I’ve been thinking all spring about updating our outdoor furniture and since we had so much time on our hands from March – May, I decided it was the perfect project to complete during shelter-in-place. This summer, more than ever, I think we will be home enjoying our pool and backyard. Today I am sharing how to update your outdoor furniture without breaking the bank.
Our pool is 24 years old. I know that because the pool is exactly as old as our son P.J. In fact, I came home from the hospital and the pool company was digging the hole in our backyard. They hit a water line and had to turn off our water completely. Imagine that with a new born – good times! I digress… We were swimming by the summer of 1996 and ordered our outdoor furniture. It’s Brown Jordan and its the Versailles collection, which is cast aluminum. We decided to invest in this brand because we wanted it for the long haul. And yes, it’s definitely and investment! I picked out beige and tan stripped cushions and all went splendidly. For many years.
Over the years, I’ve replaced the cushions with Brown Jordan 3 times and always selected the exact same stripe pattern. They will tell you that the lifespan of cushions is about 5 years if you take good care of them. I really don’t do a very good job taking care of them because we never bring them inside during the winter. So 3 sets of cushions over 24 years seems like a fair deal. No complaints here.
Last winter for the very first time squirrels started to attack the cushions and ruined them. By the time I caught it, it was all over. I started thinking about completely replacing everything we have and starting new. Until I checked the price of doing that. YIKES! I looked around and really never found another brand or style that I really liked and it was certainly not the clean lines I have become accustomed to.So here is how I completely redid the outdoor furniture at a fraction of the cost.
1. I had our painter paint all of the furniture with an industrial enamel paint. It’s Sherman Williams and the color is Caviar. This is also the paint used on the wrought iron fence. He used white athletic socks to paint the furniture (after brushing on the paint with a paint brush). This helps coat all the little spaces, joints and angles. It’s funny, Joe and his crew looked like they were playing with sock puppets while they were painting the furniture.
2. I ordered universal cushions, a new umbrella and pillows from Frontgate. When you do this, carefully measure all of your existing cushions and the furniture pieces to select the best options. I decided that I wanted natural colored cushions by the pool but opted for black cushions for the chairs by the table. I am tying it all together with black/neutral stripe pillows and umbrella.
3. New dog beds for Sparky and Max were a must! I love these from Majestic Pet because they are indoor/outdoor material. This greek key pattern comes in 4 colors and 4 sizes. We have two of them in size small. As you can see, the water run off from the plant is not ruining the dog beds.
4. I opted not to have an area rug. I thought long and hard about this but I love the simplicity of the clean lines and concrete. Our dogs love to be outside and hang out on the back porch. They actually love to lay on the concrete and cool off!
Things I have learned: Because of Covid-19, everything takes much longer to ship. I am still waiting on some of the cushions from Frontgate. ARG! The first thing I did during the month of April while sheltering-at-home and laying out by the pool was rearrange all the furniture. I guess I finally got so bored that I decided we might like the table and chairs on the back porch. You can see by the pictures below that the table seating area used to be out by the pool. We never used it. Now, Pete and I enjoy our morning coffee outside and sometimes eat dinner there. All of that came from one simple change.
The huge cost savings came from repainting our 24 year old furniture. We’re talking thousands of dollars. This is an easy DIY project too. Plus, I placed my Frontgate order when they were having a SALE. The Frontgate cushions are half the cost of the Brown Jordan cushions.
We look forward to enjoying the pool this summer while entertaining outside. I mean, how cute are my customized FROSTED FOSTER tervis tumblers? You can create anything you want by clicking here. I’ve linked everything plus much more below. The BEFORE pictures below will show you the wear and tear on the furniture. A new coat of paint truly makes a huge difference!
xoxo – Tanya
P.S. Be sure to check out how I planted my herb garden in this blog post.
photo: Audrie Dollins
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Tags: Brown Jordan, Frontgate, outdoor furniture, pool furniture
This is an inspiring post! Do you mind sharing how your painters painted with socks? Did they dip the socks into the paint and apply to the furniture or brush paint on the furniture with a paintbrush and then use socks to spread it out?
Great question! I believe they used paint brushes first for the majority of the paint work and followed up with the sock method. I did watch them put the white socks on their hands and dip them into the paint can.
I hope that helps!
Thanks, Tanya! Very helpful! I plan to put this on my honey-do list. We had our pool resurfaced and now it’s time for an outdoor furniture update. Perfect timing for me to read this blog post!
When we lived in Dallas we kept our outdoor dining set under the back porch off the kitchen. We used it al lot. We installed a retractable awning to expand the shade area between the porch and pool. It was expensive but really cooled off the back yard and house. I found this year very well made sunbrella cushions at Home Depot! Every bit as cushy and thick as frontgate for a third the price. Another option I found for custom is Cushion King, he was less than Frontgate and had more color pattern choices. It’s hard to find cushions that fit older furniture since it’s smaller scale than current furniture. I got all my cushions in a soft chambray blue. We have old Jarrah wood furniture we apply teak oil once a year. I had my old cushions for 25 yrs, I put them away.
On a related note we’re planning to install a misting system on our back patio in Scottsdale.
I enjoyed this post Tanya, I think more of us will stay home this summer.
Interesting. I didn’t find Frontgate’s costs to be to expensive. They were certainly much less expensive than ordering cushions from Brown Jordan again.
But I am all for having multiple sources on cushions.
Thanks for letting us know!
Beautiful!!! I love your classic taste.
Wonderful information, Tanya! Ingenious to paint with athletic socks; I even told my husband about it, and he thought it was pretty clever, too. 🙂 I can think of several other painting projects this should work on! Thank you so much for sharing.
Looks great! Just another example of buying quality pieces that are timeless.