Outdoor furniture can add a lot to outdoor spaces, whether a front porch, deck, or patio. Unfortunately, they are not set-it-and-forget-it pieces. Sun, rain, and wind take a toll on the finish over time, and if left without occasional care, not only will the finish deteriorate, the wood itself will as well.
If they are not in good enough condition for refinishing or repainting, they will have to be discarded and replaced. That might save you some time and effort, but it will certainly cost more.
The good news is that doesn’t have to be the case. These pieces can be either refinished or repainted, bringing them back to their original beauty and function. The key is to inspect them each year, either at the beginning or end of the summer season, and to take care of them properly, using the correct techniques and materials.
Refinishing for a Natural Look
When you prefer the natural beauty of the wood to shine, refinishing is the process you’ll want to follow. The first step is to remove the old finish, first by power washing to get all dirt, debris and flaking old finish off, and then sanding to remove any remaining finish and give the piece smooth surfaces.
Next, apply a new lacquer finish using either traditional paintbrushes or a foam brush. Lacquer comes in a wide variety of different colors for you to choose from. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on drying time between coats.
Another option is to use an oil-based wood stain followed by a clear polyurethane coat or an all-in-one gel stain, which has the stain and protective coating together. Again, follow manufacturer’s instructions for drying times.
Repainting Can Add Style
Repainting outdoor furniture allows you to change colors if you are considering a different overall look for the area the piece is placed. For instance, you may have found some great new seat cushions, but they don’t work with the current color of the chairs you have. The easy, and cost-effective way to fix that is to repaint it. Chances are, if you haven’t done so recently, your outdoor furniture is probably in need of some TLC.
When choosing paint, it’s not only the color that is important. You’ll need to make sure to select one for outdoor use so your furniture is protected from moisture and sun damage. Keep in mind that extreme weather conditions take a toll on any outdoor furniture and you will want to check for any chipping or flaking of the paint when the season ends.
Loose or peeling paint has to be removed so the new paint adheres well to the surface of your furniture. You can use a power washer first, but will need to follow up with some elbow grease, using the implement(s) of your choice, such as sandpaper, steel wool, a wire brush, or a scraper.
Once you have prepped the surface, you may want to consider a primer, unless the paint you choose says no primer is needed. Spray-on paint is another option, and it usually dries faster and requires less clean-up. Some spray-on paints also do not require a primer, saving you a step.
It comes down to personal preference when choosing the type of paint to use. Whichever you choose, remember to paint or spray on thin coats as they will dry faster and you will end up with a harder finish.
Whether you refinish or repaint, make sure to do it in a shed or garage where dirt and debris can’t land on the tacky surface while drying.
If you don’t have the time or energy to refinish or repaint the furniture yourself, contact Wehrli Furniture. We will be glad to help you bring your outdoor furniture back to life.