Spring | Going back to the porch

One of my favorite rites of spring is the annual Return of the Patio Furniture. In our household, we celebrated the occasion last weekend.

patio furniture
Over the winter, our chairs head south (to the storage space under the porch), partly to protect them from the elements, but mostly so the deck is clear of obstructions when we inevitably (and repeatedly) have to shovel the snow off of it.

patio chairs

Unfortunately when we pulled the chairs out of storage on Saturday, I saw the paint had chipped off some of the edges, so they needed a little TLC before I could set them out.

painted patio chairs
After cleaning up the chairs, sanding a few of the rough spots and giving the pieces a quick all-over spray paint job, they looked almost as good as new.


painted patio chairs

The finish isn’t flawless, but the imperfections are hardly noticeable once the whole set is on the porch.

patio cusions

The cushions, which we’ve had for about five years, were also a little worse for the wear. The fabric on two of them ripped as I was handling them.

I knew Wal-Mart carried the same size cushions, so I made an emergency shopping run on Sunday morning. I was going to buy four sets, but I could only fit two into the cart, so I decided the other two could wait for another day.


The backrest cushions are reversible, which is kind of fun.


Calvin, of course, had to test them out immediately. I think he liked the new cushions better than he did the cat grass I grew for him last week. (Or at least he hated them less. Nothing ever really meets with Calvin’s approval.)

I like the black and the green together. The fabric is really brittle, though, so the cushions are going to have to be replaced soon.

After I had the main seating arrangement on the deck, I added a couple of “tables” to put plants on. See the milk can on the right? That came from the farm I grew up on. By the time I was born, we had  a bulk tank to store our milk in; but I have old photos of my dad and grandpa loading milk cans onto the back of my grandpa’s truck to haul them to the co-op.

milk can
The raised lettering on the can reads “ALTO COOP CRY,” which would be short for “Alto Cooperative Creamery” (still operating today).

Pottery Barn lantern
The “table” on the left is an old crate I bought at a garage sale years ago. I put my new Pottery Barn lantern (that I found at a thrift store last winter) inside it.

repotting plants

It’s still a bit on the early side to be planting outside here. We’ll get frost yet through at least the first half of May. But I wanted to put something green out on the deck, so I grabbed a few of the plants that had survived the winter in my basement and repotted a couple of them.

repotting plants

The plants are awfully wimpy looking now, but as long as I remember to bring them in the house on the nights when there’s a frost advisory, they will fill out quickly.


I added another chair and table on the opposite side of the patio set.

plant trivet

The plant is sitting on an old clockface that I found at a thrift store. (No moving clock parts in it, just the wooden face with Roman numerals.)

plant trivet
For a clockface, it makes a lovely plant trivet.

Here’s what our porch looked like on Saturday morning:

And here’s what it looked like on Sunday afternoon:

Unfortunately, the day after I got everything out on the porch, the weather turned cool and rainy — we even had a touch of snow today — so we haven’t been able to enjoy the space yet. But when it warms up again, we’re ready.

7 Replies to “Spring | Going back to the porch”

  1. So nice to see your furniture out…our deck had snow this morning! We don't have all our furniture out yet, there's a table and chair set that stays outside….under cover…but the other chairs will have to wait for another week or two. You have to expect this though…it's spring in Wisconsin! 😉

  2. Isn't it nice to have the outdoor furniture actually out on the porch once again? Though now it's so darn cold that we may as well put it back again – lol! We put our furniture on the patio a couple of weeks ago but have left the cushions in the garage due to all the rain. Love your milk can and that it's from your childhood. Question for you…how do you like your porch painted white? Our little front porch (wood) needs re-doing and instead of staining it like my husband has done all the past years, I'd like to paint it white.

  3. oh man, i wish it was porch/patio decorating time here, but not quite yet. enjoy yours, and i love the new cushions, especially that they're reversible. our patio is black and white and greens, too.

  4. So the white in the photo is the aluminum siding on our house, which I LOVE. The siding was put on by previous owners at some point before we bought the house (and we've lived here for 20 years now), and it has held up phenomenally. We've never painted it or done anything to it (other than hose it off occasionally), and it still looks great.

    We added onto our porch about five years ago (connecting the front porch to the back porch, so it wraps all the way around the house), and when we did that, we used a composite material (Ultra Deck, from Menards) that is technically grey, but to my eyes looks very beige. (It's not exactly the color I was hoping for.) But I let my husband talk me into a color I was less than thrilled with because the composite material (which comes in a very limited selection of colors) never needs to be painted.

    The black spindles and railings around the porch are wood, and they need to repainted every year or two. Grrr. They are the bane of my existence. I love how the wood looks, but the painting takes forever…

  5. Unfortunately, it's not really porch/patio decorating time here, either. It was in the 70s on Saturday and Sunday, but it's been cold since then. The forecast calls for a low of 25 tonight. (I brought the plants inside on Sunday, and they haven't been back out since then.)

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