or pillows. Wash it with soap and water then rinse properly. This will remove the dirt and debris. Leave it to dry.

The second step would be to remove rust and stains. If you choose to paint over the rust, the result will be a bumpy surface. You want the coat to be smooth and even, so use a wire brush to remove the rust and paint.

After removing the stains and rust, you should apply a primer before applying the desired paint. You can use a brush or just spray. Using a spray ensures an even coat of paint, and you can quickly reach hidden places such as folds and joints. Allow the primer to dry then go ahead and apply the paint.

Aluminum furniture can become faded from exposure to the sun. A simple way to take care of this is to use car wax to to make it shine like new. Make sure to clean and let it dry before applying the wax and it should be removed using a smooth cloth before it dries on the surface.

 

Plastic Outdoor Furniture

Plastic furniture can change colors over time, especially when left in the sun for too long. The good news is that water tends to have little effect on plastic furniture, which makes painting a quick and effective restoration option.

Clean the furniture with soap and water and try to remove any stains. If you encounter trouble removing stains, ammonia-based detergent will help. Let it dry, then cover any of the material that isn’t plastic.

There are paints specifically made for plastic furniture. A spray paint can make it easier to coat the furniture evenly. Add coats until you get the desired effect and remove seals once the paint has dried completely.

Here are some other quick tips to spruce up your patio furniture:

  • If the cloth on your furniture has become worn or faded, consider replacing it to update the look. You can do this using a staple gun.
  • There are cleansers made especially for teak. Use them to clean wood before sanding and sealing.
  • Slipcovers are an easy way to update your patio furniture and can be removed anytime for cleaning. Just make sure they fit your furniture!
  • Wicker furniture can be refreshed by using water, soap and a soft brush.
  • Using tung oil on wooden furniture can add a dark, oily appearance while protecting the furniture from the sun. Make sure the piece is clean and dry before applying.

 

You don’t always need to make a big purchase when your patio furniture starts to show signs of aging. Regular cleanings can go a long way to extending the life of your furniture, so don’t forget to carry out regular maintenance to keep it in top shape for as long as possible!

 

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Doug Ashy

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