I absolutely love our little slice of the outdoors in downtown Chicago. Our patio may be small, but in the summertime we are constantly sitting out here enjoying the sunny days and warm nights.
But let me let you guys in on a little secret. I left our patio furniture (and all of the pillows and cushions…) outside for the entire year. Yep, rain…snow….sleet…this baby has been through it all. The truth is we don’t have room to store all of our patio furniture indoors during the winter months. Heck, we don’t even have room to bring the cushions, pillows, or rug inside. I don’t recommend this method (Bridget stores all of her patio furniture in her garage), but it’s all that we can do since we live in the city.
How to Waterproof Patio Furniture
So in order to keep our furniture from getting destroyed, I’ve done a couple of things. First, I purchased furniture covers for the couch & 2 chairs. Those stayed on the entire winter and kept the furniture, cushions, and outdoor pillows dry. I also try to put the covers on whenever I know it is going to rain outside or if we leave for an extended period of time.
But to be perfectly honest, sometimes I see the forecast and I have no motivation to run outside and put the covers on our furniture before it rains. Therefore, I added another step of protection.
I bought a can of this Scotchgard Water Shield and I sprayed all of our cushions and pillows.
Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area (this stuff reeks) and make sure you really cover the entire cushion. I ended up going through 1 entire can for our small setup, so if you have a larger space you’ll probably need to buy more.
After doing a nice spray over the front, back, and sides of every cushion and pillow…I let them dry for a few hours.
Then I put them back in place and gave them a test to see if it really wicked the water away. Instead of seeping into the fabric, the water just pooled on the surface into little droplets. Success!
I still plan to cover the furniture and cushions when possible, but if I accidentally leave them exposed I’m happy to know I have a second layer of protection.
I will say that the wood legs of the wicker furniture have seen better days. I think the moisture has really affected the wood. But I’m not too distraught about it. I’m just happy if this furniture lasts for another season or so.
I do have my eyes peeled for a new coffee table out here…preferably a round one. I wanted this one from CB2, but it’s back ordered until August. If you have any suggestions for a nice round table (suitable for the outdoors) I’m all ears!
Our Summer Flowers
Just like last year, we added hanging flower boxes to our railings. The flowers are doing tremendously well! They just love the sunshine back here.
We also planted a hibiscus tree (you can see it in the corner of the pic above) that is slowly dying a sad death. We should have just stuck with palms, as they worked well for us back here last year. At least the hibiscus tree is in a new modern planter!
I also left our rug out here all winter long and it’s doing surprisingly well! I may get a new one if it goes on super sale, but for now, the old one is getting the job done. Black and white stripes just never go out of style.
So lessons learned from this post. Store your stuff inside if you can! If not…cover it and take 15 minutes to spray all of your cushions and pillows. It’s totally worth it.
I’m planning to make some tweaks to this space (a few new pillows, a couple more plants, and maybe a table & rug) over the next few weeks. I’m a little mad at myself for waiting until mid-July to tackle this, but better late than never right?! I’ll be sure to check back in once I’ve made some progress.