by Janice Anderssen, Home-Dzine
Not just affordable, using cement for outdoor furniture allows you to experiment with design to create concrete pieces that are unique, practical and durable.
Cast concrete is fast becoming a DIY alternative for creating modern outdoor furniture that is great looking and easy to care for. Making its way into the modern outdoor space, concrete furniture adds an urban feel to any garden or patio. So versatile, concrete can be formed into almost any shape – the possibilities for design are endless.
With the use of plywood forms, you can quite easily create your own designer range of outdoor furniture at a fraction of what it would cost to buy. Concrete can withstand whatever nature throws its way and stay good looking and as beautiful as ever and you can use cement to make a wide variety of projects.
Experiment with smaller projects, such as a basic tabletop or fire pit, to better understand the method for casting different shapes using plywood forms. With so many helpful sites that offer instructions on mixing and casting cement for concrete furniture and accessories, all you need to do is pop into your local hardware store for a couple of bags of cement and a sheet or two of shutterply or commercial plywood.
What is a Form?
When used in conjunction with cement, a form is basically a mould that holds the shape of the cement until it cures and sets hard. The most common material used for building a form is shutterply (cheap plywood) or pine.
Should I add reinforcing?
Wire, steel mesh and rebar are used to reinforce larger projects to ensure for strength and reduce the possibility of cracks. When pouring cement for tops or slabs, the low tensile strength of concrete is reinforced with steel to increase the tensile strength.
You will find hundreds of instructional videos on YouTube that take you step-by-step through variety of cast concrete projects that you can do at home. Make your own decor accessories or cast your own concrete furniture. Visit the Concrete Institute website for leaflets on mixing cement and working with concrete.
Beautifully designed for outdoor relaxation, the Perpetual Collection by Seasonal Living embodies an innovative approach to outdoor furniture using concrete. Tables, chairs and even sofas, all constructed using cement, and with the option to finish these off with a painted finish, will ensure all seasons and last a lifetime. This is the style of furniture that is easy to make yourself, using a basic plywood form, wire mesh and cement… just add cushions!
Naturally low maintenance, all that is needed to protect your concrete furniture is to seal with a suitable concrete or stone sealer as part of annual care. Concrete is porous, so applying sealer on a regular basis will prevent stains.
Mastering the art of working with cement to create concrete furniture is definitely worth the time and effort, especially when you consider the cost of outdoor furniture and how much you would save by making your own.