Summary: Well maintained patio and outdoor furniture will last years. Read on for instructions how to freshen up different finishes.
There are two ways to freshen up wrought-iron. Often, all you will need is to apply a rust-resistant primer, and then a fresh coat of paint. However, if you see that the rust has spread, then get a professional in to sandblast and paint the piece.
Wooden outdoor furniture needs regular cleaning to maintain its finish. To keep the furniture looking fresh every season sand and apply a coat of varnish at least once a year. Note that different types of wood might require different types of varnish.
Synthetic wicker does a very good job handling exposure to the elements. Just make sure to clean wicker regularly to remove dirt and debris. On the other hand, natural wicker should only sit in the shade and sit outdoors for short periods of time.
Bamboo, like natural wicker, does not survive the outdoors for long. Always keep it in the shade and bring it indoors after use or it will start to split and separate.
Plastic furniture tends to scratch and shows signs of wear easily. Giving it a new lease of life involves finding paint that is specifically for plastic that dries fast and is easy to apply. Any other paint or finish will eventually peel off.