This article was posted on Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017

Many communal living centers have a crucial problem that many board members and managers never come up with a solution for – A problem that everyone knows will cost the treasury some tens of thousands of dollars for something that doesn’t seem at first like a necessary or urgent investment. The image that a communal living center conveys is a huge factor in attracting new residents.

One thing that many managers and board members often overlook is the appearance of the outdoor living areas that give their valued residents space to get out of their homes and relax in the sun. It is all too common for these outdoor areas to be forgotten about and not given any hard thought when it comes to creating a beautiful outdoor setting for residents to dwell. A huge problem for many apartments, homeowners associations and condominium complexes is that they once had beautiful outdoor areas with new patio furniture that once gave their outdoor setting a elegant and classy vibe – but their furniture has been slowly rotting away from a constant exposure to the elements for years on end, making the furniture look old, tacky, and completely falling apart. After about five years of intense exposure to outdoor elements, most patio furniture will start to fall apart. This is often disappointing to the management that spent tens of thousands of dollars on outdoor furniture that withered away in only five years time.

For most people there is only one solution – buy new furniture! The main issue with this is that buying new patio furniture every five years can cost a lot of money and it essentially wastes the metal chair frames that have nothing wrong with them and still hold their structural integrity. Luckily, there is another solution, restore them! Restoring outdoor furniture can look like a lot of work at first but can definitely pay off in the long run. Restoring your outdoor furniture instead of buying new patio sets can save you thousands of dollars and up to 50% of the cost from buying a new set. There are a couple of ways to go about restoring your existing furniture.

Either hire a company who specializes in restoring patio furniture or do it yourself. The advantage of hiring a business to do it for you is that they can offer other benefits that further put the burden out of your hands by offering a white glove delivery service and warranties for all restored furniture. If you want to keep the cost to an absolute minimum, restoring it yourself is another option. The restoration process for vinyl furniture is surprisingly simple. First, you must remove the existing vinyl straps completely by snipping them in half with a pair of garden snippers and pulling them off with a pair of gloves. Vinyl straps are usually secured by plastic pins that are punched through the vinyl and into the frame of the chair. Secondly, if the frame’s existing paint finish is in bad condition, restore the existing powder coat finish by first getting the frames sandblasted so that the existing powder coat paint finish is completely removed.

This step is crucial if you want the new finish to last for years and be able to withstand UV sun rays- simply over-coating the existing furniture will cause what ever paint is applied to quickly begin degrading and peel off in only about one year’s time. Re-applying paint to the metal frames it is crucial that you use the proper paint. Simply using household liquid paint or spray paint will also cause the finish to wear away in a very short amount of time because the paint is not treated to last many years of wear.

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The proper way to ensure a lasting finish is to use a “powder coat” painting process. Powder coating is a process that uses electrostatically charged powder molecules to attach to the metal and is “baked” onto the frame with a space oven. There are many powder coating services in California and it is very common to have one that is close to you or your establishment. Before you decide to reapply the powder coat, ensure that there is no plastic end-caps or glides on the feet that can melt onto the frame when the final “baking” process is in motion. Once the powder coating process is complete, you are now ready for the final step. Now that the frames have a fresh coat of paint in a color of your choice and you can now choose a color for the vinyl strapping. You can buy this strapping from many different internet sources – a simple google search for “vinyl strap” will yield many results. When you find the strap you’d like to install onto your furniture, you must measure the length that you need for each strap by taking a non-rigid tape measure and wrapping it around the frame one time, starting from where the pin used to push into the frame and extending to the other side of the frame. You will need about 1-½ inch more than the length that it takes to reach the end of the frame where the other pin hole is located. After you know the length that you need to make the straps, cut the amount of straps you will need at the desired length. You can make the holes for the pins with a simple hole puncher that is used for leather belts. After you push the pins through the vinyl, boil some water and throw your vinyl straps in. This will make the vinyl stretchy and easy to install onto the frame. Wrap the vinyl the same way the previous straps were installed. After you install all of the vinyl straps, you now have a brand new piece of outdoor furniture that looks as good as it did the day you bought it.

The benefits of restoring your patio furniture are overwhelming; taking the time to improve the look of your outdoor settings can change the perception of your community living center greatly as well as influence future residents to want to move into your complex.

Collin Lee is with CFR Patio, Inc. For more information, call (909)-397-0050 or email [email protected].  You may also visit their website at