DIY: How to Update Your Old Outdoor Furniture

Monday, April 22, 2013

You know how great all the brand new deck furniture looks as you stroll through Pottery Barn or even Target. You take it home and love it... until 2 years down the road when it's turned that horrible dingy gray color? This is when a lot of people toss out that furniture to the curb.

But really, all that furniture needs is a little love. Trust me, even that old gray furniture set you see on Craigslist or out in big trash pick up can be remade to look brand new in just a few short hours and for less than $20. This project does call for a power washer - if you don't have one I'm betting someone you know has one or you can rent one. But believe me, once you see how great power washing works on these chairs you'll want to power wash the entire house... you might as well fork over the $60 and buy one for yourself (after all that's cheaper than a new set of patio chairs, right?).

Step One:
Gather your materials... your old furniture, tung oil and a pressure washer. I know I normally do a whole layout of the materials... but, honestly, how exciting is it to see a power washer?

Step Two:
Take your furniture onto your grass and start power washing. Take your time and make sure you get it all clean. How can you tell? Just look at this picture - can you tell where I've power washed? thought so.
do keep in mind that the chair is completely wet, so even the bad part doesn't look so bad right now... looks a little deceiving

Step Three:
Let the furniture dry thoroughly. Don't be alarmed that it looks really dry - you just cleaned all that old mildew and dirt off it... trust me... it will look soo much better soon.

Step Four:
See what I mean? The left side of this chair has been coated with the tung oil. I find that a disposable brush works best, don't worry about putting too much on because you can always wipe excess off with an old cloth.

And you're done! The chairs will look practically brand new. I'm not kidding. Just repeat this process every couple of years and you won't have to buy new furniture anytime soon.

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  1. I already copied the info before leaving a comment! Thank you T!!! I have 2 folding wine barrel chairs I'm sure you have seen around this will be perfect! xo

  2. Wow...That is an incredible transformation!

  3. wow, thanks for this. I have a lot of old wooden furniture stored in my shed and was about to throw it out until I saw this. Now I might fix them all and sell them to my friends :) tnx

  4. Katie Smith7:34 AM

    Great transformation! I have some old furnitures that I would love to fix because they look old and crappy. But I fear that I might spend too much in the fixes and thought that I would rather buy a new one. Seeing how you transform your old one to a new one makes me think that it is better if I would just start fixing them on my own. Thanks.

    Katie Smith
    My Blog:iContact Promo Code

  5. I am doing this with my brother, one thing I noticed, each time we restore our outdoor furns the art that it has become in years is simply amazing. Each year, we'll have sand papers to smooth the surface, stain to put new color, and varnish to let it shine and look new, natural spots and rain stains stay deeply that sandpapers can't remove, thus produce unique art in it.

  6. Rachel6:35 PM

    Thank you, this was really helpful! I am wondering how much it helped the super cracked arm rests. Is there a pic of them after?

  7. Great post and very informative. Just a little patience and some elbow grease and voila !