It’s crazy to think the summer is almost over, but chances are, you still have a few months left to enjoy your outdoor space. One major task on our list this year was to update our outdoor sofas. Earlier this summer I shared our outdoor dining table tutorial and mentioned that I re-stained it this year. Since it’s been two years, we planned to re-stain the DIY outdoor sofas too. I hoped to knock it out earlier in the season, but the stock tank pool was a bit of a distraction. The good news is, I managed to squeeze it in.This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my policies.
If you saw last weeks fire pit makeover, you got a little sneak peak. You may have noticed we made a minor change to them. We added feet to raise them up. Originally, the height was not a problem for us. We have thick cushions and felt comfortable with the height and made a coffee table to accommodate. But with the fire pit it no longer worked for us. This is what the outdoor sofas looked like when we built them in 2018.
With the addition of the pool, we relocated the fire pit to the patio and gave it a makeover. Since the fire pit is a bit taller than our prior coffee table, we decided the sofas needed some additional height. Again, until we made this change with the fire pit the height was not a problem. With no plans of replacing the fire pit, we decided to adapt the sofas to meet our new needs.
First, we started by sanding the sofas down. This is what they looked like before I re-stained them but after they were sanded.
I re-stained them with the leftover stain I originally used. I believe this brand was bought out by Olympic and the same color is still available. This time around I used a staining pad meant for decks to speed up the process. I definitely applied a liberal coat of stain, so the combination of a second, thicker coat gave a darker finished product.
I also applied a coat of spar urethane. I did not do this the first time around, but did apply it to the dining table after I re-stained it. It definitely seems to repel water more than just the bare stain, so hopefully that will mean extended life.
In the meantime, I also cut additional 6×6 pieces for the legs with leftover lumber from the original build. I cut eight pieces (four for each sofa) to 7 inches in length using our 12 inch miter saw. There are other tools you can use to cut a 6×6, but we used what we had. Here is a video on how we did it. It will not achieve a perfect cut, but with some sanding it definitely does the trick.
Then the fun part, the sanding. Seriously, I hate sanding so much! But definitely a necessary step. To achieve the same bevel as the original sofas, I used our belt sander. On the flat surfaces, I used the orbital sander.
Once they were sanded, I stained all the feet and added a coat of spar urethane.
If you saw the original DIY outdoor sofa tutorial, this will feel familiar. If not, go back and check it out as this part can get a little confusing. To attach the feet we first drilled one 3 inch deep hole in each block with a 3/4 inch spade drill bit and the impact driver. I will mention that we have upgraded our drill and driver set since the original build to brushless and drilling the holes was much easier with more power!
Then we tilted each sofa on end. These are very heavy and it is definitely a two person job. Barry and I were able to do this just the two of us.
Once they were on end, Barry held each block tight in place while I screwed it into the bottom of the sofa with the impact driver. We used the leftover screws from the original build.
Now the sofas are a much better height to be used with our fire pit.
Frequently asked questions about our DIY Outdoor Sofas
How do they hold up to the elements?
I think they have held up fairly well considering they are outside all year long, but this will vary based on your climate. Anytime wood is left outdoors you will have weathering. We live in the Denver area and our climate is fairly dry with low humidity and little rain.
How often do you re-stain them?
This was the first year I have re-stained them since we built them in 2018, so it has been two years. I do think I probably should have re-stained them last year. I am hoping by using the spar urethane this time around, it will extend the time between staining. Only time will tell.
Do you leave your cushions outside?
No, for a few reasons. First, and probably the biggest reason, we have a squirrel that likes to eat cushions. He ate my old ones and I was furious! Second, we get a lot of wind, so I would likely be picking them up from all around the yard on a regular basis. Third, patio cushions are not cheap. By storing them indoors when not in use, I prolong their life. These are the same exact cushions I had back in 2018 and still look new.
Do you cover the sofas in the winter?
Yes! To protect them from the snow we cover them as good as we can with tarps during the winter. Super fancy, I know 😉 You might be able to find actual covers, but I have never tried. The rest of the year they are completely exposed.
My favorite time to enjoy our DIY Outdoor Sofas definitely happens after dark though. The twinkle of the string lights still make this space so special and now we can enjoy the fire pit from the patio too!
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