by Gregory Rehorn / Published June 2015
Why buy new when you can return your existing, outdoor furniture to a like new condition? Most people I ask that question to are amazed that there is such a thing as outdoor furniture refinishing. Refinishing existing furniture is not limited to just sling and strap, but can also include wrought iron, cast, and steel. The greatest advantage to refinishing your existing furniture is the lower cost when compared to buying new. Generally, the cost savings are an average of 50 percent and will look just as good as new in most cases.
Whether just a few years or many years old, outdoor furniture, depending on the environment it is in, will eventually need to be spruced up or replaced. Many people have a tendency to believe once they have had their furniture for a period of time or once it has become not so nice to look at anymore, it has lost its value and will need to be replaced, which could not be further from the truth.
Sales Manager, Florida Patio Furniture, Inc.
As a manufacturer also, I take every opportunity to sell a client new furniture, but if a community or individual has existing, quality furniture, it would be immoral of me to not try and save them money. This is especially true when the end results of refinishing will return their furniture to a like new condition and will allow them to utilize the money saved for other needs.
When might someone consider having their furniture refinished? You should consider it when your existing finish is cracked, peeling, or chipping. If there are signs of bubbling under the finish and/or a white, chalky substance called oxidation, then certainly refinishing is necessary.
Another reason to consider having the furniture refurbished is if you see signs of rust, which is common on wrought iron or steel. Refinishing is not only limited to furniture, but can be utilized to make many, different items look new again. Decorative steel items, metal fencing, gates, and automotive wheels, just to name a few, are great items to have refinished. Another reason refinishing may be considered is if you move or paint your home a different color, then you can change your colors on the furniture to match.
The process for refinishing re-quires several steps, but once completed it is very difficult to tell the two apart. The furniture is first stripped of all sling, vinyl, and plastic parts. A preliminary measurement of the vinyl and/or fabric is taken for new materials to be applied in the final stage. The stripped frame is then taken to the sand blast booth where the original finish is removed using coarse sand. The sand will remove the existing finish without causing any damage to the frame. Once blasted, the frame is inspected thoroughly for any cracks in the welds, and if cracks are found, they are repaired to ensure the best structural integrity. After any weld repairs are performed, the frames are then checked to see if replacement hardware is needed. If so, the hardware is replaced with new, stainless steel, which will not rust. The furniture then moves to the pre-powder coating process, which is where a final inspection of the frame is performed before applying a new finish.
Powder coating is a process in which a polyester powder is applied to the frame using an electro-static machine. Once the furniture is properly coated with the required thickness of powder, it is placed into an oven and baked with a minimum temperature of 400 degrees for the required curing time based on the color. After the frames are cured and are cool enough to be removed from the oven, they are transferred to a finishing area where they are first inspected, wrapped with a protective paper, new vinyl or fabric is installed, and, if available, new feet and end caps are put in.
As you can see, having your furniture refinished will result in the same look as buying new, but with a substantial savings. One might also think that wicker furniture cannot be refurbished, but now it can. First, the surfaced is cleaned and prepped for painting. Then a special, clear bonding agent is applied ensuring the surface will ad-here securely to the prepped surface. Although a liquid paint is used as opposed to a powder, the end results are the same. The finished product will look as close to like new as possible, and will prolong the life of the furniture.