Choosing and using outdoor furniture

July is the month for backyard parties like one I’m planning for my family. I decided I would need more chairs, but the price of yard furniture at my local home center was too high for my budget.

Then I thought about making some furniture out of 2-by-4 lumber, which is not all that expensive. So that’s what I did, using Wolmanized Extra, a pressure-treated lumber that resists snow and rain and won’t rot.

I also made chaise lounges, tables and a serving cart. All are as easy to make, and you can buy Replacement Seat Cushions in the Internet. My total cost was about half what I would have spent to buy lawn furniture.

The very best outdoor furniture is welded together, not bolted. Acrylic seat cushions will last longer than cushions of polyester. Wrought iron is ever popular for a traditional look but may require periodic touchups to prevent rust. Wicker looks nice outside, but it doesn’t always weather well. Resin weave is a hard plastic that looks like wicker but lasts longer. Cast aluminum is a long-lasting material if properly coated. Some aluminum furniture is coated with a baked-on polyurethane powder coating; others use a textured finish. Teak is a good choice for fans of wooden furniture and for locations where the wind is strong. It ages well and needs little care. Care is needed with any piece of furniture that faces the elements. Keep your outdoor furniture clean and put it indoors or under wraps during inclement weather. Wash aluminum, steel and wrought iron furniture with mild detergent and water; rinse and dry thoroughly. The Casual Furniture Council recommends coating once a year with automobile wax. To clean wood furniture, wash with soapy water. On resin furniture, make a good lather with dishwashing detergent and warm water to sponge on. Do not use an abrasive sponge. For heavy stains, use a solution of bleach and water.

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