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Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Patio for Spring and Summer

Since the sunshine and warmth of spring has arrived, it’s time to turn our attention to one of the most popular areas of our homes: the patio. Ready to revitalize your outdoor space? Here is the ultimate guide to preparing your patio for spring and summer.

The arrival of spring is a great time to give our outdoor spaces a little TLC. Spending time outside during the vibrant days of spring and the lazy afternoons of summer is a time-honored pasttime. If summer entertaining is one of your outdoor activities, you want your outdoor living spaces to be in tip-top shape.

That’s why I’m here with a helpful guide to preparing your patio for the coming months. 

We’ve begun our patio spruce-up for this year, but have more tasks before it’s ready for prime time. I’m sharing how to breathe new life into your patio.

Give Your Patio a Good Clean-Up

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Here’s your checklist for a patio cleanup.

It may sound obvious, but sweeping up leaves, cobwebs and debris with an outdoor-grade broom or blower is a first step in preparing your patio for spring and summer.

sweeping patio
  • Sweep Away Debris: Begin by giving your patio a thorough sweep to remove fallen leaves, twigs, and any other debris that may have accumulated over the winter months. Have large trash bags ready.
  • Scrub the Outdoor Surfaces: Use a gentle cleanser and a stiff-bristled brush to scrub away dirt and grime from your patio surface. Pay special attention to any stains or mildew spots that may have formed. If your space hasn’t had a heavy-duty cleanse in a few years, consider renting a commercial-grade power washer. 

TIP: Do not power-wash stained wood – only concrete, brick or stone.

Pressure washing your patio surface using natural cleaning agents can achieve professional results with minimal effort.

Before you get too far down the cleaning tasks rabbit hole, first take a look at these simple decluttering tips:

  • Streamline Furniture: If necessary, pare down your outdoor furniture to include only the essentials. Consider multipurpose pieces that can serve multiple functions, such as a storage bench or a coffee table with built-in storage. Have the kids outgrown toys that are taking up space? Can the lawn chairs be stored away and only brought out when absolutely necessary?
  • Organize Storage: Invest in outdoor storage solutions to keep clutter at bay. Whether it’s a deck box, storage bench, or shelving unit, having a designated storage space will help keep your patio neat and tidy.
  • Limit Decor: While it’s tempting to decorate your patio with all sorts of knick-knacks and accessories, too much clutter can make the space feel chaotic. Stick to a few carefully chosen pieces that complement your outdoor decor.
  • Regular Maintenance: Make decluttering a part of your regular outdoor maintenance routine. Set aside time every few weeks to tidy up your patio and put away any items that have accumulated.
  • Maximize Vertical Space: Take advantage of vertical space by hanging plants, lanterns, or shelves on the walls or fences surrounding your patio. This will free up floor space and create a more open and inviting atmosphere.
  • Keep It Functional: Prioritize functionality when decluttering your patio. Make sure that everything has a designated place and that your outdoor space is conducive to relaxation and enjoyment.

Refresh or Replace Your Outdoor Furniture

Before cleaning your outdoor furniture, you may want to take everything (or what you can move) from the patio onto the grass. We find that works best as we have more space to move around. 

TIP: We find that the best time to clean up the patio and furniture is in mid-morning or late afternoon. 

Depending on the materials of your patio furniture, a simple hosing down and wiping with paper towels may be enough. A little dish soap and water should do the trick. 

Our patio side tables are metal. A little squeeze of soap and water, wiping with old towels, and hosing them down makes them look like new. I dry them off with old clean towels so spots don’t appear.

  • Clean the Furniture: Wipe down your outdoor furniture with a mixture of mild soap and water. For stubborn stains, you can use a specialized cleaner or a DIY solution made from vinegar and baking soda.
  • Wood Furniture: If you have acacia or teak furniture (We have a teak dining table), wash the table with a small amount of soap and water. Sand any gray spots and then apply two coats of Teak Cleaner.
  • Plastic or Composite Materials: scrub them with with liquid dish soap and water.
power washing patio furniture
  • Wicker Furniture: Make a soapy solution with a small amount of dish soap and water and wipe down all the surfaces. If your wicker is synthetic, you can hose it down. If it is natural wicker, too much water can damage it. Better to wipe it down with a damp cloth.
  • Clean the Outdoor Cushions: Use a whisk broom or Dust Buster to remove any dirt from cushions (Since we sometimes use our patio furniture even in winter, we leave them out all year.) If there are still spots or dirt, remove the cushions to the yard. Then use a soft-bristled brush and a very small amount of dish detergent. Lightly hose the cushions to remove the dirt and soap residue. Leave the cushions out in the sun to dry before returning them to your chairs or sofas.
  • Inspect and Repair: Take a close look at your patio furniture and accessories for any signs of wear and tear. Repair or replace any damaged pieces to ensure that your patio is both safe and functional.

Evaluate Your Patio Space

Once you’ve cleaned your outdoor furniture, you can evaluate your needs. Maybe your outdoor furniture is in great shape and you love it. If repairs are needed or you are ready for something new, first think about how you use your space.

With a new season, you want to freshen up your outdoor living area.

Our patio areas have become an extension of our living room. Chairs, tables, sofas, love seats, and accessories all play a role in creating an outdoor living space we enjoy with friends and family.

Here are some things to consider as you evaluate your space: 

  • Take a step back and assess your patio with a critical eye. Identify any items that are taking up valuable space or detracting from the overall look of the area.
  • Do you host outdoor dinner parties? Then be sure to have a dining table that is large enough for gatherings.
  • Is outdoor cooking and grilling part of your patio plan? 
grilling on the patio with friends
  • Is family time with games more your style? Using lightweight chairs and tables that can be moved may be a better option. Storage for game equipment should be included.
  • Would you like to relax and have conversations around a fire pit with friends? Consider purchasing a portable fire pit or investing in an in-ground permanent one. 
  • Think about the style of your home. The patio furniture should harmonize with your home. 
  • Tables of different sizes – from drinks to dining to counter to bar height all play a role in creating the patio space we love.
  • Consider lightweight or multifunctional patio pieces that can be easily moved or rearranged for different events or needs. 
  • Is an outdoor fireplace part of your dream patio? You will probably need to call in a professional.
freestanding outdoor fireplace with red umbrella

Make Room for Shade

No matter where you live, in the warmer months of spring and summer, shade is much appreciated. 

If your patio is exposed to the sun, consider adding a patio cover or pergola. We did this almost three years ago and the new patio cover in wood and stone has completely changed how we use our patio. 

This one isn’t ours.

Use these backyard ideas for your own patio makeover. Lighting, seating areas, and hardscape for outdoor areas.

Adding ceiling fans to a covered patio makes a huge different in the comfort level. Our new pergola also allowed us to add a ceiling fan which helps circulation.

I just took this picture of our patio yesterday after it rained. You can see that we are ready to begin our patio clean up.

pergola on patio

If this option isn’t possible, consider adding an umbrella or two to create shady spots for relaxing or dining.

umbrella over table on patio
white umbrella on grass with furniture

Throw Down a Rug

If your patio area is covered, an outdoor area rug is another fun and easy way to brighten your space. A rug adds color, pattern and texture to the patio.

A rug on top of a hard surface makes it feel a lot more welcoming. Just like indoors, a rug grounds the space and creates a natural space around which your furniture can be arranged.

stripe outdoor patio rug

Just be prepared: even the best outdoor rugs don’t last forever. They can get wet, mildew, and attract dirt. 

outdoor rug under dining table on patio

You can vacuum rugs – we’ve done that. You can usually hose down outdoor rugs, but check the manufacturer’s instructions. 

We usually replace our patio rug every three years. This is the third year for this blue and white stripe one.

blue stripe patio rug

Now for the fun stuff – decorating the patio for maximum enjoyment.

Layer in Color for Your Spring and Summer Patio

Most outdoor furniture pieces come in neutral wood, woven, or metal materials. This creates the ideal backdrop for bringing in your favorite color palette. 

Start by layering in pillows in bright hues and fun patterns. These items will make your space feel more vibrant and give it a fresh look.

patio furniture with bright pillows

I just ordered these new pillows for our patio. Two patterned blue lumbar pillows for our love seat, and two solid navy pillows for side chairs.

It’s fun to change out your cushions occasionally to give your patio an update. 

patio furniture with green cushions

Next think about decorative pieces that also add color, texture, and pattern to your patio. 

patio seating with orange pillows

Now you can focus on adding plants to the patio.

  • Add Greenery: Bring some life to your patio with potted plants or hanging baskets filled with ivy, creeping jenny, or ferns. Choose plants that thrive in your climate and provide a pop of color to your outdoor space. Use a mix of vintage, terra cotta, or new planters filled with fresh, colorful plants. 
patio seating area with plants
  • Add Shade-Loving Flowers: Since your patio will probably be in some degree of shade, consider a combination of these flowers in this peek growing season: caladiums, impatiens, coleus, begonias, azaleas, lobelia, and hostas. Check your planting zone for the best possibilities. 
flowers in containers on patio
  • Decorative Accessories: Consider adding decorative touches that add color, texture, and pattern to your patio. Add a tray, basket or lantern to enhance the ambiance of your patio. Don’t be afraid to get creative and let your personal style shine through.
  • Create Zones: Define different areas of your patio for dining, lounging, and entertaining. Arrange your furniture in a way that encourages conversation and relaxation.
flowers on patio

Get the Lighting Right

Even with the days longer, you will still need to prepare for spending time outdoors at night. You will want lighting options for outdoor entertaining.

Twinkling string lights are great for creating ambiance for alfresco dining or gatherings. Adding string lights to our pergola and extending into our backyard made one of the biggest improvements to our patio and backyard update.

patio string lights

We also added a light kit to our ceiling fan under the pergola. This light and the string lights are both on dimmers, which I highly recommend to create a nighttime mood.

Solar fairy string lights wrapped around trees, strung from trees to trees, or laid across fencing add more ambiance to any patio or backyard area. These lights come in varying lengths to meet your needs.

backyard string lights

Solar lights stuck in the ground or flower beds or containers add another layer of ambient lighting.

patio solar lights

Preparation for Spring and Summer Dining Alfresco

If outdoor dining is in your plans for your patio preparations, make sure your grill is in tip-top shape. Clean the grates periodically with a stiff wire brush to prevent flare-ups. Propane tanks should be full and correctly attached to the grill.

Plan for storage for grilling tools and utensils.

grill on patio

Durable dishes, serving pieces, glassware, and silverware for use in outdoor dining are essential. These can coordinate with the color scheme of your patio decor. Having enamelware or plastic serving trays makes transferring dishes to the outdoor dining area should also be on your patio list.

bowls and glasses on patio table iwth greenery

One More Thing – Mosquito Control

The last important thing to preparing your patio for spring and summer has to be with mosquitos. Most of us have to put up with mosquitos no matter where we live. Don’t let a swarm of mosquitos ruin your patio enjoyment.

  • Pay close attention to any standing water from your property. Turn unused planters upside down so they can’t hold water.
  • Stock up on rechargeable mosquito zappers or repellant devices.
  • If you prefer, stock on up citronella candles.
  • Consider calling in a professional pest control service to spray your yard during mosquito season. We added this service to our normal pest control service a few years ago, and it has made a huge difference in preventing mosquitos – and we back up to a dry creek bed that can fill with water after it rains.

That’s my ultimate guide to preparing your patio for spring and summer. First, clean up and declutter your patio area. Then add all the pretty decorations for the summer season. 

Start now to enjoy as much outdoor time as possible. Check out these patio updates from previous years: How to Update Your Backyard for Summer and 3 New Patio Items to Update Your Patio.

Check out these Pinterest Boards for more patio inspiration: Outdoor Spaces and Flowers and Gardening.

Enjoy this ultimate guide to preparing your patio for spring and summer. Have a fantastic time enjoying the spring and summer months ahead!

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  1. Hey Carol! I have started a list of the things I need to do for my patio/deck areas in the coming weeks so you shared your post at the perfect time for even more things I need to think about. Since I know I needed these reminders, then others probably do too so this post will be a feature this week. #HomeMattersParty