Furniture Makeovers

8 Ways to Easily Refresh Over-the-Hill Patio Furniture

Hello Friends,

Raise your hand if you wish your patio looked like the photos from Pottery Barn? Or Home Depot? Or Lowe’s? 

Well, I hear ya. There’s just something about the winter that makes busting out the patio for Spring and Summer a refresh must —a dirty, time-consuming must. Ugh. But take heart. To make the job easier, a few simple ideas for refreshing several different kinds of “over-the-hill” furniture are here to help.

So let’s have a look.

Porch swing painted with milk paint | The Chelsea Project |

8 Ways to Easily Refresh Over-the-Hill Patio Furniture

We all know that patio furniture comes in all shapes and sizes —and is made of a gazillion different products. Because of this, I spanned the gambit for easy ways to get that sad sack of a patio set ready to rock out the Spring and Summer.

To Pin guest photos, please click over to the blogger’s post so that the tutorial connects directly to the photo.

Woven Fabric

One of my super-talented bloggy friends saved her 10-year-old patio set made of woven fabric by painting it! Yes! And the change is totally amazing. To see the full tutorial, please click here to visit Leanne over at Diva of DIY.

Painted sling back chairs by Diva of DIY |

Wrought Iron or Aluminum

Anybody have a patio table set made of wrought iron or aluminum? Is it grody from living out in the elements or faded from the sun? Does it look anything like this?

BEFORE: Outdoor patio furniture is prepped for painting | The Chelsea Project |

This is actually my set that had been out in the elements for about 6 or 7 years. It was in great shape except for some pitting on the arms of the chairs and fading. So last Fall, this little set got the full-monty of outdoor furniture makeovers. If you ‘d like to see how I easily achieved a do-it-yourself factory finish in two afternoons, please click here for the tutorial.


However, if your set is metal, getting the finish you need is a little bit harder. Wendi from H2O Bungalow provides an excellent tutorial for cleaning, priming, and painting so that the refresh will last. Please click here to link to her blog post.

How to Spray Paint Metal Patio Furniture by H2O Bungalow |


For all sad and weary sets made from teak, just hold the phone. A great post on cleaning and sealing outdoor teak furniture by Lisa, from Shine Your Light blog, will rock your world. To read the full tutorial, please click here.

How to Clean and Seal Teak Patio Furniture |


In case your heartache is broken down wicker, my friend Toni, from Small House Soul, covers repairing and painting wicker in this one post. Click here to see the before, during, and after.

Wicker repair and paint |


— Side Table —

I continued my patio makeover by refinishing a side table that the Hubs found at a garage sale. And, based on the bowing wood, it had been wet. Really wet.

BEFORE: Wood furniture - no matter how rough - can be painted and protected so that it can live outdoors | The Chelsea Project |

After a good cleaning and some sanding, the table was painted and sealed so that it could live outdoors. I will tell you that I do not leave it out all of the time, although the paint manufacturer assured me that it was ok to do so. To see how this little table got ready to tame the wild outdoors, please click here.

AFTER: A highly damaged wood table gets a new life with some special paint and poly | It's now ready for the outdoors | The Chelsea Project |

 — Beverage Cart —

My friend Marie, from Interior Frugalistia, refinished an old table and, with a few easy change-ups, coverted it into a rolling beverage cart for the patio. Because the change-ups are so easy, I categorized it as an over-the-hill refresh rather than a rebuild. You can see the before and the full tutorial by clicking here.

Convert a table into a patio beverage cart |

— Weathered Wood Bench —

A couple of years ago, this wooden bench was rescued from the elements out on the back forty and given a new lease on life with a good cleaning, some stain, and some paint. To review this easy distressing process, please click this link.

Sunroom Bench Makeover - Chalkpaint plus five different fabrics breathe life back into this weathered bench. | The Chelsea Project |

— One-Hour Cushion Slip-Cover —

Then the seat cushion was recovered using a super-slick, easy-to-sew method. If you have outdated seat cushions, please click this link to check out the post.

Sunroom Bench Makeover - Five different fabrics come together to add interest to this chalkpainted bench | The Chelsea Project |

Ta Da 

And that’s all there is to it. Eight ways to revive over-the-hill furniture plus an easy cushion cover. What more could you ask for?

Seriously, what more? 🙂

If you have an outdoor furniture problem that wasn’t covered in these posts, please leave a message in the comments. We will see if we can figure out the problem and get your set up and running.

In the meantime,

There's help for over-the-hill patio furniture | 8 Ways to Easily Refresh Patio Furniture | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject .com





  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 June 13, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    This is a fabulous post with good information.

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 14, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Hi Debra and thanks! So good to have you stop by! XOXO

  • Reply Wendi @ H2OBungalow June 14, 2017 at 6:12 am

    This is a fabulous post! Thanks so much for including my metal patio set makeover in your round up. I loved the painted mesh patio set from Leanne and am a little upset with myself for tossing one similar to that in VT a few weeks ago! If I had known I could make it looks so darn cute I would have kept it! Pinned and sharing on my FB page 🙂

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 14, 2017 at 7:38 am

      Hi Wendi and thanks! Ohhhh. Makes me sad about your tossed set. I should have been working faster!! So very sorry. And you are very welcome. Your tutorial for cleaning and priming before painting metal furniture was the best I found on the net. Kudos to you, girl.

  • Reply Mary-The Boondocks Blog June 14, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Very informative post Suzy! And we all need this info at this time of the year! Sharing!

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 14, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Mary and thanks so much! YOu’re a doll!

  • Reply Marie|The Interior Frugalista June 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    This post is so informative Susie and loaded with great tips! Thank you so much for including my very handy dandy Rolling Beverage Cart 🙂

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 14, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      My pleasure, Marie. That table was definitely over-the-hill before your worked your Marie-magic on it! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Toni Harvey June 14, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    So many great tips for saving what we have and giving them a new life. Thanks for including my little wicker table <3

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 14, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Toni and thanks! Hope the info is helpful to lots of folks!

  • Reply Nancy June 15, 2017 at 11:41 am

    All of these makeovers are great! This just goes to show you can always breath new life into something.


    • Reply theChelseaProject June 15, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Hi Nancy and thanks! Yes! I totally agree. There’s always a new life just around the corner.

  • Reply Michelle James June 15, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    I love these. I really need to do something to my metal table and chairs. Thanks for the round up!

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