Putting pizzazz back on the patio


Written by: The Foam Factory

Eventually, even the best kept outdoor furniture is going to start to show its age. The sun bakes outer covers and thread. Rain and dew seeps into the foam allowing mildew to get a foothold. Foam breaks down and compresses and before long something must be done.

Stay or Go

A thorough assessment is needed before deciding to redo patio furniture. If the frame is thick-walled, solid tubing with no cracks or rust, or a sturdy wooden framework, then it is likely cost efficient to redo the cushions rather than buy new. Frames can be repainted or re-stained and new cushions put in place. Discount and big box store furniture is usually better off left at the curb as trash and replacement furniture purchased.

Is it DIY?

Yearly cleaning of patio cushion covers is not a problem. If the cover and foam is in decent shape, a good spot cleaner such as Simple Green or Oxy Clean with a soft bristle nylon brush will remove most stains and dirt from the fabric weave.

If the cover unzips and can be pulled free, new foam can be inserted. Quality, high-density foam will keep a new cushion lasting for years. Ideally, using marine dryfast foam is the best. The foam is porous and allows moisture to wick through the cushion and reduces mold and mildew buildup. Replacement foam should be cut about a half inch bigger than the cushion using a band saw or electric bread knife. Folding the foam in half will help with fitting it into the cover. Spray silicone on the corners also helps smooth out the foam.

Custom Made

If the cover is rotted and needing redone, it is best to have the cushion professionally made. Home-grade sewing machines are no match for the heavier materials used in outdoor furnishings, boat covers and heavy clothing. Upholstery shops use a walking foot sewing machine that can sew through heavy layers of material.

Most upholstery shops are equipped to sew heavy material such as outdoor foam cushions. A marine grade top cover is pricey, but affords years of trouble-free use. Sewing with marine-grade, coated thread keeps the cover holding together through the harshest sun and rain conditions. A woven bottom panel allows moisture to dissipate for years of service.

Freshened up outdoor furniture will make your patio or yard sparkle when warm weather returns.