The fall and winter bring rain, snow, sleet, and frigid temperatures, all of which can harm your outdoor furniture if it’s left exposed to the elements. Shrink wrap serves as a protective barrier between your furniture and the changing weather, preventing damage to your items.
Before you begin to shrink wrap lawn furniture, clear your workspace of any outdoor decorations, including rugs, lawn ornaments, or potted plants. You should avoid working on windy days, as this makes it difficult to control a heat gun.
Supplies You’ll Need
- Measuring tape
- Shrinkwrap vents
- Zip ties or bungee cords
- Rubber bands or bungee cords if you have a patio umbrella
- Moving pads, blankets, or spare towels
- Heat-resistant gloves
- Heat gun
- Fire extinguisher
To Stack or Not to Stack
You have one more choice to make before you begin on your shrink wrap outdoor furniture DIY adventure. Do you want to shrink wrap each item individually, or would you rather stack them and wrap them as a unit? This depends on the size and weight of your furniture, where you plan to store it, and whether you have help moving your items.
If you plan to wrap your furniture where you’ll be storing it, or have help moving your items, stacking them on top of each other will save you storage space and time. However, if you’re moving your furniture on your own, it might not be feasible to wrap it in a giant stack.
Preparing Your Furniture
You can skip this step if you’re planning to wrap each piece of furniture individually. If you’re planning to stack your furniture, you’ll need to protect it. Place a towel or blanket on top of your table before stacking the chairs upside down. When wrapping chairs separately, place them on top of each other.
If you have small, seasonal items you also wish to store, you can save storage space by placing them between the chair legs or on the seat of the chairs before you wrap your items. You can prevent your patio umbrella from opening by wrapping rubber bands around it, which also minimizes the amount of space your furniture occupies.
Lastly, it would be best to secure your stacked furniture with bungee cords or zip ties to prevent it from falling over during the wrapping process. This also keeps everything in place during blustery weather. I recommend tying your furniture together at the armrests and the legs for extra security.
Where to Find Shrink Wrap
You can find all the supplies you’ll need at home improvement centers as well as online. Shrinkwrap comes packaged either as a single sheet or as a roll, and it’s available in a wide variety of sizes. For bulk storage, you’ll need to add the dimensions of your stack together to determine the correct length and width of the shrink wrap you need.
For individual wrapping, line up your items to measure the dimensions and double the final sum of your measurements. You want to have enough shrink wrap to cover your items without too much excess. Using too much shrink wrap will prevent proper adherence, which could lead to a build-up of condensation.
The cost to shrink wrap patio furniture varies from project to project. Your total cost will be determined by how much shrink wrap you need to cover your items and how large the wrapping sheets are. Depending on those factors, it can cost anywhere from $50 to up to $500 to complete your project.
Protecting Your Furniture
Now that you’ve prepared your furniture, it’s time to protect it from the elements. Make sure you have all of your supplies on hand, your fire extinguisher being the most important. Let’s break it down into a few steps.
- Begin by peeling the shrink wrap from the roll and wrapping it around your furniture. Start at the top or the bottom on the flattest surface like a table leg or the back of a chair. Avoid cutting your shrink wrap into pieces if possible and use it as a continuous strip of plastic.
- Unwind more shrink wrap from the roll and walk around your furniture, ensuring it remains adhered to your protective covering as you wrap it. Make sure each section is completely and tightly covered.
- Once your furniture is completely covered, tear or cut your shrink wrap away from the rest of the roll. Press the newly trimmed edge down firmly. Shrinkwrap is designed to adhere to itself, so you won’t need to heat it for it to stick.
- It’s time to put on your heat-resistant gloves and fire up your heat gun. (Guns explicitly made for use with shrink wrap are available, but they’re expensive, ranging from $400 to $1000. Traditional heat guns work just as well and cost a fraction of the price, usually $10-150, depending on the model.)
- Holding the heat gun 6-10 inches away from the shrink wrap, work in 3-4 foot sections over the surface.
- Make 2-3 passes over each section to ensure it sticks properly. The plastic will begin to shrink and adhere to your furniture.
- Never hold your heat gun in any one area for too long, as this may cause the plastic to catch fire. Keep your fire extinguisher on hand, and stop immediately if you smell smoke.
5. To allow for proper air circulation and prevent condensation, cut 1-3 inch holes in the shrink wrap and place a shrink wrap vent over it. One hole will do for individually wrapped items; stacked items will need 2-4 depending on size.
Unprotected furniture can sustain significant damage during turbulent weather. Metal furniture can rust when exposed to the elements, and the elements quickly demolish materials like bamboo and rattan. Nothing is worse than having your favorite lawn chair become a water-logged, scratched-up mess, but it’s all preventable thanks to shrinking wrap.
It takes a little time and effort to shrink wrap outdoor furniture, but it’s a vital step to take if you want to extend the life of your furniture for years to come.
I hope this guide helps you protect your patio furniture during the colder months. Do you have any tips or tricks to make the process easier? Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comment section below.
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