Learn How To Revive Plastic Garden Furniture Easily

Imagine this; the sun is out, and the weather is incredible (we know, amazing)! You’re already planning to throw a BBQ for family and friends, and it’s going to be great. Well, it’s all amazing until you uncover your garden furniture and notice the plastic is looking faded, shabby and frankly drab. Don’t worry; you still have time to fix this problem, and we are here to make it easy for you!  All you need to know is how to revive your plastic garden furniture in time for summer!

plastic Chairs and tables with different colours in the garden

Has your garden furniture been sitting out all winter and is looking a little past its best? Do not fear! There are various ways to rescue dirty, worn or damaged tables and chairs, with no replacing necessary. Here’s our guide to repairing, cleaning and maintaining your garden furniture easily and in no time!

How to restore your sun-damaged plastic furniture

Do you have any faded plastic patio furniture? Plastic lawn chairs, patio chairs and tables may get damaged or faded because of the sun they receive daily. The good news is that you can restore their look without having to buy new ones! Keep on reading to find out all you need to know!

How to remove fading from oxidation

To remove fading from oxidation in plastic, you should consider the type of plastic material you are dealing with. Below you will find the best DIY method to treat each type of plastic your garden furniture is made of. 

  1. Use sandpaper and soapy water to restore hard plastic. For the ones that haven’t been painted, fill a bucket with water and soap. Then, dip 150-grit sandpaper into your soapy water and rub your surface in a circular motion. You should cover every faded area around 6 times. Next, get a sheet of 220-grit sandpaper and repeat this process by rubbing it the same way. Cover each section 6 times before rinsing the surface off.
  2. Spray any vinyl plastic with vinegar and water. Start by mixing 5 cups (1 L) of distilled vinegar with 4 L of hot water. Then, pour the mix into a clean spray and take your plastic outside. Hold your spray bottle 0.60 m away from the vinyl, spray it liberally with your vinegar and water and let it sit for 3 minutes. When you are done, rinse the plastic off with cold water and dry it with a soft cloth or paper towel.
  3. To restore softer plastics, use detergent, cleaner, and bleach. You should put on thick rubber gloves and protective goggles when using this cleaning method. Mix 1⁄3 cup (80 mL) of liquid laundry detergent with 2⁄3 cup (160 mL) of an all-purpose household cleaner. Then, add 950 mL of chlorine and 4 L of water and mix the ingredients before adding it to a spray bottle. When your mix is ready and in the sprayer, take your plastic outside and spray their discoloured area. Before cleansing the area with cold water, let it soak for 2-3 minutes. Wash the plastic thoroughly with soap and water after doing this so there won’t be any detergent residue left on your plastic.

woman doing plastic chair cleaning with spray foam

How to repaint your plastic furniture to hide fading

If your furniture has been painted in the past, repaint the plastic to hide fading. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Put a sheet or drop cloth and set your plastic down outside on top of it. 
  2. If there are any surfaces you don’t want to cover in paint, you may use masking tape to cover them up before you start painting. 
  3. Then spray the entire furniture with a spray primer designed for plastic and wait 1-2 hours for the primer to dry. You may also consider sanding a bare plastic surface before priming it, as it could help the primer and then paint to adhere better.
  4. When ready, grab a spray paint made for plastic and hold its nozzle 30 cm away from the surface. 
  5. Apply a layer of paint by moving the can back and forth while holding the nozzle down.
  6. Then wait 1-2 hours for the paint to dry. Also, keep in mind that you can use a brush and acrylic paint designed for plastic if you prefer and even add multiple paint layers to deepen or darken the colour.

Best products for making your old plastic furniture look new again

Although plastic furniture is considered one of the most durable types of furniture, it is unavoidable to age and gets scratches and stains. Don’t worry, though! When they show signs of wear and tear, you don’t need to go to a speciality store to have it restored. You can use store-bought items to transform them into their original state and renew their colour. Here are some of the top ways to make your old plastic furniture look new again:

1. WD-40

You can use WD-40 to clean and maintain your plastic furniture to make them look new again. Clean your furniture and use WD-40, applying it with a microfiber cloth. You don’t need to rinse the furniture after. You should just remove any excess WD-40 from the furniture and let it dry.

WD-40 spray on the ground

2. Plastic rejuvenator

A plastic rejuvenator is a specialised restorer product used to restore the shine and brilliance of plastic furniture. Over time, all plastic chairs, tables, and other patio furniture can be chalky because of oxidation. This product takes care of that and makes your furniture look new even without having to repaint it.

Before applying the plastic rejuvenator, ensure to clean your plastic furniture thoroughly. Then, wipe it dry and apply the rejuvenator using a microfiber or soft cloth. Let it dry and check if you have to apply a second coating.

3. Car wax

Using car wax is another convenient way to restore your plastic furniture to its original beauty. It will add shine and lustre to this furniture that has dulled and faded over time.

Before applying the wax, you need to clean your plastic furniture. For white plastic furniture, remove the stains first using baking soda or chlorine. Then rinse it to remove the residue and let it air dry under the sun. Apply just a thin coat of car wax and let it sit till the wax becomes hazy in appearance. Then buff it away, and voila! Your plastic furniture will now look as if you just purchased it!

4. Heat Gun

This method is a bit more complicated, so you should be familiar with and comfortable using a heat gun before attempting it. To complete the process:

  • Set the heat gun to low or medium, depending on your machine. If in doubt, go with the lower setting so you won’t damage the plastic.
  • In a small section, move the gun repeatedly over the plastic to evenly heat the area.
  • When satisfied with the look of that section, move to another area and repeat the previous step.
  • Repeat until you’ve completed all of the furniture. Just keep in mind to not overheat the plastic, or you could damage the furniture.

5. Vaseline

You may use Vaseline or other petroleum jellies to make plastic furniture shine again. All you need to do is follow this simple process:

  • Clean it well with a mild household abrasive
  • Rinse and let it dry completely
  • Apply your Vaseline
  • Wipe the Vaseline away wholly.

top view of young women using Vaseline

How to clean plastic outdoor furniture

Are there any stubborn stains on your garden or patio furniture? You can clean not only wood furniture but also plastic! Follow our cleaning tips to find out how to make them look new again!

1. Basic cleaning

For basic cleaning, mix dish soap and warm water. Clean your plastic furniture with a scouring pad using a mixture of 60 mL of clear dish soap and 4 L of warm water. Hot water can damage the furniture since it is too hot, and the cold one doesn’t quite cut through dirt and grime.

2. Get rid of grime and mildew with oxygen bleach

The basic cleaning doesn’t quite do the job? Then clean your furniture again with ¼ cup of dish soap mixed with water, or mix in 2 tablespoons of oxygen bleach. If you want to remove mildew, create a stronger mixture with 1 cup of chlorine for every 4 L of water.

3. Spray vinegar solution on coloured plastic to remove mildew

Combine white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then spray, and leave it on for 10 to 12 minutes before cleansing your coloured furniture. Finally, let the sunshine dry it. Vinegar may leave streak marks or discolour older plastic furniture.

4. Sprinkle baking soda on a sponge to remove tough stains

Rub stained areas of your plastic patio furniture using a wet sponge. You should use a non-abrasive cleaner like baking soda to remove the stain without causing any damage. Also, avoid even mild abrasive cleaners as they may scratch the plastic.

Baking soda with sponge and towel on wooden table

How to protect and maintain your plastic garden furniture

Maintaining your plastic furniture is not that hard since plastic is solid itself. All you need to do is just follow a few instructions during their use so you can prevent dirt build-up and abrasion. We have a list of the best tips to help you keep your outdoor plastic furniture look brand new!

  1. Keep your pets away from the furniture as they may scratch the coating or topple over any fragile components of your garden furniture. 
  2. When cleaning the furniture, ensure that you use a natural bristle brush. This will be soft enough to keep it from damage and flexible enough to reach its hidden parts. 
  3. See that those around the furniture sit on the cushions, not on its arms or any other structure. 
  4. Clean the furniture regularly. To prevent damage, a monthly or even weekly cleaning is the best. 
  5. Care for any stains or other significant damage immediately as they occur. 
  6. If your furniture has any legs, place rubber stoppers underneath them to prevent unnecessary damage and splitting.
  7. When rinsing your furniture, don’t use a pressure washer, as it could damage its finish. Instead, prefer to use a hose.
  8. Preserve your plastic furniture with automotive paste wax. You should apply a coat of it to the furniture’s surface, give the wax some minutes to dry, and then wipe off any residue left with a clean, dry cloth.
  9. Keep the furniture indoors or use covers when you don’t use it to avoid direct sunlight and help it last longer and look better.

Big table covered against rain on wooden terrace
Does your plastic outdoor furniture look a bit shabby? Don’t give up on it just yet! It can take just one afternoon to transform it back to being lovely. You’ll see that it’s a satisfying and simple job to do when following our instructions. Plus, it means you don’t need to purchase anything new for your garden, saving yourself hundreds of pounds. Follow our essential tips to make your garden and patio furniture look brand new and maintain it to improve its service life! Get started and make your furniture rest not only your body but also your eyes!

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