Category Archives: Renovation Tips

How to Stain Outdoor Furniture [Our Expert Guide]

How To Stain Outdoor Furniture

Staining outdoor furniture can bring new life to weathered and worn pieces. Wondering how to go about it? Staining outdoor furniture requires cleaning and preparing, stripping the old finish, sanding, and then applying the new stain. Learn more about each of these steps for how to stain outdoor furniture in the guide below.

 

How Do You Stain Outdoor Wood?

As we mentioned above, staining outdoor wood furniture involves preparing the wood, stripping the old stain, sanding, and applying a fresh stain. But before you do any of that, it’s important to make sure you have the right supplies.

 

Supplies

A natural-bristle brush is best for oil stains, while a synthetic-bristle brush is ideal for latex stains. Buying the proper brush will ensure the stain goes on evenly.

 

Preparation

Once your supplies are all ready, take care in preparing for the staining process. Preparing the wood the right way takes time and patience, but it will be worth it when you see the final results. Likewise, a rushed job will be obvious when staining outdoor furniture. Prepare the wood by:

1. Removing parts you don’t want to stain (like metal bolts or nails).

2. Clean dirt and mildew off the wood.

3. Allow wood to dry.

 

Stripping

Stripping the stain requires a well-ventilated workspace. Set out a drop cloth and use a sander or chemical stripping solution to remove the old stain. Use a fine-grit sanding sponge to work around delicate or curved areas of the wood. If using a stripping solution, let it soak for about 20 minutes before removing the finish with a scraper tool.

 

Sanding

Sanding will allow you to clean off any remaining stain and smooth out the wood to prepare it for the new stain. Always sand in the direction of the wood grain. Clean the wood with a dry rag to get rid of any sanding dust before proceeding.

 

Staining

Now it’s time for the main event. Choose your stain and then apply it by using the proper brush and a rag for blending each section. Start at the top of the furniture piece and work your way down.

 

How Do You Refinish Outdoor Furniture?

Outdoor furniture can be refinished in a variety of ways, including staining, painting, or waterproofing. Staining is one of the most popular choices for refinishing because it’s a natural-looking option that won’t chip and will stand up well to the elements.

Staining requires cleaning the wood, sanding off the old stain, and applying a fresh coat of the new stain. You can choose a similar stain or a completely new color.

If you choose to paint, be sure to apply at least two coats and an outdoor sealant as the final coat.

 

How Do You Weatherproof Outdoor Furniture?

Waterproof wood furniture as one of the best ways to protect your outdoor furniture pieces. To effectively waterproof your furniture, you’ll first want to research your options for sealant. Some stains come with a waterproof element, while others require sealant as a second coat.

The sealant can be applied by sanding down the wood and applying one layer of primer, followed by one layer of sealant. This will protect your wood from rain, wind, and sun damage.

 

How Do You Treat Wood For Outdoor Use?

Now you know how to stain wood on your outdoor furniture. But did you know you can also repurpose indoor furniture for outdoor use? Simply follow the steps in the previous section for weatherproofing your furniture, and your indoor pieces will be ready for use outside.

 

Do’s and Don’ts of Staining Outdoor Furniture

Even if you’ve never stained outdoor furniture, you can do the job right the first time with plenty of research and care in each step. Here are some do’s and don’ts to remember:

  • Apply your stain at room temperature. If the stain is too hot or cold, it will ruin the consistency. Most stains should be applied around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but make sure to check the label.
  • Use even and smooth strokes. This will produce a natural and consistent color once the stain dries.
  • Apply your stain in a dry climate. If possible, avoid applying the stain in a humid area, since this will make it hard for the stain to dry. In the case of rain storms or extremely humid days, delay your staining project until the air dries out.

 

Get More Tips

Is your outdoor furniture in need of a refresh? If you’re looking for a change, check out RST Brands’ collection of outdoor furniture. We offer high-end outdoor sofas, dining sets, and more to suit any backyard.

5 Essentials for Your Backyard Remodel [Plus July 4th Discount]

5 Essentials for Your Backyard Remodel

Summertime has finally arrived, and with it, longer days, warmer nights, and every reason to spend more time outside. Create a comfortable outdoor space for you and your loved ones to enjoy with these backyard remodel ideas.

 

Outdoor Dining

Pool parties, summer BBQs, family get-togethers–there are so many different occasions for which an outdoor dining set will come in handy. You could set up a couple of folding card tables before your guests arrive, or you could invest in a quality outdoor dining set that will serve you and your guests for many seasons to come.

Use these ideas for backyard updates to create the perfect outdoor dining area:

  • Design a space that can comfortably seat the average number of people who will be using it the most. You can store additional tables and chairs for bigger events.
  • Surround your dining area with pest-repelling plants to keep those bugs from impeding on your evening. Try petunias, lavender, marigolds, and other fragrant greenery.
  • Protect your dining set with outdoor furniture covers when not in use so you can keep it in prime condition year after year.

 

Fire Feature

Is there anything better than roasting marshmallows over a fire on a starry summer evening? Bring that joy to your own backyard by adding a brand new fire feature. You can buy a stunning fire table that will match the rest of your beautiful patio perfectly, or you can build your very own out of old brick!

Here are a few tips for adding a fire feature to your backyard remodel:

  • Plan your backyard design before you choose your fire feature, so you don’t end up with clashing color schemes or styles.
  • Replace those bland fire pit rocks with glass fire rocks for a lovely and affordable upgrade.
  • Choose a fire feature that comes with a cordoning ledge — like these fire tables — so you and your guests have somewhere to set your drinks, plates, and s’mores fixings. This also makes for a nice footrest that won’t melt the bottom of your shoes!

 

Shading

While summertime typically provides enjoyable weather, sitting outside beneath the sun’s beating rays can quickly become uncomfortable. Don’t forget to consider shade as you plan your backyard remodel. There are a number of different ways you can do this, so we’ve provided you with a few options below.

  • For quick and easy shade, opt for a durable patio umbrella that you can easily move as the sun strolls across the sky.
  • For a more permanent fixture, you may want to consider adding a patio awning to the structure of your home.
  • Plant some tree saplings around your patio for a long-term solution and a beautifully natural way to shade your backyard.

 

Comfort

If you want to create a space that people will actually make good use of, then you need to make it comfortable and hospitable. Forgo the cheap plastic lawn chairs and complete your backyard remodel with a high-quality outdoor furniture set. Use these tips to blend comfort and function.

  • Purchase a complete patio furniture set; that way all of your pieces coordinate with your overall design, rather than creating contrast between the mix-and-match.
  • Don’t be afraid to get soft, plush, deep-seated sofas, chairs, and loveseats. Not only will you and your guests thoroughly enjoy spending time outside, but you can keep the fine furniture protected with durable covers.
  • Measure your patio space and double check your measurements before you place an order for a brand new furniture set.

 

Little Details

Last but not least, don’t forget about all of the little details that complete a backyard remodel. It’s the little things that can make the biggest difference, so take these additions into consideration as you’re wrapping up your big backyard update!

  • Lighting
  • Landscaping
  • Entertainment options, such as a hot tub, in-ground trampoline, etc.
  • Accent pieces, such as table centerpieces, fire glass, or end tables.
  • Outdoor furniture covers to keep your new patio set looking gorgeous for years to come.

 

Save Big on Your Backyard Remodel

Are you looking for the perfect outdoor furniture set to top off your remodel? Save big with our 4th of July celebration sale! Between the 3rd and 8th of July, you can save up to 30% on fire features, dining sets, patio umbrellas, and more! Here’s the savings breakdown:

  • Save 20% on purchases of up to $1,499
  • Save 25% on purchases of $1,500 – $3,499
  • Save 30% on purchases of $3500 or more

We hope this article provided you with some useful backyard remodel ideas and tips! If you’re looking for more inspiration, browse RST Brand’s selection of comfortable outdoor furniture, stunning fire features, and more!

Creative Ways to Decorate Your Gazebo

Do you own a gazebo or pergola that is in serious need of a facelift? One of the quickest ways you can give your space a fresh, updated look is to add new furniture. No matter if you want to create an edgy space with modern furniture, or a cozy place to entertain family and guests, RST brands can help you find the style that fits all your wants and needs. Check out the following six design styles to make your gazebo furniture dreams come to life.  

 

The Bohemian

Transform your gazebo into a calm, serene outdoor bohemian oasis by incorporating natural outdoor decor elements like potted plants, a comfortable hammock, and a deep outdoor sofa or sectional.  When choosing your gazebo furniture, try to stay away from plain and neutral colors and instead opt for vivid patterns, and mixed colors. Also, utilize warm elements such as cushions, pillows, blankets, and curtains.

 

The Outdoor Greatroom

An outdoor greatroom is the perfect use for patio gazebos or pergolas that are connected to the home. Make this space another great place for lounging with the family or enjoying a relaxing afternoon by implementing furniture pieces like outdoor club chairs, ottoman slings, multi-piece couch sets, and much more. A fascinating focal piece such as a waterfall or a fire table can set your outdoor greatroom apart.

 

The Entertainment Zone

Give your guests a unique place to gather by transforming your backyard gazebo into a welcoming entertainment zone. Along with statement pieces like a fire table or hammock, you should also consider bringing in a variety of different seating options to accommodate your guests. In addition, be sure to include fun decorations like patio string lights, a surround sound system, television, and other elements that make your space as welcoming and enjoyable as possible.

 

The Dining Den

Put a new twist on the way you and your family dine by creating an inviting outdoor dining room in your gazebo. Whether you want a small, high-top table for four or an expansive table that can seat all your friends and family, RST Brands has stylish, high-quality, durable dining sets to fit your needs.

Give your space your own unique touch by choosing from a variety of cushion colors, material types, and more. And finish off the space with soft lighting, plants, and subtle decor.

 

The Bar Star

Design a welcoming outdoor bar in your pergola or gazebo and let the fun begin. After selecting the type of bar you want, whether it be a wet or dry bar, bring in bar stools and other comfortable furniture. When you set up your seating think of how you can situate the furniture to create a great space for socializing with your guests.  Be sure to incorporate additional elements like music, lighting, and decor to really bring your gazebo bar to life.

 

The Lounge

What’s better than having a go-to place to relax and unwind? Make your gazebo this place by bringing in high-class, loungers and accent tables. Create a relaxing atmosphere with additions like plants, water features, umbrellas, and more.

Don’t let your gazebo or pergola suffer from neglect any longer. Start designing your dream space today and discover the benefits of having a unique, outdoor space with top-of-the-line furniture and thoughtfully chosen decor.

Room Design Ideas That Give Your Home A Fresh Feel

 

Feng shui: the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing your spatial arrangement and orientation to better the flow of positive energy.

You probably are familiar with this term. You may have even considered implementing feng shui in your home or have previously tried to use it in your room design ideas. Regardless, there is no denying that feng shui is an art that takes knowledge, practice, and skill to master.

Fortunately, there is a simple, easy way that you can start your path toward feng shui success: rearranging your furniture. Not only is rearranging furniture one of the most affordable, effective ways to give your home’s  interior a fresh, new look, but it’s also a chance to experiment with different living room layouts to find a design that works best for your wants and needs.  

The following five tips can better assist you in arranging furniture, and identifying details that can give your living room and other spaces a refreshed, spirited feel so you can master the art of feng shui.

1. Clear clutter

Before you can even start effectively rearranging your furniture, you’ll have to purge the clutter that’s causing disorder in your home. If your objective is to give your living room interior a quick facelift, go around the space and, with a critical eye, methodically get rid of everything you do not love. Though this process takes time and energy, it is a critical step if you really want to give your room a fresh, harmonized feel.

2. Make a floor plan

You don’t need to be a professional or know how to design a blueprint to draw up a floor plan. First, take inventory of each piece of furniture in your living room, making note of the size, color, and style. Not only will this help you identify which of your current items fit your design plan, but it will also help you decide which pieces of furniture no longer suit your wants and needs.

Second, keep a pocket-sized notebook with color swatches, furniture styles, and measurements with you as you shop for new items. Whether you’re looking for a new sofa or sectional to freshen up your space or a unique bookshelf for organization, having a detailed floor plan will better help you bring your room design ideas to life.

3. Switch it up

Switching up your normal, regular style is a quick and effective way to give your living room a fresh look. One particularly interesting approach is to put out-of-the-ordinary pieces behind your couch. Consider these five unconventional ideas:

  • Shelving: Both wall-mounted and freestanding shelves help to create a unique, dramatic look.
  • Nook: Create a little reading nook or breakfast nook behind your couch by adding a fun set of high-quality chairs and stylish coffee table.
  • Desk: Make the backside of your couch a workspace by adding a conventional desk, chair, and work lamp.
  • Storage: The sofa is a great resource for providing sleek storage.
  • Design: If you have the space and your floor plan allows, consider investing in a couch that has a unique back. Look for sofas with fun tassels, a bold print, or showstopping design.

4. Don’t be afraid of change

One of the biggest things that holds people back from rearranging furniture is the fear of change. However, by starting small—maybe with a sitting room, guest room, or office—you can see how a simple rearrangement adds flair to a space that was previously getting dull. You can also start by removing one or two pieces of furniture to test the possibilities. Remember, too, that no change has to be permanent. If you don’t like your new design, you can always try a different approach.

5. Have fun

Having fun and enjoying bringing new life to your space is one of the most important steps in rearranging furniture. Try different arrangements, change up your color scheme, and add fun decor or accessories to make your living room and your home a welcoming, enjoyable space that reflects your style and character.

4 Things to Consider When Building an Outdoor Kitchen

Have you ever wondered if an outdoor kitchen is a right fit for your home? There are many things to consider when building an outdoor kitchen, from the materials you use, to the appliances you choose to include. Before you start construction on your outdoor kitchen, here are 4 things to keep in mind to help you build the kitchen of your dreams.

1. Start Strong

When you begin planning for your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to choose materials that are both attractive and durable. Stone countertops are a must—consider choosing the same style countertops you have in the kitchen inside your home to help bring the indoors out. As far as flooring goes, it’s important to choose something that won’t become slippery when wet, so consider stamped concrete or brick.

2. An Ideal Layout

As with any element in your home, the layout of your outdoor kitchen should accommodate your intended uses. Be sure to allow for ample workspace, an accessible fridge or stovetop, a dining area for your dining table and chairs and enough of a bar area to allow friends and family to gather around as you’re cooking. In addition, make sure your kitchen is well-covered to keep it safe from the elements and protect appliances from inclement weather.

3. Keep It Low Maintenance

While an outdoor kitchen does require some maintenance to keep it looking nice and the appliances in good working condition, the type of maintenance required is very different than the type required by your indoor kitchen. It’s important to have your countertops sealed regularly to give them extra durability and to consider disconnecting your appliances during long periods of time when you won’t be using your outdoor kitchen. Keep your yard free of grass, leaves, and other materials that can clutter up your outdoor kitchen, and consider power washing the area a few times a year to give it a deep cleaning.

4. Make It Practical

With an outdoor kitchen, you won’t have to leave the party to keep going in and out of your house to cook or retrieve food or other items for a meal. Creating a kitchen that is functional for your needs will add to its practicality and make entertaining and outdoor cooking much easier. Consider installing a fireplace or fire pit to create a seating area near the kitchen to help draw guests closer to where you’ll be working—after all, the whole point of an outdoor kitchen is to be part of the party, isn’t it?

Are you ready for an outdoor kitchen? Now that you’ve determined what you need to meet your outdoor kitchen requirements, it’s time to decorate! Compliment your outdoor kitchen with the beautiful and durable outdoor furniture.

Picking the Right Furniture Color

Are you planning a home renovation? Do you have plans to spruce up your patio? Does your living room need a facelift? No matter what your project might be, make sure your decorations are up to par with furniture that makes your space look it’s best. These five expert tips can help you determine the best color scheme for your furniture.

1. Play Off Patterns

Does your living room or patio have a large area rug with a unique pattern? Maybe you’ve got brilliantly patterned upholstery or a captivating piece of artwork. Instead of choosing a furniture color that competes with this centerpiece, pick two to four colors that you like from the pattern and use these as the color scheme for your large furniture pieces. Keep the color of the walls in mind too, as to avoid selecting colors that will wash out your room or create a chaotic feel. For neutral wall colors, pick out light, natural colors from the pattern; for dark wall colors, look to the pattern’s cooler hues.

2. Consider the Color Wheel

If you’re at the point of shopping for furniture during your remodel or makeover, you’ve probably already determined how you want your space to feel. Whether you want a casual, relaxing space, a cozy, warm nook, or a vibrant, exciting area, choosing the right home furniture can be the best way to bring ambiance to your room.

When shopping for your furniture, keep the color wheel in mind. By choosing colors next to each other on the color wheel – analogous colors – you can bring your space to life. Choose blues and greens for informal or private spaces where you want to feel rested and calm. Lean towards reds, oranges, and pops of yellow to bring warm energy to a room.

3. Dress Your Room Like Yourself

Take a glance into your closet – what do you see? Do you tend to wear soft, neutral colors or dark, basic pieces? Do you have lots of patterns and bright colors or do you tend to stick to a more conservative design? Whatever the case, chances are you’ve bought these clothes because they look good on you and you feel good wearing them. Shop for home or patio furniture the same way! Along with the color, consider how it makes you feel when you sit in it, think of different ways you could accent the piece, and make sure you like the way it looks.

4. Remember the 60-30-10 Rule

Expert designers swear by the 60-30-10 rule, where you divide your room’s color scheme into three different components; 60 percent of the space should be a dominate color (typically the walls, floors, and ceiling), 30 percent a secondary color (think furniture and upholstery) and the last 10 percent an accent color (accessories like pillows and artwork). Not only does this rule help to ensure that your color scheme is balanced and your furniture color works with the space, but it also helps you get the perfect amount of pop that makes guests go “ah!”  

5. Go Gray

If you’re hesitant about picking the right color scheme or don’t have time to shop for hours for the perfect furniture – go gray. Gray is the trendiest neutral in the designer world today because of chameleon-like qualities. Whether you’re wanting a cool, calming space or a warm, welcoming space, gray pairs perfectly with virtually any color – from soft pastels to bold brights. Choosing gray for your furniture also gives you the chance to really play up accessories like pillows, throw rugs, artwork, etc.

How To Care For Your Wooden Deck/Patio

Having a wooden deck or patio is a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature. Whether you’re entertaining guests at a dinner party, reading your favorite novel, or enjoying a mid-day snack with the kids, your outdoor space is an extended area of your home that offers endless benefits. However, without properly caring for your deck or patio, the wood can quickly become mistreated and dangerous, causing it to splinter, erode, and even rot.

Make sure your wooden outdoor areas are in prime condition and looking their best with these four simple maintenance tips.

1. Wash Away Winter

After several months of winter weather abuse, your deck needs a thorough cleaning come late spring. By neglecting this critical step, you’re essentially asking for mold and mildew. Thankfully, cleaning your deck is easier that you might think:

  • First, clear away any debris that might have taken up residence over the winter. Use a putty knife for hard to reach areas like in between boards and areas where the decking crosses with the joists.
  • Cover plants or shrubs with plastic to protect them from debris that might shake loose during the cleaning process.
  • Using a standard wooden deck cleaner (found at any local hardware store) use a paint roller, garden sprayer, or stiff push broom to evenly spread the cleaner across your deck. Avoid letting the cleaner pool, and try not to let it dry until you’ve thoroughly scrubbed it into the wood.
  • Rinse well with cold, clean water.
  • Repeat the process to clean wooden railings.

Note, too, that the best time to clean your deck is during a cool, cloudy day when the sun won’t evaporate your cleaning solution. After two days of letting your deck completely dry, you can then move on to tip number two: sealing your deck.

2. Seal for Summer

Now that you have given your deck a good, hearty clean, it’s time to seal the wood to prepare it for harsh sun rays and endless summer activities. Sealing your deck is best done in late spring, just before summer kicks into full swing. Visit your local hardware store to pick up the deck sealer of your choosing. Below is a list of popular options to consider before making the trip:

  • Transparent sealers are the perfect option if you want to highlight the natural tones and grains in the wood.
  • Toners allow the natural essence of the wood to shine through but also provide a minimal amount of tint that helps protect the wood from UV rays. This is a good option for decks that only get a few hours of sunlight each day.
  • Choose a semi-transparent stain for added color that still shows a bit of the natural grain.
  • Solid stains completely cover the grain and color of the wood but provide the ultimate protection against weather damage and heavy traffic.

Mark out a two-day period on your calendar when you’ll have time to complete the project, making sure to avoid high temperatures, wind, and rain. Sand away any scuffed up marks from washing and replace or repair any nails or screws that have come loose over the winter. Use a large roller brush to completely cover the base decking and a paintbrush or small roller for railings and benches. Apply three coats for best results and be careful not to let the sealant or stain pool in any one area.

It’s important to remember that while solid stains and opaque finishes should be applied every other year, clear sealants and transparent toners must be reapplied annually to maintain optimum effectiveness.

3. Check The Deck

A good scrub and a thorough seal will help maintain your deck for most of the summer. However, to ensure it’s properly maintained, it’s a good idea to schedule a midsummer inspection. Make a checklist for your walk through:

  • Look for rot. Areas that are six inches above the ground, close to water spigots, or surrounding planters are often prone to excessive water damage which can cause the wood to expand and rot. Use a flathead screwdriver to gently probe prone areas, stairs, and perimeter posts. Rot is typically indicated if your screwdriver sinks more than a quarter-inch into the wood.
  • Go underneath your deck. Check the ledger, or section of framing that connects the deck to the exterior of your home. Use a flashlight to ensure that the ledger is still connected with lag screws as well as nails and make sure the metal sheet covering the top of the ledger – the flashing – isn’t rusting or deteriorating.
  • While you’re underneath the deck, inspect other joists, posts, and beams for rot. Look joist hangers and nails over for rust. If you sense you have a structural issue, call a professional for repair.
  • Finally, check for rotting or splitting deck boards or railings. If the wood seems to be splitting or cracking, seal it with an exterior adhesive and replace with a new deck screw.

 

4. Prevent Winter Problems

Come early fall, it’s time to start thinking about ways to protect your deck during the upcoming winter.

  • Consider washing and sealing your deck again, or if you didn’t get a chance to do so in the spring.
  • Trim surrounding trees and bushes to at least 12 inches from the deck to prevent mold, fungus, and rot.
  • Sweep away fallen leaves, pine needles, dirt and other debris.
  • Relocate chairs, tables, planters, benches, etc., to prevent discoloration over the winter.
  • Clean and repair gutters and downspouts to ensure excessive moisture stays off of the wood.

With your deck in mint condition, make sure it looks its best and makes you feel right at home with unique, functional patio furniture from RST Brands. Check out our full line of innovative designs and visit our website for more information and decoration ideas, today.

Save Your Weekends with These 10 Speedy Yard Maintenance Tips

Between work, cooking dinners, and transporting kids to functions, it can seem like the last thing you have time for during the week is yard maintenance. With these ten tips you can limit the time you spend maintaining your yard and spend more time enjoying it with family and friends.

1. Start with a Master Plan

Before pulling your first week, take a moment to plan a course of action. Map out your approach by area of your yard, and give targeted attention to the areas that require the most work. Your work will be more focused, and you’ll get more done in less time.

2. Take Preventative Measures

Save more time in the long run by taking measures to prevent weeds before they grow. Using a pre-emergent herbicide will control crabgrass and other weeds by preventing their seeds from sprouting. Eliminating weeds before they grow eliminates the time spent pulling them out by their well-established roots.

3. Minimize Grass Area

Minimizing your actual lawn space will save time and energy spent on mowing, weeding, and watering. Limit your grass area to only what is necessary and dedicate the rest of your backyard on hardscapes and thrifty perennials.

4. Maximize Hardscapes

Use pavers and planters to create a low-maintenance yard space. Produce different elevations by dividing backyard space into separate locations for an outdoor fireplace and even an outside dining area. Explore RST Brands for fabulous fire tables and outdoor dining sets.

5. Soften Hardscapes with Water-Thrifty Perennials

Forgo any plants that have to be replaced annually and supplement your lawn with native plants and succulents. These types of plants can offer filler around pavers and stepping stones as well as bring pops of color to your outdoor oasis.

6. Plant Trees & Shrubs

Trees and shrubs require little annual maintenance and have a big impact on your landscape. They will add appeal, flowers, and fragrance to any outdoor regions.

7. Compost

Whether you create your own or get quality compost through your local garden center, use nutrient rich compost to yield healthy plants. The healthier your plants, the less time you’ll spend trying to revive or remove them.

8. Train Fido

Large yellow dead spots caused by pet urine are difficult to fix and are an eyesore for your lawn. Train your dog to use only one spot in the yard or make a gravel or mulch dog run to keep your grass and shrubs safe.

9. Create Focal Points with Decorative Planters

Vibrantly colored and artistic containers can double as garden art while housing your plants. Grow a cluster of plants with similar needs in attractive containers placed strategically around your outdoor space to create focal points in each direction.

10. Impact > Quantity

Build one or two key garden areas with exotic-looking plants for maximum impact as opposed to multiple beds and borders in all corners of your yard. Center your efforts to the areas you will visit most, like surrounding your porch or deck, to be able to most enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Low-maintenance features will eliminate your time spent sustaining and allow you to spend more time admiring your yard. Enjoy your beautifully simplified space from the comfort of your outdoor patio furniture.

How To Care For Your Grill

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Did you know that roughly 72 percent of U.S. households have a grill? That means more than 200 million people can enjoy one of summer’s greatest activities: grilling on the patio. If you’re one of the millions of lucky Americans who takes advantage of “grilling season” (mid-May through mid-September) there are several things you can be doing to ensure that your grill is properly cared for so you can grill up delicious flavors all summer long.

 

Know Proper Maintenance Techniques

 

First, you should regularly check for propane leaks throughout the summer by running soapy water along the gas line and connections. Bubbles indicate a leak that can be fixed by tightening the connection or replacing the line.

Second, to maintain your grill it’s important to keep it covered when not in use. If you can’t find a grill cover, try to keep it stored in a location where it will be safe from the elements to avoid rusting.

While thorough cleanings are essential for increasing the lifespan of your grill, quick, regular cleanings are also important and should be done after every use. Make sure you brush down the grates and wipe down the exterior with a wet rag or Windex.

 

Deep Clean Your Grill Annually

 

If you are a seasonal griller, experts recommend deep-cleaning your grill once or twice every year. If you grill year-round, however, deep-cleaning should be done every few months. Keep an eye out for gunk build-up to know when your grill needs to be cleaned. Between veggies falling through the grates, marinade splattering on the hood, and burger grease coating the burners, it’s fairly easy to determine when your grill is ready for a hearty deep-clean.

When the time comes, follow these instructions for quick, effective grill cleaning.

 

1. Scrub

 

Give the grates a hard scrub with your grill brush. Even if you are meticulous about brushing the grates before and after use, you should begin every grill-cleaning session by using a little extra force to make sure you get off all the chunks of charred veggies, meats, or fish. Don’t be afraid to use the brush’s metal scraper to tackle those super-stubborn spots. Once you’ve thoroughly scrubbed the top side of the grates, remove them from the grill and repeat the necessary steps to ensure the bottom sides of the grates are equally scrubbed.  

 

2. Wash

 

After removing the grates, you’ll likely notice the grime built up on the burner protectors. These protectors are designed to keep grease and other matter from clogging the actual burners and tend to need the most attention when cleaning. Remove these protectors and place them in a bucket with warm, soapy water. After letting them soak for a few minutes, take a kitchen sponge and give them a good scrub. The grime should come right off.

 

3. Wipe

 

While the burner protectors are drying, remove the actual burners and rinse them with soapy water. If your burners are difficult to remove, take a damp sponge and give them a thorough wipe-down. Even though they are protected, you’ll be surprised at the amount of grime that you remove.

 

4. Scrape

 

With the grates, protectors, and burners all clean, it’s now times to tackle the biggest step of grill cleaning: the bottom plates. Remove these underneath plates – they should pull right out. Using your grill brush, scrape and scrub off big chunks of char. Depending on the level of grime your grill has, you can use the sponge and soapy water to remove even more dirt, though this is not essential for the cleaning process.

While these plates are out, use your grill brush to scrape away any chunks and debris from the bottom tray. Most of these trays are easily removable, allowing you to dispose of loose grime by simply tossing it in the trash. If you can’t remove your tray, use a vacuum to remove the debris. Again, you can use your soapy sponge for an added level of cleaning if desired.

 

5. Re-assemble

 

With all grill elements clean and dry, it’s time to re-assemble your grill. Carefully replace the bottom tray, and slide in the plates. Cover the burners with the clean protectors and secure grates in their prospective areas.

 

With your grill in tip-top shape, it’s time to get the rest of your patio perfect for summer get-togethers. Visit RST Brands today to see how you can spruce up your patio and create your ideal outdoor living space.  

Make Sure Your Furniture Will Fit! [Infographic]

Ever worry that the new furniture you just bought won’t even fit through the doors of your home?

You’re not alone. And before you buy anything, you have to make sure your furniture will fit. Our “FURNITURE FIT 101” infographic will help!

Your key considerations include:

Halls and Doorways

Entryways

Planning a Pathway

Companies like RST often list furniture dimensions on their website.

Make Sure Your Furniture Will Fit