Monday, June 27, 2011

Painting patio and firepit furniture + outdoor cushions on a budget

Summer is here and it is time to enjoy the out of doors! We are working with a small backyard in our new house here in Alaska. We already have patio furniture but it is tired, rusty, and even has chipping paint is some places. While we have a seating around the firepit, it doesn't match our patio table and chairs. Our old yard was a big enough space that you didn't notice it but now that we have much smaller quarters it stuck out like a sore thumb.

My solution?

Spray paint, ofcourse!

Read on for the full story and before-and-after photos...

So, this is what the bench/chair set looked like before...

The original cushions bit the dust a couple seasons ago. We were irresponsible cushion owners and left them out in the rain. The cushions revolted against us with mold. So, after throwing them out, the set has been bare naked for a couple summers. Do you realize how much cushions or foam inserts cost? Absolutely unbelievable!

This is what the table and chairs deck set looked like before...
The chairs were black and the table was a textured brown metal. The table was weathered and the paint started chipping. Very unpleasant.

The first sunny day in late Spring, I went to Lowes and armed myself with spray paint and primer. I thought about making them into design statements with white enamel or going for a real punch of color. Given the fact that we are dealing with a postage stamp sized backyard I decided it needed to be something more neutral to keep it from being too busy back there. I love how antiqued brass is making a comeback and thought it might be a neutral yet beautiful design solution. I chose Rustoleum's Antique Brass spray paint. I also bought Rustoleum white primer, but if I had it to do again, I actually wouldn't have used it. Shocking, I know!

Here is the firepit set that I primed...

 and these are the patio table chairs I didn't prime...


I found that the set I primed needed many more coats of the Antique Brass to get a smooth finish. I went through many more cans of paint than I would have if I hadn't primed. Even though I applied very even coats of primer, the difference between the black chairs and the white primer showed through and thus used up more paint. The chairs in the last photo were not primed and the finish looks exactly the same as the final product on the firepit set. Less paint and less time.

Here are the sets AFTER...
(please ignore the patchy grass. That's on the honey-do list)

And here it is AFTER with new cushions!





Here is the patio set AFTER...




I love that all the furniture matches now! The cushions aren't my first choice but they fit this year's budget. I got the seat cushions for the table and chairs set for $7 each on clearance at Target. I salvaged a couple cushions for the firepit chairs but the bench cushions were hopeless. Buying premade bench cushions was going to run about $150-200! Buying foam to make my own bench cushions was going to be about $120! So, when I saw these outdoor "floor cushions" on clearance for $10 each at Target I knew what I needed to do...


 I bought four of the them, costing a total of $40 to outfit my bench! I bought the striped outdoor fabric which compliments the table and chairs cushions, from Walmart for $5/yd. I spent $25 for enough fabric to recover all four new "floor cushions" and the chair cushions.

Project price break down:

8 cans Rustoleum Antique Brass Spray Paint- $48
1 can Rustoleum Primer- $6
2 cans Rustoleum Clear Enamel- $10
4 seat cushions- $28
4 floor cushions- $40
5 yards of outdoor fabric- $25
TOTAL $157

I think that is some money well spent. If you are looking for me Ill be on the patio, soaking up the summer and sipping on a Hawaiian Ginger Cooler. ;)

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