When it comes time for that spring rejuvenation, it’s not just your skin that needs buffing and your pillows that need fluffing.
By Robin Jovanovich
When it comes time for that spring rejuvenation, it’s not just your skin that needs buffing and your pillows that need fluffing. Outdoor furniture, especially those pieces left outside or piled up in the garage, may need some season pampering. Sandblasting, sheet metal fabrication, powder coating, welding services, sling replacement, and re-strapping may not sound very appealing, but once the job is done, your deck lounges and tables and chairs, and ornamental ironwork will be ready for its summer close-up. But, before digging into chores like sandblasting, sheet metal fabrication, etc., it is important to first find out more about the techniques and get a brief knowledge on how it works.
Patty DeFelice got her start in the auto body business with her dad in Greenwich. She made the outdoor furniture restoration business her own, first on the Post Road in Greenwich and now just off Main Street in Port Chester. Six years ago she sold the business to a couple but, last fall, when they decided to go their separate ways, they called her and asked if she’d like the shop back. The structural steel fabrication experts can help with the construction work to go smoothly.
While November isn’t the ideal time to go back into this particular business, she jumped at the chance, especially when her former employees asked to come back too. “Over the years we also did a great business restoring cast iron radiators, light fixtures, urns, window frames, and custom-made wine racks, which keep us busy in wintertime,” said DeFelice.
Watching the restoration process at the shop is a blast, literally. A team, which may include someone with a welding career, first sandblasts the rusted and badly worn pieces. The next step is applying a prime coat, followed by baking in a hot oven, powder coating, and then baking again.
Patty’s also does a brisk business selling vintage outdoor furniture. On a recent visit, we spotted a Mid-Century wrought iron patio set in mint condition that was priced well below one selling on Etsy or eBay. A truck brought it to my son and daughter-in-law’s backyard that afternoon. (My daughter-in-law was thrilled to have something swanky and comfortable to sit on, as their small house in Glenville is a sea of drop cloths and construction tools. My son was excited too, until he learned that the set was his early birthday present.)
In a large room off the main entrance are hundreds of old wrought iron pieces, much newer Brown Jordan and Tropitone vinyl sets, and odds and ends. After a little maneuvering we stumbled upon a pair of chairs that match ones I bought at a church fundraiser years ago. If I weren’t thinking of downsizing, I might have found room for a set of high-backed wicker chairs painted in mistletoe green (an in color, as is dove gray, according to DeFelice), and elegant garden trellises and whatnots.
A visit to Patty’s Portico is an adventure, and the eponymous owner is glad she’s back to find you just the piece to get your summer cookin’.