March is the time when Midwesterners daydreaming about Spring and all of the outside activities it brings. If you brought your aluminum or wrought iron outdoor furnishings inside for the winter, it’s take time to get them ready for their seasonal debut. Here are three things to do to be ready for the sunshine:
Step One: Clean
Wash and rinse aluminum frames with mild liquid detergent and warm water. This will remove any surface dirt left from last season.
Step Two: Protect
Apply a coat of automobile wax to aluminum frames with smooth finishes to help extend their life. For textured finishes, you can periodically apply mineral or baby oil.
Step Three: Check for Damage
To keep rust away, check your furnishings for chips and scratches. This is the most common cause of rust because it exposes the bare metal to the elements. Touch up any chips or scratches by first gently sanding the area with fine steel wool, then applying a primer and paint. Follow up with a topcoat of wax or clear sealer for added protection.
Outdoor furniture has evolved from picnic tables and folding chairs to sofas, sectionals and dining sets that beautifully mirror their indoor counterparts. That means you can effortlessly design a patio or deck space that reflects your great taste and sense of style. From casual to traditional and everything in between, here are five outdoor styles that will transform your backyard setting.
If your style is casual, then today’s comfortable wicker sofa and chairs would create the perfect atmosphere on your patio. This grouping features a cocktail table and ottomans that double as seating.
If your home is contemporary you will love this dining collection, which features sleek metal frames and striking white cushions. Straight lines and a contrasting palette are the hallmark of contemporary style.
If you love modern style, then you’ll love this stunning sectional. Its midcentury-inspired lines are simple yet sleek, while the light gray cushions are very up to date.
Wooden furnishings can bring a wonderful rustic feel to your backyard, and this sitting area features a modern take. The cocktail table is made from teak boards that have a sense of energy from the wonderful grain, and the aluminum straps and casters add an industrial twist.
If your style is traditional, you’ll set a beautiful table outdoors with a dining set that exudes charm. This grouping was inspired by the glorious French architecture of New Orleans, with beautiful detail work on the chairs and table.
Summer is in full swing, and your deck is probably getting a workout. Keep the good times rolling with some maintenance. Here are three things to do this month to keep your deck in great shape:
1. Check the structure. Inspect your deck for cracks or rot, paying extra attention to areas that are close to the ground or sources of water, such as downspouts and planters.
2. If you see areas that look wet check for rot with a flat-end screwdriver. If you can push it into the wood a quarter inch or more, you probably have rot. Small areas can be removed with a chisel and treated with a wood filler and preservative. Larger areas may need to be replaced.
3. Check the railings. If any area feels loose, tighten the connections. You may need to use wider bolts if the wood has weakened and the current hardware isn’t catching into the grain.
There’s nothing as soothing as a backyard fountain. Not only is it beautiful to watch; the trickling sound creates a relaxing environment. Since it’s outside, this beloved accessory can also get its share of dirt and debris. Maintain its beauty by taking a few easy steps:
- Use a small net to remove debris, such as leaves or insects. This will help prevent clogging the pump. You can also attach a nylon stocking to the hose, to make sure debris doesn’t get inside the inner workings.
- Monitor the water level. On hot days, your fountain can experience evaporation. Since the pump can overheat if the water level is too low, make sure it’s full.
- Once a month, unplug the pump and drain the water. Remove buildup with a solution of vinegar and water and a stiff bristled scrub brush. Wipe clean and refill. Using distilled water in your fountain can help reduce mineral buildup.
Either of these nine-foot striped market umbrellas will liven up your patio and protect you from the elements, but only one will save you some money in the process. Both have an easy crank handle and tilt mechanism, and both feature a double wind vent for stability.
One of these market umbrellas is from Ethan Allen and costs $719, and the other is a market umbrella from Art’s Backyard … and it costs just $219. Can you tell which one costs $500 less?
Don’t get burned. Click here to grab the better deal. We’ve got the look (for a lot less!)