As featured in The Cincinatti Enquirer
As we enter the summer months and think about entertaining outside we are faced with furniture and fabrics that look dirty, rusty and faded. Spending money on outdoor furniture and fabric is not always a priority because we know that natural fading, discoloring and breakage will occur as the furniture sits outside.
“Shop Cop” and consumer reporter, Jennifer Litwin, has some tips for your outdoor furniture:
- Chairs with sling fabric: Sling fabric, like all outdoor fabric, becomes faded, torn and dirty over time. Every few years we think about replacing the entire chair or having it reupholstered. Since chair styles don’t change that often it doesn’t pay to throw out the old chair that you love and replace it with a new chair. You can replace the sling yourself for $60-75 per chair. A new sling chair usually costs more than $150, including the fabric. You can select your own fabric from hundreds of swatches, order a sample to be sent to your home for free, give a company measurements and they can make the replacement piece for you, and send you the simple hardware for you to put the sling on, yourself, in just minutes. I would explain how to take measurements and apply the fabric, yourself. Here is an example: very standard outdoor seat.
- Chairs with straps: We all remember the chairs we had 30 years ago, with the straps. Surprisingly, the styles haven’t changed much in lawn furniture. So instead of throwing out the old chairs and replacing them today for hundreds of dollars (usually at least $200 apiece), you can buy your own straps for $2-5 each, and put new straps back on your existing frame. I recently put straps on, gave my deck a new, brighter, colorful look in just minutes (I can demonstrate), with the right set of basic tools, and the right measurement of the strap. For under $100 I had new chairs, and put it together quickly. Very easy and attractive. Again, I would explain how to take measurements and apply the straps, yourself. Also give info on where to get the parts.
- Taking care of your outdoor fabric: Avoid using bleach on your fabrics. Avoid dipping them into the pool-will cause fabrics to fade and dry out. Use simple products like Fantastic, 408, or even mild dish soap.
- Taking care of iron furniture: Iron furniture often gets dirty and rusty. To clean, simply use a good car wax and buff for a few minutes.
- How quickly can I get replacement straps or slings for my furniture? Roughly ten days.
- Where is a place I can learn more about this? http://www.chaircarepatio.com/. There are other places that do this, too. I can provide those other names on the show. Ship anywhere in the US.
- Are there newer materials that are used today to avoid rusting and fading? Yes. Coated plastic and titanium are popular and don’t rust or blow away in the wind. Treated paints and foam products can be kept out year round, and can be used on tables and chairs. Heavier aluminums function like iron but don’t rust as quickly. Iron is less popular today because these other materials are available and don’t need to be brought inside during the winter months.
- Can I match up the fabrics that I am replacing? Usually, you can’t match the colors because the fabric colors fade over time, and color palettes change. Your best bet is to replace all the fabric on your outdoor pieces, and not just a chair or two.