Tips on restoring and updating weathered outdoor furniture and decor.
Patio furniture and decor can be really expensive, so I’m always looking for ways to update or restore them and bring back some of the original finish.
The elements do a number on everything outside — from fading in the sunlight to yucky grime from the elements, there are many simple ways to make them look (closer to) new again!
We’re hosting a very special engagement party our on back patio in a few weeks, so we’ve been working on getting everything set up for the season. I’ve also been tackling some small projects out there to get things in ready for the party.
I had a list of drab looking outdoor items I wanted to clean and update. The first project was revitalizing our weathered cedar potting bench.
Years ago I sanded and treated the cedar and it looked amazing!:
But after six years of direct sun and the elements, the cedar started to gray again. This is normal for this type of wood, especially when it’s exposed like it was.
Last time I refinished this potting bench it was in much worse shape — I had to sand like crazy to get all of the mildew off. This time I tried something new and I was shocked at how well it worked:
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You can see how much cleaner the left side is after this easy treatment. (The gray all the way over on the right is how it looked before.)
It was like magic! And sooooo easy!
You can also use a mixture of bleach and water if you don’t have Oxiclean.
I could have stopped there, but I wanted to remove just a bit more of the rough texture, so I did a quick sanding with my orbit sander to get any remaining residue off of the cedar.
It brings out the gorgeous color of the wood and gives it just a bit of shine as well.
The bench looks SO MUCH BETTER! This is it on a rainy day, but you can tell the gray is gone:
I use it for both planting and for entertaining, so it’s important that it’s cleaned up and looking good. 🙂
Next up, our outdoor fountain desperately needed to be cleaned up. I got it a couple years ago and we LOVE it…the sound is so relaxing. But our hard water has done a number on it:
I don’t eve know what that grime was at the bottom, but it was not easy to clean!
I sprayed a cleaning solution and used a stiff wire brush to remove it:
Parts of the finish had chipped off as well:
Those parts were beyond fixing, so I decided to try covering it all in spray paint instead.
I used the wire brush to scrape the brittle finish and then lightly sanded it all down. After it was clean and dry, I started spraying numerous light coats of black spray paint:
Wow, what a difference!! The spray paint gave it a whole new look.
It looks brand new again! Totally worth the time I spent cleaning it up and painting:
It’s been a week and a half and it still looks like it did the day I painted it. I’ve already had to clean the hard water marks off once and the paint didn’t budge.
I can’t even believe how much better it looks now!:
So far so good…I will update over time to let you know how it’s holding up. These outdoor fountains are not cheap, so if this extends it for another year or two I’ll be thrilled!
We have a lot of wicker furniture outside, and a couple chairs we’ve had forever were scratched up:
These are lightweight and sometimes get tipped over in high winds.
I let it sit for a few minutes and then lightly wiped up any excess. After it was dry I brushed a light coating of the Helmsman urethane on those areas as well.
They look soooo much better now! It only took a few minutes to do both chairs and the difference is noticeable:
Even if it lasts for a few months this was definitely worth my time! We moved these closer to the house, so hopefully they won’t get caught in the wind anymore.
It was raining today and you can see that the stain is holding up and the water is beading where I used the urethane:
My last project involved a product I picked up last year and hadn’t tried yet. A lot of our outdoor items were looking worn and this solution is supposed to bring them back to life.
Here’s a view of our large storage bench — you can see how the plastic had lightened up and was discolored from the sun:
I cleaned the storage bench (those little grooves were impossible to get really well) and after it was dry I applied a coat of the solution with a clean rag.
It didn’t make it look brand new, but it DID help a lot!:
I was pretty impressed!
The rattan and metal furniture on our covered patio have some rusted areas on the metal that need to be cleaned up and spray painted, but for now I figured I’d try this product:
I wiped it down with a wet rag and then applied a quick coat of the Rejuvenate.
The photos don’t show the difference I saw in real life. It deepens the finish and makes it look much better:
The rusty bits aren’t as noticeable now either — the richer metal tone helps to hide them.
I was impressed with this stuff! I’ll definitely be trying it on more outdoor items. I bet it would bring plastic planters and metal lighting back to life.
I’ll update and share how well that works later this summer!
All of these items look a million times better after these updates. If I can extend the life of any of them it is definitely worth the time!
Have you tried any of these ways of updating or restoring your outdoor decor?
I’ll be sharing a new tour of our back patio with you soon! 🙂