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Sometimes a nice set of wooden furniture gets a rough treatment outdoors. Left alone in the elements it can start to look pretty shabby. But the story doesn't have there. It's easy to give wooden furniture a new life and it's not hard to do.


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Step 1: Starting with furniture

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My coworker Lee had some furniture on his back deck that had been forgotten for too long. I can't blame him, he's a busy guy with a couple of kids, but his outdoor living room was starting to look like a mess. He did try to fix up one of the chairs on his own, but it came out... wrong. It was time for some intervention.

Step 2: What you need

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 - Krylon dual spraypaint
 - Krylon spray stain
 - spray adhesive
 - Sandpaper or orbital sander (even better)

We also made a series of stencils for all the members of Lee's family for a personal touch.

Step 3: Sand it down!

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The previous day, we hosed down the furniture to get most of the dirt off, but to make each chair as clean as possible we also went to work with an orbital sander. For all the hard to reach areas we used a couple of other pieces of sandpaper.

You don't need to go too aggressively with the sander. The results will still be outside in the rain, but it still helps to smooth out the wood and get rid of any dirt that the wash couldn't get rid of.

Step 4: Stencil prep

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Each stencil needs to be applied to each chair. To do this you want to make sure that the stencil is centered, level, and has extra pieces of paper next to it to prevent overspray.

To center the stencil, mark the middle point of the stencil and the chair with a pencil.

Now apply a light coat of spray adhesive on the back and wait for a minute for it to dry out a bit. This way you can remove it without leaving residue.

So apply the stencil to the chair, using the center marks as a guide. Step away to check to see if it is level. If not, remove and adjust until you're happy with it.

With everything all set, tape or glue other pieces of paper to the side of the stencil.

Step 5: Paint!

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Apply light coats of paint to the stencil, moving left to right or vice versa. Start each coat off the edge of the stencil and then move all the way past it. When you're getting close to being happy with the coverage give it more time to dry between coats.

With enough paint on thee, peel off the stencil to admire your work.

Step 6: Staining time

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Put the chair onto a tarp and break out the spray stain. Fortunately, spray stain is more forgiving than spraypaint since the excess will be wiped off in the next step. So go ahead and have fun spraying all over and laying on a nice even coat.

Step 7: Cleaning up

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With a rag or some paper towels, wipe down the chair to get rid of excess stain and get a super even finish on the wood. If you leave thick stain on top it will take much, much longer to dry out and be sticky. Which is just all sorts of no fun.

Step 8: Admire your work

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With everything done, leave the furniture outside for a little bit to dry out completely. Enjoy the new look and get ready for a small get together with friends to show it off.
CharlesN15 months ago

This is really making me want to revamp my patio furniture setup. It seems like a good time, because despite it being February, is is 63 degrees outside. I really want to make sure that I am keeping up on this kind of stuff. The trick is knowledge and proactivity.

<a href='http://www.elegantoutdoors.com/casual-outdoor-furniture/' >http://www.elegantoutdoors.com/casual-outdoor-furniture/</a>

Mamagreen10 months ago

There is still life in the old girl yet...

pfred23 years ago
That outside furniture didn't look bad to me before you started. Bad is when you go to sit down and it breaks out from under you! The bench in the background of this picture was that bad:

http://i.imgur.com/lt6hi.jpg

I reslatted it and saved the back with this product called Minwax Wood Hardener. there are other wood hardening products out there but the Minwax stuff is the only thing I've any experience with. It can turn any dry rotted wood into iron.

The little benches in the foreground of that picture are looking pretty bad too but they'll look that way for years I'm sure.
dimtick3 years ago
those pieces are teak. teak has a lot of oil in it naturally which is why it stands up so well to outside use but also means you want to be careful when you refinish.
teak turns gray as it ages. when you sand, you want to get off all the gray and get back to the natural tan wood underneath. sand by hand to get into all the slots where the sander cant reach. stain is absorbed better by the bare wood than the gray so areas that aren't sanded will will show. take your time and do this right. make sure to whipe the piece down with a tack cloth to get off all the sanding dust.
I prefer teak oil instead of stain but which ever you choose you should go over with some teak sealer.
you really should do the stain and sealer first before doign the stencil.
angelabchua3 years ago
Wow, they look great. Much easier than busting out the old wood stain in a can with a brush!
Ninzerbean3 years ago
One time while I was pressure washing my patio I accidentally passed the water over a chair - wow - it was like instant sanding. It looked brand new. I ended up doing all the furniture, then I started on the tree trunks. It is way easier than sanding. These Chairs look amazing Fungus.
nanosec123 years ago
I know it's outdoor furniture, but after your stain is dry you can add a couple of thin coats of clear to help seal it, and make it last longer as well.

another idea for the cleaning - use a pressure washer to liven up the wood. but be careful not to get too close or the pressure washer can damage the wood. It would be very similar to the way you refurbish a wooden deck.

Nice set of instructions.