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Restoring Faded Patio Cushions with the Kids

Now that my kids are 15 and 17, I can’t exactly enroll them in vacation bible school or cooking camp like I used to! They work jobs, but they are usually home during the day and gone in the evening. This was a fun project we all enjoyed because we got an old patio set off of Craigslist and bought a propane firepit. The whole time my daughter was painting she was thinking about S’mores! All together our new patio set “set” us back about $635.

  • $400 patio sectional
  • $150 firepit
  • $35 turquoise (Carribean blue) fire rock
  • $15 paint
  • $20 fabric medium
  • $15 sandpaper and failed bottle of spray paint

What you will need:

  • Latex paint
  • 8 oz. Folk Art Fabric Medium (we used 6 bottles)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Containers for paint (we used a Progresso soup can and a grape juice bottle)
  • Water

My first experiment was with spray paint that said it could be used on fabric. However, it took one can just to paint one side of one cushion! It was too crispy and I didn’t like the colors it came in. We never actually used the sandpaper to sand the surfaces in between coats because there were so many coats! We figured the seats would soften up over time being out in the elements. I used sandpaper when I painted a pair of suede shoes to roughen up the knap on the suede and they turned out swimmingly well! However, since these cushions are smooth, we were lazy and didn’t take the extra step to sand. Because the paint was watered down with the fabric medium they weren’t crispy.

Jordan gave me some flack about being on camera of course, but I understand that she has a “prickly” side to her since she is all logic and free-spirited. Nathan, on the other hand, is a rule follower who needs to advocate for himself more.
UNDERSTANDING the temperaments of your kids, your husband, your parents, your siblings and friends can open up a whole new level of closeness or even forgiveness in many cases.

Our very first night with the restored set was a hit! Jordan got her S’mores with variations. Strawberry marshmallows, Cookies and Cream Hersheys with chocolate graham crackers! Our next project might need to be pulling the old tent out of storage for a back yard camp out!



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