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Photo: aceshot1 (Shutterstock) You need comfortable furniture on your deck or patio if you’re planning to do entertaining in the warm weather, but because they’re exposed to the elements, these pieces can wear out over a season or two. If some of your outdoor furniture is looking worse for wear, don’t run out to buy new versions just yet. Save yourself some money and freshen up your patio set with a coat of paint. Prepare your furniture’s surfaces When painting, the most effort actually goes into prep. Properly sanding and cleaning before you apply paint can make the difference between a flawless result and a mess. For larger pieces of furniture, consider a power washer for this part, but for smaller ones, some detergent and water scrubbed on with a stiff-bristled brush will do the trick. If your piece already has a layer of paint, it’s important to remove as much of it as possible so that the new finish will go on smoothly, so start with a paint scraper or five-in-one to remove large paint chips and flakes. For wooden furniture, start with a 100- or 120-grit sandpaper, and work down to a 180- or 220-grit sandpaper. For metal furniture, use a wire brush and a drill’s wire wheel attachment to remove any loose paint and smooth the surface. Folding sandpaper over a screwdriver or file can help you get into smaller curved areas or cracks. Finally, if your furniture is vintage—dating back to 1978 or earlier—you should […]