These Three Ideas Will Inspire You to Give Your Outdoor Furniture a Makeover This Summer

Our home editor shows how to do it yourself and shares her best sources for the materials you'll need.

Whether it's on the porch, atop your patio, or around a fire pit, outdoor furniture is essential to summer relaxation. Now's the time to give your favorite pieces a refresh. Learn how to tune up old teak, get your metals gleaming, and paint weathered wicker to look pristine again, all according to Living's home editor Lorna Agron.

wooden dinning table and chairs in grass
Dane Tashima

Blast It

A quick power wash and teak oil gave Living photo director Ryan Mesina's dining set, pictured above, a rich shine. Here's how they did it: Remove any moss with your hands or a paint scraper. Turn the table over and blitz dirt and mildew off with a power washer. Start with the light fan setting and keep it moving; using too-high pressure or lingering in one spot can cause splintering. Switch to a wide-spray setting to whisk away any dirty water that accumulates. Let dry and repeat, then flip and do the tabletop.

Go Gray (or Not)

Teak naturally takes on a silvery patina as it ages. You can leave it untreated and simply power-wash it again as needed. If you prefer a warm-brown, like-new finish, rub in teak oil—try Watco Clear Matte ($12 for one quart,—and reapply when-ever it looks dull. As for the tabletop? We decorated with Ballard Designs Lemans Dining Chair Cushions ($55 each,, Mud Australia Paris Platter ($315,, Lobmeyer Isle Crawford Water Pitcher ($260,, and CB2 "Marta" Glasses ($16 for 8,

outdoor chairs with blue cushions
Dane Tashima

Remove Any Flakes

These chairs looked pretty wild when Lorna found them at an auction last fall. "One was a royal blue I'd never choose," she says. "And the other was grape purple!" Luckily, they didn't have any holes; they just needed a little spot sanding and a coat of (quieter) paint. In a weekend's work, she had a chic new sitting area styled with Minna Angle Pillows in Coffee ($240 each, and a West Elm Natural Tree Stump Side Table ($299,

Set your piece on a drop cloth in a well-ventilated but not drafty area. Rub worn areas with medium (60-to-100-grit) sandpaper to remove fraying wood or peeling paint. Repeat with finer (120-grit) sandpaper to smooth the surface. Hose it down; let dry.

Get in Every Crevice

Spray-paint in long, even strokes, holding the can as far away as the label specifies. Lorna used Krylon Color-Maxx Gloss Paint & Primer Spray Paint, in Gloss Smoke Gray ($7.50 for 12 ounces, Let dry, then do a second coat, checking for bare spots and spraying from different angles to ensure you fully cover the weave.

Make It Comfortable

Lorna sewed chambray cushion covers out of Solarium Outdoor Fabric, in Rave Indigo ($30 per yard,, but you don't have to get so hands-on. Wicker furniture comes in pretty standard sizes, so it's easy to simply buy new ones that fit. Consider checking out Cushion Connection for ideas. Another cool combo: Sunbrella Balance Renew "Mist" Fabric ($42 per yard, and Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X UltraCover "Gloss Khaki" Spray Paint ($4, To spiff up an outdoor space top to bottom, refinish the floor. This wooden one is covered in Valspar Latex Gloss Porch, Floor & Patio Paint; the shade is Bay Sands.

black metal cart with potted plants
Dane Tashima

Metal Magic

This vintage 1960s metal tea cart has served as a plant stand in Lorna's sunroom for a decade, ever since its smart Greek-key trim caught her eye at an antiques shop. For summer parties, she replaces the pots with cocktail fixings and rolls it out as a bar. After years of doing double duty, its paint was looking a little patchy. So she redid it in a satin-finish outdoor spray paint made for metal, to fend off any future rust and nicks.

Smooth the Frame

Spread out a drop cloth in a well-ventilated, non-drafty area. Roll the cart on top. Remove and set aside the glass shelf. Rub any peeling areas on the cart frame with 120-grit sandpaper. Wipe it down with a damp cloth, and let it dry.

Coat the Cart

Spray on the paint, holding the can as far away as the label specifies and making long, even strokes. "When painting a glass shelf or table, apply it to the bottom, not the top," says Lorna. "This technique, called underpainting, ensures that anything you set down—drinks, pots—won't leave a scratch. It'll also look extra-shiny and wipe clean more easily." Aragon used Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X "Satin Granite" Spray Paint ($4 for 12 ounces,, a primer and paint in one. Let dry, then apply a second coat.

Tint the Glass

While the frame dries, paint the under-side of the shelf. Lorna used Krylon Fusion All-in-One Spray Paint, in Matte White ($5, This cream shade is a tasteful counterpoint to the medium-gray frame. "Compared with the original black frame and clear glass, this looks much fresher," she says. If you prefer the glass to look frosted rather than opaque, try one of Krylon's Semi-Translucent Sea Glass Finish Paints. Let the shelf dry, then put it back on the cart, paint-side down. Another cool combo: Montana White "Rattle Snake" Spray Paint ($6.75 for 14 ounces, and Krylon Semi-Translucent "Sea Foam" Sea Glass Finish Spray Paint ($10,

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