Several restoration techniques can be used to update, improve, and refurbish favorite pieces of patio furniture. Whether you want to bring a vintage piece into the modern era or restore small areas of damage on modern pieces, these techniques will help you do the job correctly.

Assess the Material and Damage

The restoration process begins by identifying the materials used in a piece of furniture. Modern premium patio furniture is often made with teak, wicker, stainless steel, and aluminum. Vintage pieces feature many of the same materials as well as other varieties of wood and sometimes decorative iron elements.

Next, take an inventory of what damage needs to be corrected. Are metal pieces unbent and structurally sound? Does the wood have surface problems only or is there evidence of insect damage? Are nuts and bolts rusting? With a full inventory of damage you can select the right tools for the job.

Building Your Restoration Toolkit

Outdoor dining tables and chairs are likely to have accumulated some dust and grime over the years, so great cleaning supplies should also be added to your shopping list. Get firm brushes for scrubbing metal and softer brushes for scrubbing wood; paint stripping brushes work great. Select furniture cleaners formulated for the materials you will be working on. Look also for items such as:

  • Metal brushes to remove rust spots
  • Water sealant and paint brushes
  • Rust-resistant metal coating
  • Rust removal products
  • Metal polish
  • Wood stain in your preferred color
  • Protective gloves and goggles
  • Replacements for any damaged screws, nuts, bolts, and washers

Removing Paint and Rust

Use a paint stripping brush to clear away any paint or rust that will readily flake away. Paint and rust removal products can be used to treat any remaining areas. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and finish the removal with the stripping brush. Rinse as necessary and use old towels to dry the piece.

Once dry, replace any lost or damaged hardware. New sealants, finishes, and rust-resistant products can next be applied according to product directions. You now have a restored piece of furniture that is ready to use.