Refinishing a Patio Set! Guest

I thought, considering the time of year that this would be a great feature, for any of you wishing for some new patio furniture check out what Nancy from A Little Bit of Love did to this set that her mom gave her. 

Mom: Nance, what do you want for a house warming gift?

Me: Ow, attic insulation would be great.

Mom: No. I will not contribute towards your attic insulation.

Me: Mom, c’omn. Why not?

Mom: Because, I want to give you something glamorous that you could show off while entertaining friends and family (hint, hint) at your new place.


Since my mom is really crafty and because patio furniture can be very expensive, my mom gave me the gift of refinishing a patio set!

On a hunt for a used patio set, I searched Craigslist and all the local thrift stores. I found a dirty patio set at the Habitat for Humanity Store. It was covered in dirt and was at one time white. It seemed a little wobbly but I saw some hope with its $50 price tag and embarked on my first “refinishing project”.

(1) First, I power washed the chairs with a 1500 psi pressure washer that I bought for $100 from Lowes and will use for power washing my fence, patio and pavement too. I thought I would be able to power washer the dirt on the straps off but as I was scrubbing, it wasn’t as clean as I would have liked them to me. If your set isn’t all that dirty, I’m sure it would have been possible. So, I removed the straps and had to trash both the straps and the things that hold them.

(3) After I let the chairs dry, I took a stainless steal brush to get off the flaking paint. The brush costs about $3 and can be used on things like grills, fence, shutters and other tough material.

(4) I ordered pre-cut vinyl straps, end caps to level the table & chairs, and rivets to secure the straps. If I were to do it over, I would order more rivets because they may end up breaking or you may loose a few. I searched various websites and found that this website had the best deal for.

(5) Next, I took my daily trip to Home Depot to get some Rust-o-leum spray paint. For my 4 chairs, base and table, I used a total of 3 cans of primer and 5 cans of brown paint. The painting part was easy and made a huge difference!

(6) I scored a $40 umbrella from American Furniture Warehouse and patio cushions from Lowes.

(LOWES TIP: Lowe’s website may show identical items but different prices. The cheaper of the two will be “unavailable.” To beat the “unavailability”, call the 800 # and request the cheaper ones be sent to the store for you. Fortunately, the store manager honored the price of $30 rather than $50 per cushion!)

(7) My next and final project was to put on the vinyl strapping without reading the instructions on website. Here are some quick tips:

… In order to stretch the straps, you have to put the straps in hot water. I used my electronic hot water boiler and dumped it in a cleaning bucket.

… Initially, I submerged the entire strap. DO NOT SUBMERGE THE ENTIRE STRAP. If you do, you’ll end up wasting many rivets because the plastic rivet gets too hot and bends. I probably wasted at least 40 rivets. Instead, let the strap sit in the bucket like a U. I kept one strap in the bucket while I strapped on one.

… Do one side, and then flip the chair. If you are like me and incapable of hammering in straight, hammering the rivet with the chair in a normal position is
kinda difficult.

… Sometimes, the rivets just didn’t go in. I thought paint might have been blocking the hole, but no. These little suckers can be frustrating. Definitely doable, just frustrating.

… Overall, the strapping took about an hour for the four chairs. It probably would have been quicker if I wasn’t playing fetch with Birmy and if I read the instructions first. Oops.

Level of Difficulty: EASY! Go for it. Try it yourself!

For comparison purposes, here is my cost breakdown if you want to try it yourself.

$50 – Patio Table, 4 Chairs and Cushions
$50 – Approximate cost of spray paint
$50 – Precut straps, rivets, end caps and shipping
$120 – Chair Cushions ($30 each)
$40 – Umbrella
= $310

Some of these costs might not be applicable if you don’t need to replace the straps or already have some piece. Although my original set came with patio cushions, my dog seems like using the smelly cushions instead. He lays on these cushions more than his expensive dog bed. Go figure.

And, here is the official before and after.



And, here’s the complete set

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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. >wow! That looks amazing! I love how paint and a little bit of TLC can make something so much better! Good job!

  2. >that is amazing! It doesn't even look like the same furniture. Awesome job!