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Tips for Summer Outdoor Entertaining

Key Tips to Prepare for Outdoor Entertaining

How to make the most of the season with pointers from Hester Painting & Decorating                 

While the fourth of July may be the apex of summer entertaining, every Midwesterner knows that no matter when it starts, the season is short.  Those planning on outdoor entertaining must seize the moment.  Whether a big bash is in the works or a small intimate gathering, having the outdoor spaces prepped and ready is key.

Here are 8 tips for preparing a summer-perfect outdoor season:

  • Examine the surfaces – Winter’s freeze-thaw cycle is hard on homes.  Look for signs of splitting or peeling on every horizontal surface – window sills, steps, fences, doorframes.  Seal and repaint.
  • Clean, clean, clean – A low-power pressure washer attached to the garden hose is a miracle worker.  A quick wash on outdoor furniture, fences and patios with the help of a scrub brush will remove winter’s dingy film.  Siding is easily damaged, though, so consider hiring professionals to wash your exterior walls.
  • Clear the gutters –  Remove any stuck debris.  Test the downspouts to be sure they are directing water at least 12 inches away from the foundation of the house.  To make the exterior of the gutters look like new, especially white ones, take a tip from the experts:  wipe them down with a household cleanser such as 409 or Fantastic.
  • Check the deck –  With wood decks, it is important to inspect carefully for nails and screws that winter’s wrath may have pushed up.  Tear off any large splinters of wood.  Scout for wasps nests or other infestations.  Restain or reseal the wood because preventative maintenance will double the life of a deck. 
  • Freshen the furniture – Use the color the pros do when repainting your patio furniture, Wrought Iron Black by.  Purchase new pillows in a bright color.  Rather than setting the furniture in the same positions as last year, rearrange the seating configuration and consider investing in a new bench or two.
  • Add features –  Heat things up with a fire pit.  Create interest with a pre-made, self-contained fountain.  These are easy ways to draw people out of the house and create a point of interest.
  • Change out the flowers – To boost your own mood and that of your guests, replant the flowerbeds with new perennials and even some annuals.  If you are short on time and energy, simply dress up spaces with pots of flowers in new colors.  If you’ve long had a pastel garden scheme, go for bold.  Or consider a totally green-and-white garden.
  • Provide shade –  If you don’t have tree cover, make sure to have a few big umbrellas.  The sun’s rays are delightful but so is the cool comfort of shade on a hot day. 

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