Transform your outdoor entertaining space for less than $200
With summer in full swing, there are still many wonderful gatherings to look forward to. Garden parties can be an easy, mess-free way to host your guests – provided your outdoor entertaining space is up to scratch.
If your garden furniture has seen better days or your patio has been reclaimed by nature, worry not! These wallet-saving tips will soon have you back outside, dining alfresco.
Start from the ground up
If you have a wooden deck, this is the first place you should start. A clean and oil can easily lift the look of your entertaining area
Start by giving your deck a good clean with a stiff scrubbing brush and deck cleaner. Once it’s washed and dry, add your wood oil to leave you with great-looking outdoor decking.
Refresh and rescue
If your current outdoor furniture still has good ‘bones’, but is looking a little tired, don’t throw it out. A bit of elbow grease and the right products will have them looking brand new in no time.
First check if wood-boring insects have loved your furniture while you haven’t been able to. While some damage won’t matter, a lot of holes can damage the integrity of your furniture and make it unsafe, which means it is probably time to get rid of it.
Once you know what you're working with and your furniture is safe, you can get started on the next steps:
- Clean: Depending on what your furniture is made of, deep clean your favourite old pieces with a high-pressure hose connector or good old-fashioned sudsy water.
- Treat water damage: Those white or brown spots are often caused by water damage. To treat them, start by making sure the furniture is completely dry. Then make a solution of equal parts toothpaste and baking soda and rub into the spot with a wet cloth. Polish the area with a dry cloth to finish
- Refresh fabric: From outdoor cushions, to umbrellas or even chair seats, most outdoor fabrics can be easily brought back to life. Make sure you choose a warm sunny day to clean to ensure the mildew doesn’t come back. Clean the fabric with a heavy-duty detergent, warm water and a soft scrubbing brush. Just make sure you rinse out any leftover detergent before it dries.
If you have removable cushion covers, or a smaller umbrella cover, you can throw these items in the washing machine after pre-cleaning to make sure they come out good as new!
- Revitalise: Now, the fun part begins! Most furniture can be given a coat of paint for a new lease on life. For a quick and easy option, use spray paint. Just make sure you paint when the weather is sunny, humidity is low and check in with your hardware store to make sure you match the paint with the right surface.
Add or upcycle
If you need to add an extra piece to accommodate more guests or replace furniture that is not safe, a good place to start is with preloved furniture.
You can bag a great bargain on sites like Gumtree; at the time of publishing, we were able to find some great side tables that ranged from $20 to $40. A visit to your local second-hand store will often reveal some good bargains, too. Make sure you test before you buy by siting on chairs, leaning on benches and checking tables are not wobbly.
Where you can, choose furniture that has a wooden frame to ensure you are getting a quality base. Wood can be easier to upcycle, as it can be easily refreshed with a lick of paint and some bright cushions.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of State Custodians.