I’ve mentioned before that our backyard will be a major project down the road and that we’re planning to enjoy it in its current state without investing in any major improvements until we have an overall plan for renovating the pool, building some sort of patio, putting in grass and plants, etc. Ordering a ton of new outdoor furniture for this summer was definitely not in the cards after our recent renovation, so we happily took my parents up on the offer to get a few more summers out of the outdoor furniture they’ve had for close to fifteen years. I’ve always loved the design of their white wood outdoor furniture, which they bought from Restoration Hardware when they redid the outdoor space at our childhood home. Unfortunately the wood furniture was no match for our weather in Connecticut, and leaving the furniture outside for the first several years resulted in extensive wood rot and peeling paint. But my mom was determined to get us a few more years out of their outdoor furniture and set out to restore it as best she could. We’ll still need to order our own outdoor furniture at some point in the future, but her process made a world of difference and I wanted to share in case any of you have your own old outdoor furniture that could use some help this summer!


restoring peeling outdoor furniture 1


restoring outdoor furniture after


restoring outdoor table before


restoring outdoor table after

What you’ll need:

Step by step:

1. Clean each piece of outdoor furniture with warm, soapy water and rinse off.

restoring peeling outdoor furniture 1

2. Remove peeling paint with paint scraper.

restoring peeling outdoor furniture 2

3. After scraping, use palm sander to sand peeling areas with #80 grit sandpaper.

repairing wood rot on outdoor furniture 1

4. If there is wood rot, dig out the damaged wood.

repairing wood rot on outdoor furniture 2

5. Apply several coats of rotted wood restorer to the hollowed out wood area and allow to dry between coats (drying takes about one hour).

bondo wood filler and cream hardener

repairing wood rot on outdoor furniture 3

restoring outdoor furniture

bondo wood filler

wood fill outdoor furniture

6. Mix wood filler and hardening cream. Apply to hollowed out area, filling the hole. Follow drying instructions on container (smaller areas harden faster; larger areas should be left to dry overnight).

repairing wood rot on outdoor furniture 4

sanding outdoor furniture

7. Sand the newly filled wood area with #120 grit sandpaper using the palm sander.

wood filler on outdoor furniture

restoring outdoor furniture

8. Paint over the filled/sanded area with 1-2 coats as needed and allow to dry.

restoring outdoor chair after

9. Enjoy!

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  1. this is so great to see, Mackenzie! most blogs it seems buy all new stuff every year. This is great furniture and super useful for your readers to learn how to restore it and get more use! This is a reason I love your blog

  2. What a big job but looks so beautiful now. I really like the design of the chair. I think you will enjoy that furniture for a long time. Great of your mother and all her hard work and time.