How to Get Your Patio Furniture Ready for Summer

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How to Get Your Patio Furniture Ready for Summer

How to Get Your Patio Furniture Ready for SummerEugene Chrinian

How to Get Your Patio Furniture Ready for SummerSummers just around the corner, and that means its time to get your patio furniture ready for a great season of outdoor entertaining. These easy-to-follow tips will soon have your furniture looking its best for your summer guests.

Resin, Rattan, or Wicker FurnitureResin is a strong, high-quality type of plastic, and is an extremely popular choice for patio furniture because its very durable and weatherproof, as well as easy to clean. Rattan and wicker are very different materials from resin, but their care and cleaning is quite similar.

Cleaning:Fill a bucket with hot, soapy water, and using a sponge or a soft brush, carefully rub down each piece of furniture all over. If youre using a brush, be careful to avoid scratching the resin or chipping any paint from the rattan or wicker. Once the furniture is clean, gently rinse using a hose, and let dry.

PaintingIf the colors of your furniture are fading, or if the paint is bubbling or flaking, a new coat of paint is in order. Clean and dry the furniture as described, then prime the furniture: if your furniture is resin, youll need special primer and paint suitable for plastics; for rattan and wicker, use any all-purpose, outdoor-safe primer and paint. To help make the task of painting delicate rattan and wicker surfaces easy, try using a paint sprayer. Holding the can about a foot away from the furniture surface and using an even, back-and-forth motion, spray on a thin coat of primer and let dry. Then, apply your paint the same way. Avoid heavy coats, as they are more likely to run when applied or peel off when dry.

Cast Iron FurnitureCast iron patio furniture can last for generations, and is a popular choice for its durability and classic good looks. However, it does require proper maintenance at regular intervals to stay in top condition.

CleaningStart with a soft-bristle brush and a bucket of hot, soapy water, and gently scrub down the furniture. You can use a wire brush to scrub away any flaking paint or rust spots. Rinse the furniture, and let it dry completely to avoid rust build-up.

PaintingOnce your furniture is clean and dry and the rust spots have been scrubbed away, you can touch it up using primer and paint made especially for metals. Again, a paint sprayer is the best option for getting into all the nooks and crannies. Apply a thin coat of primer, let dry, and then apply your paint. Each coat should dry thoroughly before the next coat is applied. If your furniture is sealed rather than painted, you can apply a clear protective coat instead of using primer and paint.

Wood FurnitureWood patio furniture is popular for its natural look, but it is much more subject to wear and tear from the elements than other materials. Proper care is important to help keep wood furniture looking good, and to avoid it chipping, flaking, or becoming brittle.

CleaningWhen cleaning your furniture, its a good idea to use a special cleaner made specifically for wood. Use a soft brush to apply the cleaner thoroughly to all furniture surfaces. Avoid bleach or similar substances, which can discolor the wood and cause it to rot.

SealingSome people prefer the look of unsealed wood, which fades to a soft gray over time. If you want to keep your wood furniture looking newer, however, youll need to use a sealer. Look for an oil-based wood sealer to help preserve the woods natural color while giving it an extra sheen: urethane with a UV protectant is a popular choice. The sealer can be applied with a regular paintbrush, or you can buy urethane in a spray can.

PaintingTo paint or repaint your wood furniture, youll need to use primer and paint made for wood. Be sure to check for any chips or flakes in the existing paint first, and scrape them off using sandpaper or a 5-in-1 tool before painting. Wood furniture is easy to paint using a regular paintbrush, but you can use a spray can if you prefer.

Outdoor Cushions and FabricsOutdoor textiles should ideally be stored indoors during the fall and winter when they are not in use, as they can easily become discolored or ruined by too much humidity, dirt, or debris. When they are removed from storage, durable outdoor fabrics wont need much more than a wipe-down with a dry cloth to remove any dust or dirt. You may be able to remove cushion covers from their inserts and machine-wash them, but be sure to check the care instructions, as the surface treatment of some outdoor fabrics may not be able to handle it.