Thursday, July 23, 2015

How to Remove Mildew and Stains on Outdoor Umbrellas

Maybe now, your outdoor umbrella might look awful and then you feel a little worried. Looking at it, you wonder if it can get better and bring back its best look. But don’t get frustrated, usually it is just a little problem that can be solved with cleaning. The unsightly spots are mildew and stains caused by tree sap and some bird droppings.

There are many solutions on how to remove mildew and stains. Quick fix and strong cleaning solutions are available in the market these days. But above all of the systematic and fancy ways, let’s talk about the basics. Simple and easy solution works most of the time so let’s get to it first.

Begin by simply washing thoroughly using some mild soap and water. Doing so will help you determine where the mildew and hard stains are. Then proceed to removing mildew and stains by the following procedure.

Mildew and stains from tree sap and sometimes bird bombs are hard to eliminate. This tough job needs a strong cleaning agent, basically chlorine bleach does the job in most situation at home.

  • First, move the umbrella away from your patio or garden, wash it in a safe place where no other objects and live things get harmed.
  • In a bucket, mix 1 cup of chlorine bleach, 1/4 cup detergent soap, and a gallon of lukewarm water. I you need more solution, increase the volume with the same ratio.
  • Apply the mixture all over covering the entire umbrella fabric surface using a garden sprayer or a soft brush. Wear protective gloves.
  • Let the solution soak into the fabric for about 10 minutes.
  • Scrub the fabric with soft bristled brush especially the mildew and stains.
  • Then rinse thoroughly and let it dry.

That’s it, your patio umbrella is returned to its best look. Clean and great looking umbrella gets you shaded sitting pretty in your favorite patio furniture, in your poolside, or at the beach.

Monday, July 6, 2015

How to Take Care of Wrought Iron Furniture

A wrought iron furniture is a popular addition to an outdoor room and garden. Aside from its durability, this type of outdoor furniture has its natural beauty that fits perfectly to an outdoor setup. These qualities can be preserved for a long time if you give it proper care and maintenance which is not that hard anyway.

Cleaning is the most basic routine to keep your wrought iron patio furniture looking good. True to all things, it is the dust and dirt that make the look old and dull. The fine finish and beautiful texture can only be revealed when a layer of dust and dirt are eliminated.

Daily Cleaning
Cleaning your patio furniture frequently is a must to keep them tidy and looking great.

Here’s how to do day to day cleaning:

  • You just need a cloth and it should be soft  and non abrasive so that it won't damage the finish of your furniture.
  • Use a cleaning wax recommended by the manufacturer or just mix water with mild soap and use it to soften dirt.
  • Then wipe out dirt and dust clean.

Thorough Cleaning
For sometime, outdoor furniture can accumulate stubborn stain and dirt accumulates on hard to reach areas that wiping simply cannot help. The best you can do is wash the furniture whole.

Here’s how:

  • remove the cushions
  • spray the furniture wet
  • mix a mild dish soap with water
  • apply the soapy water using sponge or soft cloth
  • use a really soft brush and gently scrub the surface
  • use a toothbrush of tight areas
  • then rinse the furniture using garden hose spray, better if you can get a power spray

Quick Fix
A sturdy wrought iron furniture somehow gets rust and paint problems. Chipped paint and rust are minor problems that have the same easy and quick fix. It is important to perform the solution immediately to avoid the issue getting worst.

Here’s how:

  • buy a touch up paint kit for your wrought iron furniture (You can ask your manufacturer or your local hardware for the right type.)
  • lightly sand the affected area
  • wipe out the dust and dirt, a damp cloth will do and let it dry
  • then apply the paint following the instructions

Protecting your patio furniture will prevent problems that causes it to look awful. It also helps prolong its lifespan.

Here are the things you can do:

  • Keep it in dry place.
  • Put it under a shade or under the cover of a patio umbrella.
  • Provide a protective cover when not in use, or
  • Bring it inside during wet seasons

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to Grow Plants on Trellises

Why grow plants on trellises?
First, climbing plants on trellises make great natural privacy screens for your patio or outdoor room. You can enjoy a private retreat in your patio furniture while the blooming plants on trellises obscurely got you covered. Then, trellises are also a great feature in a garden. With flowering climbers and a beautifully crafted trellis, you can grow a wonderful attraction. Enjoy the flowery scents, the relaxing view, and the fresh air all summertime.

How to Grow Plants on Trellises
Growing plants on trellises is quite easy. First, you need to determine the type of plants you want to grow. Some climbers are best grown in small trellises, while others are great for larger trellises that can serve as sun shade alternative to outdoor umbrellas. Climbing plants also have different sun requirement which is also important to know the best for your yard. Once the type of plant is determined, you can then decide on how you build the trellis, how tall and how large it should be.

Anyway, if you find it hard to start on your own, you can buy ready made trellises with plants from garden supply stores.

Maintenance is an important aspect in keeping your climbers blooming and beautifully formed. You need to routinely prune them to remove dead and damaged branches. You also need to train stray branches so that the plant and the trellis is in good shape.

Here are some basic varieties:

  • Blue Jasmine
  • Blue Passion Flower
  • Creeping Snapdragon
  • Golden Tiara
  • Japanese Wisteria
  • Morning Glory
  • Rosa Mermaid
  • Trumpet Creeper

Monday, June 22, 2015

Easy Ways to Add Colors to a Patio

Much like any other places in your home, you need to give attention to a patio or to an outdoor room too. Improvements in design and decoration are a must if you desired to add more interest to this area and increase its value. One particular enhancement is by adding colors which can be accomplished in different ways. A paint job may seem an easy option but, it is complicated and laborious. However, there are really easy and very practical ways to add color to your outdoor place which we will discuss here.

Basic Colors
Primarily, the color of your patio comes from the paint on the primary structures such as pergola, wall, posts, ceiling if you have one, and the color of the house. Then the color of patio paver and flooring also make huge effects. Generally more on stone color varieties but you may also have bright floor color from using vinyl and ceramic tiles. Majority of your patio color could also be from your plants if you have incorporated gardening in your patio. Mostly greens, but colors from flowers may also have an impact.

Adding More Colors
Before you introduce new colors, consider the basic colors of your patio as we have discussed above. Since it is impractical if not impossible to change those primary patio colors we have, the best we can do is find new colors that make a good complement or contrast.

Today’s patio furniture sets are not just limited to wood and metallic finishes, more of them now come in bright primary colors or tropical paint. There are resin chairs in bright colors, wicker furniture in a beautiful color combo, and the good old wood furniture painted with new unique color and texture that can range from pastels to primaries.

Outdoor Shade
Due to their size and use, outdoor shades have a significant effect in the general color of your outdoor patio area. Patio umbrellas, awnings, and sun shade sails cover a large part of a patio, and since they come in almost all colors and in different combination, they make it easy to make a focal point. Just choose colors that complements with the set of furniture under it.

Pillows and Cushions
The use of outdoor cushions, pillows along with pillowcases is by far the easiest and quickest way to add color to your patio. It is also an inexpensive way to update the color should you want to make a change on the theme. There is a wide array of colors and patterns available and you can even order custom designs to fit on your needs. So availability is not an issue, you just have to choose the right color and design that goes well with your setup.

A rug is a classic item for adding colors especially when it comes to flooring. They commonly come in earthy color tones in many different styles, patterns, and colors but, there are bright colors available now. Placing a large rug underfoot would really make a difference to the color of your patio.

Certainly, there are a lot more ways to add colors to your patio. These are the primary ways and would really make a great deal of adding interest to a patio.

Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Begin Succulent Gardening

Living in a tight and small yard limits us from having a garden to freshen up the place. Most garden plants need a large space to thrive. But still, there are a lot of alternatives. One best option is to begin a succulent garden. This type of gardening don’t need special equipments while in fact some succulents require less water and some don’t even need soil. Because of these characteristics, weeding and fertilizing will not be a problem and you can be away for several days without worries.

Succulents may not be as popular as flowering plants but are extraordinary. You might also be surprised how this type of garden gorgeously display their unique characteristics that can give life to your outdoor place.

How to Start Planting
Basically, it starts with a good selection of pot or planter. There are a lot of options, from garden planters to ceramic vases with holes. The popular choice for succulents are ceramic pots  which can easily be placed on a table and on a patio furniture to make a fantastic decor accent. Teacups also make an excellent planter for succulents, they are commonly seen in a table but with a live plant, surely they make an amazing object. Just make sure the pots or planters have drain holes.

Then, we need to make a room for succulents to grow on. It should be a good combination soil and other materials such as pebbles, rocks, and sand. Place the rocks and pebbles first, it makes it easy to drain away excess water as these plants does not need and does not like too much water. Followed by the mixture of soil, sand and fertilizer. The amount of fertilizer needed can be found in its package. The sand makes the soil a little loose and promotes a good drainage.

Once the new pot and planter is set, get ready for some transplanting. Take the plant from its source and transplant it to its new home. It is recommended to just let a little soil from the source.

What’s next is the easier part. All you have to do is just water them, love them, and you’ll get great results. The first week is critical so you need to give some attention.

Watering Reminders

  • If you are putting them on top of an outdoor furniture, make sure you have a plate beneath each pot to catch the excess water.
  • Do not pour water directly to the soil to prevent erosion. Sprinkle it on the leaves instead using a spray bottle.
  • Do not water them frequently, succulents don’t like too much water. Generally, you can water them every 3 to 4 days.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Best Ways to Maintain a Clean Patio

There are many ways to maintain a clean patio but the best way starts with knowing your patio. From its position, composition, and to its construction, you have to know the exposure to elements, the type of setting whether a pool or a garden is incorporated, the patio furniture you have, and the materials used in building the patio space. Certainly, there are things you must do and must not do to keep your patio clean and well.

Simple Cleaning
It all starts with regular sweeping and washing to remove dirt and keep them from building up. You can use pressure washer to wash away stubborn dirt but not on all types of patio. You can only use high pressure washing on full concrete or tiled patio flooring. If you need to wash bricks and stone patios, just hose them down with moderate water pressure to avoid driving away pebbles, sand, and soil.

Weed Removal
It is best to regularly remove weeds before they invade your whole patio and compete with your plants. Manually removing weeds on a regular basis is a good practice so they don’t overtake your garden or patio and you’ll no longer need to use any special tools and solutions to remove them.

Concrete Patio Cleaning and Maintenance
Maintaining a clean concrete patio requires more than just regular cleaning. This material will also wear down in time from weather and use. The surface eventually cracks and chips away leaving holes that will hold dirt.

Remove all outdoor furniture and start cleaning with a powerful pressure washer to remove hard dirt and reveal the holes and cracks. Once several cracks and holes are noticed, make the repairs right away to retain the good looks of your patio. There are patch solution kits available at you nearest home improvement stores and hardware so you can do it yourself right away.

If you feel it’s difficult or you just don’t have the time and energy, you can always hire professionals to do the job.

Monday, June 1, 2015

How to Repaint a Metal Patio Furniture at Home

Metal patio furniture sets are usually shiny, sleek, and elegant. They are a good choice for a modern or contemporary outdoor setting. However, the looks of this type of furniture do not last for long. No matter how great the paint job, it will eventually wear out.

Luckily, a new paint job does not cost much these days. It is now really easy to do that you can even do it yourself in your backyard. If you have a collection of rusted patio furniture and other metal fixtures, you don't have to throw them away. A good paint job can save your outdoor items and your money.

Here are the basic steps of a good paint job.

Check Up
Checking up begins with some basic cleaning. Start by removing any dirt and loose paint to see if the item is still in good working condition. Scrape off and remove old, chipped, and loose paint using a metal scraper and a wire brush. Use a small wire brush in cleaning hard to reach areas especially the corners and the rounded parts of the furniture..

Cleaning and Smoothing
Once the condition of the pieces is thoroughly checked and you found it is still safe to use, then we’ll do the final cleaning. First remove any rust from the surface. Use a sander for a quick job on flat surfaces, then manually sand other parts that cannot be catered with the sander. Wipe off the surface with sponge and water to remove dusts and dirt. Making sure the item is completely clean is very important to get a smooth finish and to help the paint adhere really well.

Painting Job
Painting and refinishing is done in two parts if you want to get a lasting result. First, you need to prime the surface. The primer has the ability to adhere to the metal surface well compared to normal paints.

Prepare the area before you start the work. Make sure there are no other items close by that you don’t want to be stained with paint. Spread some newspapers or other materials to cover the ground. Start the painting job after you secured the area.

First, apply a thin coat of primer onto the metal surface then let it dry. After the first coat dried, apply another coat of primer. This adds a better protection for your metal patio furniture especially if it is made of iron and very vulnerable to rust.

When the primer is dry, your furniture is ready to take its new look. It is cool to try some new interesting finish but of course, you still need to match it the old one if it is part of a set. It is best to apply a very thin coat of paint, let it dry and then coat a thin layer again. It is best to build the paint layer little by little until you get the desired coating.

These are the basics and should help you achieve great results. The only thing you need to make sure now is the quality of primer and paint. Be sure you choose the right type for your outdoor furniture.