Summertime is the season for spending time on your backyard patio, so you definitely want to make sure that your patio is prepared to weather the harsh elements if it isn’t already. Here are some tips on weatherproofing your patio so that you can enjoy it for years to come.
Finish your furniture
Wicker furniture is not naturally weather resistant, so if you have wicker furniture on your patio, you’ll definitely want to paint or varnish it to increase its durability. To finish your wicker furniture, you’ll want to start by vacuuming it to remove any dust, food particles, or debris. Follow up by cleaning it thoroughly with a solution of warm water and oil soap made especially for wood furniture. After rinsing and letting it dry thoroughly, you can apply paint or marine varnish. The paint or varnish you use will need to have been specially formulated for wicker furniture, and if you opt for paint, you’ll want to finish with a varnish on top. Be sure to re-apply varnish every three years or so to keep your furniture weatherproof.
If your outdoor metal furniture has seen better days, consider giving it a new look with added durability using powder coating. According to this article, the powder coating process can remove rust from old metal furniture, and even make it more durable against UV rays and heavy rain. Powder coating comes in a variety of colors and finishes, meaning you can duplicate the look your furniture had when it was new or give it an entirely new look with new color and finish. Another option is to simply spray paint your metal furniture with outdoor-grade spray paint, but the finish here likely won’t last as long.
Even if you like the natural look of unfinished wooden furniture, it’s a good idea to apply multiple coats of a clear waterproofer/wood protector to your furniture to give it a more weather resistant finish. To do this, you’ll want to start by first sanding the piece down, followed by sealing any exposed end grain with epoxy. Then apply the waterproofer/wood protector as usual. Of course, another option is to paint your wooden furniture using outdoor paint formulated especially for wood. Just be sure to sand down, seal, and prime the furniture first.
Clean your furniture twice per month.
Finishing your patio furniture to make it weatherproof won’t exempt you from regular cleaning, so plan on cleaning your patio furniture at least once or twice per month. This will help eliminate buildup and reduce rust formation on your furniture. How you clean your patio furniture will depend largely on the material it’s made from. For metal, vinyl, or plastic furniture, you’ll want to scrub it down with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth. Rinse with water after scrubbing and let dry. For wooden furniture, meanwhile, you’ll want to spray it down with water only, wipe it clean, and let it dry out in the sun. And for upholstered furniture, you’ll want to invest in a specialized upholstery cleaner made for that particular fabric. For added convenience, try to get patio furniture cushions that are removeable and machine washable.
Invest in patio furniture covers.
One final note about furniture—your furniture will last much longer and see much less damage from sun, rain, winter weather, and bird droppings if you invest in some covers to place over it when you aren’t using it. It’s easy to find ready-made patio furniture covers online, or you can always use a tarp and tie it down with bungee cords.
Seal a wooden deck.
You can apply the wooden furniture finishing techniques mentioned above to a wooden deck as well if you have one. Start by sanding down the deck to bare wood, and then seal any exposed grain with epoxy. Then finish with waterproofer/wood protector, or apply prime and then outdoor-grade paint if you want a painted look.
Alternatively, you could simply apply tung oil to your clean wicker furniture with a soft cloth to make it water resistant.
Add something overhead.
There are several options out there when it comes to installing a cover for your patio. You can, of course, install a simple umbrella—either a large one that sits in the middle of a patio table, or an extra large patio canopy that shades a larger surface area. This is probably your most cost effective option. When shopping for an umbrella, look for something that can easily be cleaned, offers UV protection, resists mold and mildew, and offers water resistance.
If you want something more permanent, you can install a pergola, cloth shades, or a full-on awning and integrate it into your landscaping.
By: Maurine Anderson
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Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!