New patio furniture can be prohibitively expensive, but the good news is that if you're on a budget, it's easy to find old stuff at thrift stores and flea markets. Although it may have seen better days, don't write it off. You may be able to rescue it using one or more of these techniques.
- Clean it. Because outdoor furniture is left to the elements for long period of time, it can get pretty grimy. Use a deep-cleaning product like BioWash or Oxyclean on dull or dirty plastic furniture.
- Buff it with steel wool. If you have unpainted metal furniture that's looking a little rusty, scrubbing it with steel wool can be an effective way to remove rust and bring out the shine underneath.
- Spray paint it. Quick, easy, and cheap, spray paint works well on metal and wood. You can also buy special spray paint for plastic furniture.
- Take it to an auto body shop. A professional auto paint job works well if you're looking for a very durable, high-gloss finish. Not all places will service furniture, so call in advance to make sure your local shop is up for the job.
- Add new fabric or cushions. It's an inexpensive way to make a dramatic transformation. Use oilcloth or a tablecloth to cover an old table, or add new cushions to a seat.
(Re-edited from a post originally published on 6.09.2010 - CM)