Patio Furniture Makeover

patio furniture makeover

Update: While this post was written pre-COVID pandemic, I think it’s pretty timely. With most of us spending more time than ever quarantined in our homes, we are probably also spending more time on our patios – so it’s the perfect time for a patio refresh!

While most of the country is getting ready to hibernate for the winter, in Arizona we are busy preparing for what I like to call patio season. We’ve been cooped up in our air conditioned houses all summer and it’s finally time to enjoy our patios. That means weekend brunches on the patio, light lunches on the patio and best of all, cocktails, wine and dinners on the patio.  Sounds glorious doesn’t it? Yes! Looks glorious doesn’t it? Um, no.  


We’ve had this patio set for about 10 years. I’m not quite sure why we picked it, it’s soooo drab. Every year during patio season, I look at it and just shake my head. So finally after 10 years I decided I was ready to get a new one.  I shopped for something bright, something fresh, something…not so $600-ish. Yikes, and that was for a “cheap” set. I forgot how much patio furniture cost. So I thought, ok I’ll just buy some new cushions to spruce it up, that should only cost about $50 right? Wrong! Cushions cost at least $30 a piece (and that’s for the thinnest, cheapest ones) and with 6 chairs, it was going to cost me at least $180 just for new cushions. That’s when I decided this was going to have to become a DIY project. A patio furniture makeover that I wanted to complete for less than $100.

To start, I decided my table needed an outdoor rug. Why you ask? Just peruse the glossy pages of any magazine featuring high-end patio furniture and you’ll see they always have an outdoor rug. Sophisticated looking? Hell yeah! Practical? Hell no! I can barely keep the rugs inside my house clean, so how was I going to keep one outside clean? My first thought was to buy a dirt colored rug but then I remembered I was trying to get away from drab, not add to it. As I shopped for rugs it became apparent that I was going to be spending at least $30 AND still be dealing with how to keep this rug clean. That’s when I had an epiphany. What about using a tablecloth as a rug? They were much cheaper than rugs and when it got dirty I could just throw it in the washing machine! So I found this Threshold Aztec tablecloth at Target for $14.24 and decided to give it a shot.


Next, I decided to change the look of the table and chairs from dull brown to modern grey. So I scrubbed them down with a wire brush to remove all the dirt and grime and then I spray painted the framework with Valspar Project Perfect Rugged Suede Fade Resistant Enamel Spray Paint. To glam it up a bit, I decided to spray paint the tips of the chair and table legs a metallic gold. I already had the gold spray paint so I purchased 3 cans of the Valspar Rugged Suede for a total of $11.94.


Then, I decided to replace the tiles on the table top. They are literally just 12″ square tiles that sit down in the grid work of the table frame, not glued in or anything. I found these light grey tiles at Lowes for $0.99 each. I needed 15 tiles resulting in a total of $14.85.

Grey tile

Next up, those drab cushions. I decided to purchase fabric and sew large body pillow-like covers that I could slide over the existing cushions and then take off and throw in the wash when needed. I got the fabric from Joann and with a 60% off coupon my fabric purchase came to $26.98.  To create the pillows I simply cut the padding off the cushions that wrapped around the back of chair. The wrapped cushion was really not needed and it made it difficult to put my body pillow cover over the cushion. After I cut them off, I created small pillowcases to put over them. To save money, I decided to buy fabric only for the front of the pillows and for the fabric on the back I cut up an old navy blue twin sheet. The pillow fabric cost $5.59 from Joann.  To hang them, I used some grey yarn that I had on hand. I created two large loops around the back of the chair and then simply slid the pillows through the front.

Now for the fun part. Table décor! I wanted to add a runner to the table and I found one at Home Goods on clearance for $9. I took the lantern from our guest bedroom. It had been sitting in there for 12 years collecting dust simply because it didn’t really go anywhere else. It’s always nice to find a new, better home for a décor piece, isn’t it? I did have a pillar candle in it, but after only a few days I found out why pillar candles don’t do well outside. Candle + sunlight = lump of wax. I really wanted a real candle in the lantern, not a battery powered one. So I stole an idea from myself, where I previously used pool noodles to create faux candles for some lanterns. Whereas before I used pool noodles combined with Christmas lights, this time I used a pool noodle and cut the center out so I could place a tea light in it.  lantern-with-candle

I purchased a pack of 4 succulents for $3.98 and created those little pots by cutting and gluing some white textured shelf liner I had, to some silver tins I had left over from a baby shower I hosted. I got the golden rhinoceros on clearance from target for $3.88. I named him Ronnie.  The other golden décor piece is actually 2 old ring holders that I glued together and then painted gold.  

So to recap:

  1. Valspar spray paint rugged suede $11.94
  2. Grey 12″ tiles $14.85
  3. Dark blue fabric for cushions $26.98
  4. Chevron fabric for pillows $5.59
  5. Table cloth “rug” $14.24
  6. Table runner $9
  7. Succulents $3.98
  8. Ronnie the rhino $3.88

And the grand total comes to……drum roll please…..$90.46. Mission accomplished – a patio furniture makeover for less than $100.


And just in case you wanted to see that old patio furniture again (well, no one really wants to see that) here’s a before and after comparison. Ahhh, so much better.

If you’re not quite up for sewing fabric, no worries, you would be surprised at what just a little spray paint can do to freshen up the look of your furniture.

Thanks for stopping by. I hoped you’re inspired to start your own patio furniture makeover. If you need me, I’ll be on the patio.  

Author: Nicole Bolin