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Decking Out Your Deck

Or primping your patio, tidying your terrace, grooming your gazebo...whatever fits.


Spring cleaning goes way beyond the closets; there are weeds to pull, pavers to power wash and patio furniture that needs some TLC. Here are some tips to get your patio furniture in perfect working order. 

Clean it up

After a winter spent banished to the garage, the basement, a storage unit or underneath a tarp, the first thing you need to do is give your furniture a bath, so to speak. As a general rule, nearly any type of outdoor furniture can benefit from mild soap and water. An exception to this is natural wicker or wood, which will require a little more TLC and will be covered below. Once you've soaped up and hosed off your furniture frames, check them over for chipped paint, worn spots, loose hardware; anything that has them in less than primo condition. If you've taken good care of your furniture and stored it properly, you may find that a good washing is all you need to do.

Natural wicker furniture should be cleaned by using a soft-bristle brush to remove dust and debris. Use a can of compressed air for stubborn debris. Wipe with a damp cloth. If the furniture is particularly dirty, you can clean it with oil based soap (like Murphy's) and warm water. Or you can make your own solution with 1/4 cup ammonia, 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 1 quart of warm water.  Allow it to dry thoroughly. 

Wood furniture that has not been painted can be cleaned in a similar method as natural wicker. 

To restore teak furniture to its original finish, power wash it and apply linseed oil. 

Tighten it up

There will be some inevitable loosening of hardware over the winter; changes in temperature that result in freezing and thawing will cause components to expand and contract. Moving furniture around and into storage will do the same. Make sure all your connections are tightened up to ensure the most enjoyment from your casual furniture. 


Touch it up

Metal frames that have chipped or peeling paint can be touched up. Sand chipped or peeling paint and touch it up with spray paint made specifically for outdoor applications. Some manufacturers sell touch up paint that will match their frame finishes; check with the manufacturer or the retailer you purchased your furniture from to see if it is available. If you are ready for a change and the frame is in decent shape, consider changing up the finish completely. Natural wood and wicker furniture can also be painted if desired. A fresh coat of paint will make your patio furniture seem like a brand new set. 


Change it up

Most patio furniture cushions can be cleaned in the same way the frames are cleaned; a soft brush and mild soap and water. Solution dyed acrylic fabric and sling fabric will tolerate a mixture of one part bleach to ten parts water to remove mold and mildew. Or change it up completely and get new cushions, in updated colors and patterns, to replace your old ones. Add a few throw pillows and you will have completely changed the look of your outdoor space.

Pretty it up

A new umbrella, an outdoor rug, outdoor lighting, outdoor art and ornaments will go a long way in reviving the look of your patio furniture. Add some new occasional tables or a firepit to freshen it up even more. 

If your furniture has reached the point of no return and can't handle another family reunion, or if you just want to start all over with something completely new, check out the huge array of outdoor casual furniture at familyleisure.com. There is something for every budget and taste and delivery for purchases over $40 is absolutely free!!

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