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Quick fixes: Make your patio furniture last

 / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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This Memorial Day weekend, it’s time to prepare for a summer of fun in the sun. Of course, you can’t have backyard fun without a great set of outdoor patio furniture!  Whether you just bought a brand new set or have an older one, there are things you should do before the summer starts to make sure it will last as long as you want it to. Steve Watson, host of HGTV’s “Don’t Sweat It” lists some tips to keep your outdoor furniture in tip-top shape for a long time to come:

New wood furniture:

  • Make sure the set has a protective finish to prevent water & weather damage
  • If it does not, buy a colorless protective coating and brush it on.
  • Maintenance is essential.  Once a month, clean and condition the furniture by brushing on orange or lemon oil.  After a quick buff, the wood will shine like new.  If you can’t find lemon oil, you can make your own by mixing one part walnut oil with one part lemon juice.

Touching up an older wood set:

The biggest (and most expensive) mistake people make is throwing away old furniture. If the wood has grayed that doesn’t mean the set should be trashed.  Remember, there’s good wood in there somewhere… you just have to get to it!

  • Be sure to check for loose screws & wood. Tightening or replacing worn-out or rusty fixtures can easily extend the life of an older set.
  • If the wood is in need of repair, use a high-pressure washer to blast away the damaged layer, and you will see beautiful wood underneath. If you don’t have access to a washer, sand paper will also do the trick. Just be sure to sand with the grain of the wood.
  • Once you reach the “good wood,” be sure to reapply a weather coating. You now have a brand new looking set of patio furniture!

Getting creative:

  • If you want to change the look of wood furniture, try a new stain.
  • Too much for you? You can also darken the finish, by using used coffee grounds or tea bags!  Just rub them over the wood to see an instant color change (Keep in mind, this trick works best on light-colored woods).

Extending the life of metal furniture:

  • Don’t be scared to paint it!  Using rust retardant paint will cover up imperfections and give the furniture a fresh look.
  • Make it rustic by picking up patina at a local hardware store. Once you sand off any rust, spray patina all over the metal.  You will see a chemical reaction happening that will create a vintage look. After it’s finished, spray on a clear coat finish to complete the hip, new look. 
  • Extra tip: try practicing on the bottom of the furniture before spraying the entire piece.  That way, you will have an idea of how it will work/what will happen. If you don’t like the results… don’t do it!

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