We are finally starting to thaw out here after Winter decided to come and dump its season’s worth of snow on us. Every station you watched or listened to or read gave us the warnings. So much so that grocery stores in all of our neighborhoods quickly became social memes after shoppers posted their photos of empty shelves and checkout lines rivaling holiday shopping before the first flake fell.
When it came, it didn’t stop for days. Luckily though we had peace of mind after we took the time to throw on our covers over our patios sets, grills and toys that get to sit out in some of the worst weather of the year.
After the last trip of Fall, my husband and I winterized our trailer and boy are we glad we did! *Fun Fact – since we wanted to give the trailer a final wash before putting the cover on, we used a leaf blower to get the majority of the water off and used soft rags to dry the rest. Worked like a charm! We recommend allowing any thing you are covering to air-dry.
Not long after, we found ourselves thankful we took the time to cover the trailer with our PermaPRO Travel Trailer Cover since 16+ inches of snow came along with ice, high winds and tree branches!
Our Art Director, Dorik Downing, had the same story with his backyard. There’s no question Dorik loves to grill and spend time in his backyard. His ceramic grill, tables and dining sets have our Madrona Patio Furniture Cover Collection on them:
Talk about peace of mind! Although it’s freezing cold, all of our favorite pieces are protected from harsh weather just like this!
Our forecasts are calling for more winter weather coming this way for the rest of February here in the great Northwest so we are extending our Love the Outdoors SALE until the end of the month. Take 25% OFF site-wide on classicaccessories.com no code needed!
It’s August, and while it may seem like summer is winding down, it’s really just getting started. There is still plenty of time left for patio lounging and cookouts, making it the perfect time to take a look at your patio and make some choices regarding your style and furniture. We’re doing a deep dive into everything you need to know about patio furniture materials and tips on what you can do to protect your patio furniture, Classic Accessories’ guide to “all-things patio furniture,” if you will.
Know The Material
In the patio furniture world, seven main types of material exist for your patio furniture, each one differing from the others in aesthetics, movability, durability, ease of maintenance, and comfort, as well as what climates/regions they’re best suited for:
PVC (Poly-vinyl chloride)
Note: Mosaic is sometimes included in common patio furniture materials lists. It is not a material, but rather a construction pattern. Mosaic surfaces are common on tables and chairs, and often combine elements of other materials in its creation. If you are interested in mosaic patio furniture you can check out Patio, Home, and Garden’s product page for mosaic furniture.
For this post we decided to use a scoring system for each one of the factors listed above to give each material a total score. At the end of the day, though, it’s up to you to decide what material you like best, but keep in mind the climate of where you live, as some materials are better suited for some climates than others.
Aluminum patio furniture comes in a variety of styles and can be as basic or as elegant as you would like. With aluminum patio furniture, you have the option of selecting from three different builds: tubular, cast, or wrought. Tubular aluminum furniture is made from hollow pieces of aluminum bent into shape, according to Better Homes & Gardens. Wrought and cast aluminum differ in their construction processes, as wrought material is welded by hand, whereas cast material is made from a cast without manual welding or handling.
Cast aluminum furniture is growing in popularity, according to this HGTV article, due to its contemporary style. Unlike cast iron patio furniture, which traditionally has more classic and elegant aesthetics, cast aluminum furniture can take on any style you desire. You can also purchase aluminum furniture in in a variety color schemes, whereas wrought iron and wood, for instance, generally do not have this option. Check out these products for great cast aluminum outdoor furniture.
The second major selling point for cast aluminum furniture, or really any aluminum outdoor furniture, is its movability. Aluminum is both lightweight and strong. Thus, it can easily be rearranged and fit into small spaces, as opposed to its bulky cast iron and steel counterparts. Full sets including tables are also easy to rearrange to your liking. Here are some great sets of cast aluminum patio furniture.
Durability is another fantastic feature of aluminum patio furniture. Since aluminum naturally does not rust, it is perfect for hot and humid regions and climates. Aluminum can corrode. Corrosion is a form of oxidation similar to rusting that leaves a light coating on the aluminum that protects the material from future corrosion, according to theruststore.com. To limit corrosion, though, as it fades the material’s color over time, most aluminum patio furniture comes with a powder coating that adds extra protection.
One downside to aluminum patio furniture is that it less likely to be durable enough to withstand heavy winds, especially because of its light weight, making aluminum patio furniture not the best selection for very windy environments or regions.
Aluminum patio furniture maintenance is quick, easy, and less frequent (compared to other types of patio furniture). The Home Depot recommends using car wax or mineral oil on the surface for added protection, as well as regularly cleaning with mild soap and water. When your aluminum patio furniture has corroded, though, here’s an article for caring for the furniture, as well as a more patio-specific article.
Tubular aluminum patio furniture will most likely not need cushions for comfort and extra support, as they are already built to be comfortable and ready to use. Some cast aluminum sets have built-in mesh seating, like these options. Other sets of aluminum patio furniture, like these Crosley sets, will need cushions (which can add a fun, creative element to your patio furnishing process).
For this type of furniture, our Mushroom or Spice Ravenna cushions, pictured above, are great color options.
The Weigh-In: Aluminum
Steel has a sleek and modern look, but but less variety in build, style, and color than aluminum. Steel patio furniture works well with residential apartments and more modern spaces (cafes and restaurant patios often use steel furniture). Steel is also widely used as the foundation and/or frame for patio furniture with other materials making up the surface and seats. I give steel then a 16 for aesthetics since it doesn’t have much variety or capacity for build, style, or color on its own, but does look nice when paired with other materials. Here are some examples of steel patio furniture, or furniture using steel as a foundational component.
Movability is a concern when it comes to steel patio furniture. Because steel furniture is built for added strength and reinforcement, transporting it or rearranging it can quickly become a hassle. Fortunately, most steel patio furniture comes assembled, at least according to The Home Depot, so the main hassle is getting it to where it needs to be.
Steel’s strong suit comes in the form of durability. While steel is a rustable metal, it often comes with a powder coating similar to aluminum, according to Better Homes & Gardens, which can resist rusting. Steel, given its weight and sturdiness, is great for windy environments, and is especially well-suited for a cold and snowy climate, like the northern United States.
Caring for steel patio furniture requires a little bit more time than aluminum patio furniture because of steel’s potential to rust. Some companies, such as Target, confirm their steel patio furniture is rust-resistant, but Lowes suggests applying a protective coat of paste wax or naval jelly if the product is not rust-free or rust-resistant. Also, washing occasionally with water and mild soap is good practice for steel patio furniture.
Steel furniture can be constructed in a way to be comfortable alone. For those pieces that are more aesthetic than functional however, cushions can come in handy. For steel furniture, try Empire Blue Ravenna cushions, shown to the right.
The Weigh-In: steel
Wicker furniture has a variety of designs and colors, both in cushions and in the actual material. A trending material, resin wicker has been a popular choice in patio furniture since the 2000’s.
While it appears large and cumbersome, resin wicker patio furniture is surprisingly movable because of how lightweight it is, which makes for easy arrangement and/or rearrangement on the patio.
Durability is an aspect of wicker that is often underestimated and misunderstood. There is a difference between natural wicker and synthetic wicker, natural wicker being made from rattan, a reed-like material, and synthetic wicker being made from resin (liquids extracted from plant matter) according to patioproductions.com. The term “wicker” is also a term used in reference to a type of weave and the actual material is rattan or resin.
Natural wicker should not be used as outdoor patio furniture due to its susceptibility to most any weather condition, such as rain, sleet, or snow. Any form of moisture can damage it. However, synthetic wicker, or resin wicker, is the perfect material for all weather conditions. There are several types of synthetic resin wicker: PVC wicker, nylon, polyethylene, and High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Wicker. According to Patio Productions, HDPE resin wicker is the most commonly recommended type as it is infused with UV inhibitors and made with a high density compound to protect its surface.
To maintain your resin wicker furniture, simply dust it occasionally and, if looking to do a deep clean of the wicker, use mild detergent and water. Here’s a helpful article that looks into more cleaning specifics for resin wicker furniture.
Even though resin wicker furniture is all-weather, it’s still a good idea to invest in a patio furniture cover (something we recommend). While covers really protect rustable steel and iron, covering your patio furniture regardless of furniture material is an investment that will increase the longevity of your furniture and patio greatly. Adding a cover to your resin wicker furniture will keep harsh weather and storms from weathering and doing incremental damage to the material, which is bound to happen–no material is indestructible. Furthermore, our covers provide protection from UV rays to avoid fading and also have built-in vents so condensation on your chairs and tables is ventilated.
Pro-tip: Never leave your cushions out on your furniture while it’s covered, even if your cushions are all-weather. Having cushions underneath your furniture can lead to mildew and mold, even with vents in the cover.
Most popular Resin Wicker styles typically come with cushions of some kind, making them comfortable. Others don’t necessarily come with cushions but make use of the curvature of the furniture form and the natural give in the materials for comfort. If you’re looking to up the comfort on up your resin wicker furniture, we recommend Mallard Green Ravenna cushions, shown below.
Score: 20/20 with cushions
The Weigh-In: Resin Wicker
Wood patio furniture is aesthetically pleasing, particularly teak hardwood. Other types of wood for patio furniture include cedar, cypress, pine, oak, acacia, and eucalyptus. According to Better Homes & Gardens, teak, cedar, and ipe are a few of the strongest, most weather-resistant types. Teak is particularly commended for its beauty, and is one of the most popular patio furniture materials out there.
While wood does not give the owner/buyer as much freedom to personalize their patio furniture without cushions, wood can be painted and stained, which gives some room for custom flare and refinishing.
Wood patio furniture is a split between aluminum and steel in terms of movability. Some pieces of wood furniture will, of course, be easier to move than others (a chair can be light while a dining table will require at least two people). The material itself, though, is significantly heavier than aluminum or plastic.
Wood furniture, especially teak, is sturdy and durable against most weather. Teak produces a natural oil that prevents water and moisture from seeping into the wood and causing dry rot, a wood-destroying fungus. Here’s an article on how to treat dry rot, if that’s a current problem for your patio furniture.
During the winter months, it’s advised for most wood furniture to be stored indoors to avoid damage. Teak is an exception mainly because of its natural oil that prevents water seepage, but keep in mind that a silvery patina fading will occur on your wooden patio furniture, even teak, if you keep any type of wooden patio furniture outside. Some like this accent on their wood furniture, but if you want to retain the original, honey color, consider using a cover.
UV rays also deal damage to wood patio furniture, causing fading, and humidity is known to cause warping in the wood, which makes one of our covers perfect to help keep UV rays at bay and excess moisture out.
As mentioned above, one of the best things you can do if you own or are looking to invest in wood patio furniture is purchase a cover or a cover set. Since teak is one of the few types of wood that you could leave outside year-round (and that is a stretch considering the silvery patina fading that can occur), wood patio furniture should definitely be covered.
Other useful tips to caring for your wood furniture are:
Wood patio furniture alone can be less than comfortable given its solid nature and rigidity, but can be improved with the addition of cushions. Cushions can be a way to add a personal touch to the great, rustic look of your wood furniture on your patio.
We recommend a soft accent of color for your cushion assortment on wood furniture. Check out the Mushroom color way in the Ravenna cushion collection for your wood patio furniture.
The Weigh-In: Wood
Wrought iron is probably one of the best patio furniture selections for a classic aesthetic look, since it can come in a wide variety of designs and has historically been a very elegant and beautiful choice for an outdoor patio and/or garden. Wrought iron patio furniture is normally seen in bistro sets, benches, chairs, and tables. One setback to the aesthetic appeal of wrought iron patio furniture is that it normally only comes in black or grey and therefore does not have much variety in color. Here are some wrought iron pieces if you’re interested in purchasing or upgrading your patio furniture.
Wrought iron is far heavier than aluminum, and is probably on or below par with the movability of wood furniture. Since wrought iron is commonly seen in bistro sets and not full dining sets, movability is more manageable, but moving a bulky bench or table can be a hassle.
Wrought iron is durable because of its strength and weight, which makes it perfect for windy regions. However, iron can rust and while, according to Lowes, “many modern metal frames are rust-resistant and rust-free,” it’s probably a good idea to apply paste wax or naval jelly, as referenced for steel furniture, to prevent rusting if you’re furniture is not rust-free or rust-resistant.
To maintain wrought iron furniture, use the aforementioned rust-preventative measures, and also try sanding over rust spots that appear. Basic cleaning can be done with mild soap and water, but one caveat is that wrought iron furniture has a tendency to develop cracks after some time of use. To deal with these cracks, it’s recommended to apply a paint coat, which may not resolve the issue totally.
Wrought iron chairs, while aesthetically pleasing, are somewhat uncomfortable without the addition of cushions. For wrought iron, dark taupe cushions make for a subtle color accent.
The Weigh-In: Wrought Iron
While plastic furniture comes in a variety of colors, one of its main drawbacks is that its less aesthetically pleasing. It does not look as upscale or great as some of the other options we’ve looked at so far. Plastic furniture does, though, give the owner some flexibility location-wise. Since plastic is waterproof, putting plastic furniture poolside is a common spot, and because of its low price, restaurants and businesses tend to use plastic furniture outdoors. Some outdoor plastic furniture is also made of recyclable material, an added bonus if you’re conscientious about the environment.
Plastic chairs and tables are lightweight and easy to move to suit the owner’s needs. They are also normally constructed so that you can stack them easily.
Another setback for plastic furniture is its (lack of) durability against wind. While waterproof, the odds of your plastic furniture staying in place (or intact, for that matter) are low when dealing with serious weather.
Maintenance is a breeze if your plastic furniture is intact. Simply wash with a mild soap and rinse with water to clean these pieces.
Plastic does not make for the most comfortable chairs out there, and while we reference cushions as a great way to add some comfort to your seating, cushions aren’t normally used on plastic chairs. Plastic furniture can be great if you’re using it for short periods or need to be able to sit relatively comfortably and relocate placement often.
The Weigh-In: Plastic
PVC (Poly-vinyl chloride)
PVC patio furniture, like plastic, is not as aesthetically pleasing or of comparable quality to some of the other materials we’ve looked at. That said, PVC patio furniture is great for poolside lounging since it’s waterproof. Common PVC furniture uses rubber, mesh, or cushioned seating between the PVC foundation, but there is not often a wide variety of colors to be explored as far as the furniture goes.
PVC is pretty movable since it’s lightweight, but not as movable or lightweight as plastic furniture.
PVC won’t rust, but UV exposure will begin to cause browning on its surface. While it’s more durable than plastic when it comes to wind resistance, PVC patio furniture should still be stored indoors during the off-season or covered.
Easy to maintain by washing with soap and rinsing with water. May need additional maintenance with UV discoloration.
Seems that this Spring in particular has come in like a lion for all of us.
With small bursts of blue sky between showers, it may feel a little early to be thinking about warm afternoons outdoors. It’s not too early to be thinking about protecting your patios though. With Spring Specials popping up all over the internet and at your local retailers, reminders are everywhere that Patio Season is right around the corner.
With the warming weather and unpredictable rain squalls, protection should be top of mind after your initial deep clean of your patio’s furniture and grills.
Our friends over at The Home Depot just posted a How-To get your patio ready for Spring:
“Patio furniture provides more than just a place to eat or relax outside—it’s also an extension of your indoor decorating style. The right outdoor furniture should be comfortable and durable and add beauty to your exterior space.
Here’s how to find outdoor patio furniture that you and your family can enjoy:
• Assess Your Space. An expansive deck can be broken up into sections. Try an outdoor sectional on one end and a picnic table on the other. Break up a large lawn with a cozy nook complete with a fire-pit and a comfy conversation set. For a small deck or patio, consider a bistro set, porch swing or rocking chair. Even the most compact outdoor space can be turned into a gathering place with small patio furniture.
• Think About Style. Continue the vibe of your indoor decor outside. A wooden patio table and chairs bring that rustic look outdoors. Add a splash of color with vibrant cushions. For a modern style, select metal outdoor lounge chairs with clean lines and neutral accents. Consider a patio set with coordinating pieces to take the guesswork out of designing the space.
• Consider Comfort. Look for patio chairs and sofas with outdoor cushions made from fade- and mildew-resistant fabric. Adirondack chairs have classic style and offer comfortable seating to admire a beautiful backyard view. Hammocks are a family favorite and provide the ultimate summer relaxation.
• Be Ready for Day and Night, Rain and Shine. A large patio umbrella will provide plenty of shade on those hot, sunny days. For areas with chilly nights, add an outdoor heater to your seating area to maximize its use.
Caring for Outdoor Furniture
Patio furniture sets made from aluminum, all-weather wicker, teak or resin are tough and easy to care for. For a rainy region, resin furniture holds up well and comes in multiple designs to match any style. Wrought iron is also low-maintenance and can withstand a hot, humid climate.
To extend the life of your outdoor furniture set, use patio furniture covers.”
If last week wasn’t enough of a blow … we are still pushing our Snow Thrower Cab and Cover Sale through March 20th with discount code: MarchSnow at checkout on clasicaccessories.com Hopefully our East Coast friends won’t need it much longer than that! The new threat comes after the second nor’easter in a week bringing another round of freezing temperatures and snowfall to the region.
Our roomy and rugged snow thrower cabs protect against the worst weather and snow blow-back. Our Weather-X fabrics are designed to not shrink or stretch and resist both water and snow with freeze resistant SUPER clear vinyl windows.
The cabs easily install with simple hand tools (no drilling required) and come with quick-release springs that allow the cab to be easily removed for transport and/or storage.
End the snow season with our snow thrower covers that provide excellent protection against any mood mother nature is in. Heavy duty weather protected fabric provides all season protection. The fabric is coated for water resistance, repellency and mildew protection. The cover will not shrink, stretch, or crack in the cold.
For best off-season storage tips, here is what Nearsay suggests:
1. Add Fuel Stabilizer
Before filling up your blower with gas, add a fuel stabilizer. This prevents the fuel from degrading with time, keeping it fresh and clean. Without this stabilizer, the gas can degrade, allowing dirt, debris, and other contaminants to damage the engine. After adding the stabilizer, run the engine for a few minutes to ensure it circulates throughout the internal components.
2.Tighten Loose Ends
Throughout its seasonal use, some parts of the snowblower may become loose or worn. To prevent such a small issue from causing major problems, perform minor maintenance at the end of the season. Before storing the equipment, tighten any loose nuts, bolts, and fasteners. Replace worn-out parts and mechanisms, as they may corrode or degrade during the off-season.
3. Limit Exposure
Store your blower in a secure location free from exposure to the elements. Sunlight, rain, wind, and other types of weather can cause damage to your power tool. We suggest placing a specialized cover over it, which will further prevent moisture from accumulating in the machine.
Dreaming of Spring while the forecast is snowing on your parade? Take advantage of our late Winter Snow Sale on NOW through the first day of Spring with discount code: MarchSnow at checkout. Good on ALL of our Snow Thrower products.
Stay warm, stay dry and stay covered with Classic Accessories.
Is there a bigger hashtag than #Fall? Seems that’s all we hear as Summer draws to an end. The days are shortening, the mornings are growing colder by the day, and somewhere someone is watching out for the first PSL (Pumpkin Spiced Latte for those of you who have never heard of a coffee shop called Starbucks) sighting.
Labor day is upon us and everyone always asks, “What are you doing to celebrate the end of Summer?” End of Summer?! We don’t want to put limits on when Summer will end so we are celebrating the Sunny Season with 25% off our entire site for the entire month of September! Just use discount code: PREFALL at checkout.
Now for those plans of celebrating the long weekend. We asked around the building what Classic Accessories employees do for the Summer to Fall transition. What are they getting excited for, what activities are already penciled in, etc. Check it out:
When people talk about BBQ in America, the discussion typically takes a turn towards location. Grilling and smoking are time-honored traditions that have many roots. Some states are divided by sauces, some by smoke, some by rubs and so on. As much as we can chat about the best recipe or our favorite pit to grab a bite, here at Classic Accessories, we take location a little more seriously than a sauce debate. We know the elements can vary drastically just in our lower 48. Since we are in the cover business, we look at what mother nature is serving up season after season if broken down by three of her favorite styles:
When we think of humidity, we think hot, tropical days and nights with moisture in the air that feels heavy and thick. Napoleon Grills reminds us that, “humid can also mean damp, like a foggy day in London,” which we may see more than our fair share of in the Pacific Northwest. Our grill covers are designed with air vents that keep weather out while providing maximum ventilation and minimum condensation. Our covers are also designed to not cover wheel or leg bottoms that hang to the ground. This prevents the cover from sitting in any standing water that is common in coastal climates where heavy rain and snow can be a seasonal detriment. Water, in any form, is a damaging element to outdoor kitchens and we have introduced taped seams into our NEW Madrona RainProof Grill Covers to further keep moisture from barbecues and grills
Dry climates pose another threat to your grill over time with damaging UV exposure and lack of moisture. A cover will prevent dust and debris from coating the grill and finding its way into catch pans where fires can easily be started. When we say our covers are designed for all elements, we took these environments into consideration.
Here are some quotes from various BBQ forums on covering grills:
One of the best things about grills is that they are meant to be used outdoors, so they are built with some of the toughest materials. Even though price tags vary by brand, style and size, all grills have their weaker points as well. This is where a cover can come in to extend the life of cheaper metals and help keep some of the accessories like side tables, tank doors and controls working like new.
From harsh weather to daily use of your grill, you always want to have it ready to fire up at a moment’s notice. There are many tips and tricks to cleaning your grills between parties or between seasons. From informative videos to how-to articles, the last step is always the same no matter if it’s for the day or for the Winter … put a cover on it.
75% of all us adults, or just big kids, own a grill or smoker. That’s a lot when you think about all the different regions. That’s also a lot when you think about all the different kinds of styles of BBQ and grills out there. What’s more is the style of outdoor kitchens and rooms we have to think about too. From small balconies to lavish outdoor kitchens, we know style is one thing you think about when purchasing a cover. Sure the features of the cover are instrumental to how the cover will perform for you, but we know that your grill is just as much a part of your outdoor decor as your furniture is.
We have over 10 different collections of covers, all with unique designer colorways to features. A big part of the design process here at Classic Accessories is keeping our ideas fresh and on trend. One of the biggest we see is the need for design and function have never been more apparent. We are seeing grills with numerous handle, color and finish options. Ryan Bloom, of Urban Bonfire, states that designers that choose to combine “raw cooking power with beauty see the winning combination.” We like to think that our designs nod to both camps. We have the strength and durability built into our covers with the designer features that compliment any outdoor space. Making the choice to cover you grill, barbecue or smoker should be an easy one. Finding the right size and style should be just as easy, and that’s where Classic Accessories can be a part of the solution.
Here’s to gathering around the grill this August with friends and family.
We hope you end the day, or season, with Classic Accessories.
Sources: Pixabay Mercury News Napoleon Grills BBQ Bretheren | The Smoke Ring | The BBQ Forum | Smoking Meats
What a crazy start to Fall we’ve had. Some of us are recovering from storms and some of us are prepping for them.
Watching the weather.com for the mass of rain and wind our region is going to be getting this weekend isn’t the most enjoyable way to spend a few minutes, but it does set your mind to prep mode. Luckily, here at Classic Accessories, we are made for Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer and all their variations:
It’s kinda our gig, and it’s what we do well. When the weather man starts with their warnings, you take it with a grain of salt most times. Wind-Rain-Mageddon 2016! Until you really DO look at your window and are dreading even getting into your car. We prep as we can for power outages, cold temps and what comes of Mother Nature at home. One thing we all know here, you can bet we go home and secure our covers. They are designed and tested for this. Here’s to an interesting weekend, don’t blow away.
More snow?! That’s all we’ve been hearing this week. More snow to come for the East Coast.
Of course our view is from balmy 50+ degree South Seattle. What side of the fence are you on? Either the school kid who looks out the window and immediately thinks of screaming down snowy hills in anything that will act as a sled or the responsible parent who knows it’s better to shovel NOW versus when we need to get the car out of the driveway.
Yeah, if your side is more of the kid’s then we know that MORE SNOW is really MORE FUN!
Now through March 14th take off 20% of any of our SledGear items with coupon code: SLEDGEAR20 at checkout
Martha has some great tips on creating outdoor spaces for entertaining. Whether it’s a full on BBQ or morning coffee outside with a good book, creating spaces with thoughtful purposes is the secret to having a nice flow to your outdoor space. Check out her quick tips on making it work for you and your next gathering: