What Kind Of Paint Do I Use On Wicker Furniture Tips on Choosing Outdoor Furniture and Fire Pit Furniture

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Tips on Choosing Outdoor Furniture and Fire Pit Furniture

When choosing outdoor furniture it is important that your choice is resistant to the type of weather conditions you would expect from the area in which you live. With respect to fire pit furniture, give your fire pit just that – respect. Many forget they are dealing with an open fire, so here are a few tips to help choose outdoor furniture that lasts and is also safe.

1. Check out Your Space

Measure the space available to you. If the furniture is restricted, such as on a patio, then make sure you don’t buy more than you can fit. Measure the table and add an extra 2 feet to that for the chairs. Also keep in mind that another 2 feet will be needed for walking space behind the chairs. If a wheelchair is involve it will need 60 inches turning space. A fire pit will also take up space.

If there is no room planner on the seller’s website, then make sure you get the dimensions of each piece you intend purchasing, and then measure it all out on your patio before you buy. If you are stuck for space, then a sofa will save room over chairs, and bar stools and a bar table will save even more.

2. Decide on the Furniture You Want

How many people do you want to cater for? Will a small table for 2-4 do or do you need a larger table – or several smaller tables? Do you need umbrellas for shade and is any storage space required? How about storage for your outdoor furniture? Do you have room inside or in your garage?

Among your options are benches, chairs, loveseats, coffee tables, cocktail tables, end tables, loungers, rockers, patio swings, hammocks and a fire pit. You would need a huge patio to fit all these! How about cushions, and what material will your outdoor furniture be made from? Here are some tips on materials:

3. Tips of Materials for Outdoor Furniture

a) Plastic: plastic is cheap and cheerful and available in almost any color you can think of. It can be molded to any shape, and can often be stacked. However, it has three major drawbacks:

i – It is light, and can be thrown about in high winds. You may wake up one morning to find it all gone – or floating out to sea if you have a beachside home.

ii – It is easily damaged and stained. Excessive heat and moisture can damage plastic furniture, as can exposure to moisture which will create water stains. These cannot be removed. Avoid plastic for fire pit furniture.

ii – Your visitors’ perception of you will be influenced by your plastic outdoor furniture. This is not always warranted because many people choose plastic because it easy to stack and store in winter, and is also light making it easier for the elderly to handle.

b) Wrought Iron: This material is very durable, and will only need an occasional lick of paint to keep it in top condition. It is strong, but subject to corrosion (rust) should the paint be penetrated in any way. Keep an eye out for any rust bubbles. Wrought iron is also heavy, so may sink into soft surfaces such as grass and sand.

c) Aluminum: Aluminum is much lighter than iron, so is more suitable for gassy areas – it is also resistant to corrosion, but can oxidize. Prevent oxidation with paint or car wax. It can be distorted by impact and is not as durable as iron.

d) Wicker: Wicker is lighter than aluminum but heavier than plastic. Genuine wicker outdoor furniture is formed by weaving natural plant fiber around a frame into the form of the furniture. The best wicker furniture is made using a framework of teak, while cheaper grades use frames of steam molded rattan. The frame will eventually rot away if not protected from damp conditions.

e) Resin Wicker: This is wicker made from plastic that is woven round an aluminum or thick plastic frame. It is coated to look like the real thing and is more durable and lightweight, and easier to clean than real wicker.

f) Solid Wood: Wooden outdoor furniture looks good, although wood changes in color and appearance when exposed to the elements. The surface should be sealed if the original appearance is required. Common woods are mahogany, eucalyptus, teak, cedar, redwood and cypress. Cedar is very common for garden outdoor furniture due to its natural insecticide and preservative, although this type of North American wood lasts for about 10% to 50% of the lifetime of the first three tropical woods.

Finally, if you intend using cushions, make sure that the material is lightfast and enables good ventilation through the entire cushion. Make sure they are double-sided so you get the best wear from them.

Fire pit furniture fundamentally follows the above guidelines, although if the wind turns it can be subject to sparks. You should therefore avoid plastic and go for genuine rattan or hardwood. Otherwise, the same general principles apply.

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