Painting Outside Furniture
In order to prevent your outside furniture deteriorating you need to make sure that you either put it away for winter, and/or repaint it regularly. If you have yard furniture that you leave outside all year round you need to make sure that you weather proof it. The type of paint or preservative you use will depend on your furniture and the weather conditions in your area. With the latest advances in paint technology, you can even paint your plastic garden furniture.
Painting cast iron or wrought iron furniture can be a real chore, as you need to make sure you have removed all the rust before you can paint. Delicate ironwork is also very fiddly to paint so you may want to consider using the latest spray paint technology like HVLP (high volume low-pressure) or airless systems. This makes spray painting much easier as it helps reduce splatter and is simple to use. Cans of spray paint are also good for very small jobs, but if you have a lot of furniture to paint, buying an HVLP sprayer isn't expensive (around $60+). If you need to spray paint a lot of furniture, a gazebo or a summerhouse, why not hire a large HVLP or an airless spray model from your local tool hire shop. This type of system is very flexible too and allows you to use enamels, latex, oil-based paint, sealers and stains as well as varnish, so you can spray paint almost anything quickly and easily. These types of sprays also allow you to spray anything from about 1/2" to 12" wide, which means painting your wrought iron work is a cinch.
While ironwork can easily be left outside, wood needs to be very well sealed and waterproofed, especially if you live in colder, wetter areas. If you stain your wooden furniture, you also need to make sure that you seal the wood after the stain has dried. Some people even take their furniture to pieces before either painting or staining it to make sure that they can completely weather proof it, including all the wooden dowels and screws. In this way, you make sure that all the sides are properly sealed, which helps to prevent the wood warping when it gets wet. However, you have to have quite good woodworking skills to do this. The type of sealant you use is also important as wood, being a natural product, expands and contracts according to humidity levels. Check to see what type of sealant was used before. If the previous sealant was an oil-based like linseed oil, just reapply every year to keep the seal intact. Depending on the type of wood, a shellac or varnish type finish on your furniture can help it last a long time. Another alternative is to use paint designed for wood and repaint your furniture in the usual way.
With the latest type of fusion paint produced by companies like Krylon, you can now spray paint your plastic garden furniture giving it a facelift. This type of product dries in about an hour, but it takes around a week before the plastic is fully chip resistant.
Winterizing Your Furniture
To fully protect your outside furniture during the winter, you need to make sure that it is clean and dry and appropriately treated or painted before putting it away in a dry garage or store room. If you want to leave it outside consider getting patio furniture covers to protect your furniture from harsh weather.