Paint Outdoor Chairs, 25 Things You Should Know

Are you ready to give your outdoor chairs a fresh new look? Look no further because I’ve covered you with my tried and tested tips for painting outdoor furniture. Whether wicker, metal, or wood, we will guide you through the steps to transform those chairs from drab to fab, adding a pop of color and freshness to your outdoor space.

Paint outdoor chairs:

Select a suitable exterior paint (latex, oil-based, or spray paint) to paint outdoor chairs based on the chair material and desired finish. Clean and sand the chairs, then apply primer if necessary. Use brush painting for latex and oil-based paints or spray paint for a smooth finish. Apply multiple thin coats, allowing each to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ready to give your outdoor chairs a fresh, new look? Discover expert tips, tricks, and step-by-step instructions on how to properly prep, paint, and protect your furniture for a stunning transformation that will last for years to come. Keep reading to learn more!


Apply Paint on Outdoor Chairs

Painting outdoor chairs can make a significant difference in the appearance of your outdoor living area while also protecting your furniture from the elements.

This guide offers expert advice on choosing suitable paint, using the right tools, and following the best painting techniques to rejuvenate your outdoor chairs. Let’s dive in and learn how to paint outdoor chairs like a pro!

Choosing the Right Paint for Outdoor Chairs

– Types of Paint

Selecting the right paint is crucial for the longevity of your outdoor chairs. There are three primary types of paint suitable for outdoor furniture:

  1. Latex Paint: Commonly used for outdoor projects, latex paint is water-based, easy to clean up, and dries quickly. Make sure to choose a paint specifically designed for exterior use.
  2. Oil-Based Paint: Oil-based paints provide a durable and smooth finish, but their clean-up process requires mineral spirits or paint thinner. Ensure you’re using exterior oil-based paint for your outdoor chairs.
  3. Spray Paint: Easy to apply and available in various finishes, spray paint is an excellent option for painting outdoor furniture. Choose a paint formulated for outdoor use, and consider a paint-plus-primer option for added convenience.

Check the paint label for the expected lifespan, as outdoor paints are exposed to sunlight, wind, and rain. You may find some paints are designed for specific materials, such as metal or plastic.

– Factors to Consider

When selecting paint for your outdoor chairs, consider the type of material the chairs are made of (wood, metal, plastic, etc.) and the finish you desire (glossy, satin, or matte). The climate, environmental aspects, and the amount of sun exposure the furniture will receive should all be taken into consideration.

For example, in a highly humid environment, consider selecting mold and mildew-resistant paint. Additionally, UV-resistant paint helps protect your furniture from fading due to prolonged sunlight exposure.

Prepping Your Furniture for Painting

– Cleaning and Sanding

Before painting, it is essential to clean your chairs thoroughly. Use a mild detergent and a soft brush to remove dirt, grease, and mildew, and then rinse them with a hose. Let the chairs dry completely after washing.

Sanding the surface of your chairs is crucial for proper paint adhesion. For wooden chairs, medium-grit sandpaper (such as 80- to 120-grit) is ideal for removing imperfections and providing a smooth surface for painting.

For metal or plastic chairs, you can use fine-grit sandpaper (200- to 300-grit) to scuff the surface before applying paint. After sanding, use a damp cloth to remove any residue or dust.

– Priming

It is not always necessary to use a primer for outdoor chairs, but there are some cases where it may be beneficial. For example, using a primer is recommended for dark-colored chairs that will be painted with a lighter color or for chairs made of porous material (like wood).

Primers help create a smooth and even surface for paint, increase paint adhesion, and improve overall durability. Be sure to choose an appropriate and compatible primer for the type of paint you have selected.

Painting Techniques for Outdoor Chairs

– Brush Painting

Brush painting is suitable for latex and oil-based paints. Choose a high-quality brush that is suitable for the type of paint you will be using. Start by applying thin coats of paint and working in sections to avoid drips and runs.

It is recommended to apply at least two coats, allowing each coat to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the next.

– Spray Painting

Spray painting is an excellent option for those looking for a quick, smooth finish. When using spray paint, make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area, wearing safety gear like gloves and goggles, and protecting surrounding surfaces from overspray with drop cloths or plastic sheeting.

To achieve an even finish, hold the spray can about 10-12 inches from the chair, and apply paint in a steady, sweeping motion. It is better to apply multiple thin coats rather than a single heavy coat. Allow each coat to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the next.

Additional Tips and Recommendations

  • If painting wooden chairs, consider applying a waterproof sealant after the final coat to enhance resistance to moisture.
  • If your outdoor chairs have many small or intricate details, spray paint might be the better option for reaching all these areas.
  • To ensure the durability of your paint job, avoid using chairs until thoroughly dry (typically at least 24 hours after the final coat).
  • For more information and ideas on outdoor furniture painting, visit The Home Depots Paint Inspiration and Ideas, where you can find numerous recommendations and helpful tips.


Now that you’re equipped with all the expert knowledge, it’s time to give your outdoor chairs a fresh, new look! With proper paint selection, thorough preparation, and the right painting techniques, your outdoor chairs will not only look beautiful but also have added protection against the elements.

What Type of Paint is Best Suited for Patio Chairs?

Patio chairs are typically exposed to various elements, including sun, rain, and humidity. Choosing the right type of paint for these outdoor furniture pieces is essential for durability and long-lasting results.

Types of Paint for Patio Chairs

– Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paints are one of the most durable and long-lasting options for painting patio chairs. They create a strong, water-resistant finish which is ideal for outdoor applications. Furthermore, oil-based paints adhere well to various materials, such as wood, metal, and plastic.

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Excellent adhesion
  • Water-resistant finish
  • Longer drying time
  • Strong fumes
  • Requires paint thinner for cleanup

– Latex Paints

Latex paints are a popular choice for painting patio chairs due to their ease of use and fast drying time. They are water-based, which means they can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Latex paints also provide excellent coverage and are resistant to fading, cracking, and mildew.

  • Fast drying time
  • Easy cleanup
  • Resistant to fading, cracking, and mildew
  • May not adhere well to certain surfaces
  • Less durable than oil-based paints

– Spray Paints

Spray paints are a convenient and efficient choice for painting patio chairs. They provide even coverage, as well as a smooth, professional finish. Spray paints are available in various formulations, including enamel, latex, and acrylic, making them suitable for various materials.

  • Even coverage
  • Smooth finish
  • Convenient and efficient
  • May not be as durable as brush-on paint
  • Can be more expensive

Preparing Patio Chairs for Painting

Before applying paint to patio chairs, it’s crucial to prepare the surface properly. Proper surface preparation ensures better adhesion, as well as a smooth and professional finish.

– Cleaning

Begin by thoroughly cleaning the patio chairs to remove any dirt, dust, or mildew. You can use a mild soap and water solution or a specialized cleaner for outdoor furniture. Additionally, you may want to use a soft brush or sponge to get into crevices and remove stubborn debris.

Allow the chairs to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

– Sanding

Sanding is necessary to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to properly. Start with coarse sandpaper (60-80 grit) and work your way up to finer grits (220 grit) until the surface is smooth and free of any glossy areas.

For metal chairs, use a wire brush to remove any rust or loose paint. Then, sand the chair with fine-grit sandpaper to provide a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to.

– Priming

Priming is an essential step when painting patio chairs, as it helps the paint adhere better and provides a smooth, even surface for the paint to bond with. Choose a primer that is appropriate for the material of your patio chairs and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

Painting Patio Chairs

Once your chairs are properly prepared, follow these steps for a professional-looking finish:

  1. Stir the paint well before use and thin it if necessary, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Apply the paint using an appropriate brush or roller for the material and surface texture. Maintain a wet edge, working in small sections, and be sure to blend each new section into the previous one.
  3. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. If necessary, apply a second coat for complete and even coverage. Make sure to avoid overloading the brush, as this can lead to drips or uneven application.
  5. Allow the paint to dry, and then apply a clear protective finish, such as a varnish or clear coat, to protect the paint and ensure longevity.

In case you decide to use spray paint, please follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the area by covering any surfaces you don’t want to be painted.
  2. Shake the spray paint can well before use.
  3. Hold the can about 12 inches away from the chair, and apply the paint, using a sweeping motion. Ensure thin, even coats rather than one heavy coat.
  4. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Apply additional coats as needed, allowing sufficient drying time between each coat.


Choosing the right paint for your patio chairs is essential for achieving a professional finish that will last for years to come. By following the suggestions in this article, you can enjoy beautifully painted outdoor furniture that not only looks great but also withstands the test of time.

Please find more information on painting outdoor furniture on the EPA’s website.

Type of Paint
Application Method
Enamel Paint
Long-lasting finish, resists rust and outdoor elements
Brush or spray
Acrylic Latex Paint
Quick-drying, water-based, durable
Brush or spray
Alkyd Paint
Resistant to fading, very durable
Brush or spray
Spray Paint
Easy application, uniform coverage, available in various colors and finishes

What is the Most Suitable and Durable Paint for Outdoor Chairs?

Whether you’ve just purchased new outdoor furniture or you’re looking to freshen up old chairs that have seen better days, choosing the right paint is an essential aspect of achieving a polished and enduring look.

All About Protection, Durability, and Finish

When painting outdoor furniture, the primary concerns should be protection from the elements, durability against wear and tear, and achieving the desired finish or appearance. Knowing these factors, you can better decide which type of paint best suits your needs.

– Acrylic Latex Paint

One of the most popular options for outdoor furniture is acrylic latex paint. Acrylic latex is known for its excellent performance at weathering the elements and easy application. An important note is that not all latex paints are acrylic, so make sure to look specifically for “acrylic latex” when shopping for paint.

  • Excellent adhesion to various surfaces, including wood, metal, or plastic
  • Water-based formula for easy clean-up with soap and water
  • Fast drying time
  • Low odor
  • Resistant to mold and mildew growth
  • Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) content, making it environmentally friendly
  • Can take up to 30 days to cure completely, requiring care during this period
  • Less scratch and stain resistant compared to some other options

– Oil-based Paints

Oil-based paints offer a higher level of durability and scratch resistance compared to their water-based counterparts. These paints are often recommended for furniture that will experience a significant amount of wear and tear or exposure to the elements.

  • Exceptional durability and scratch resistance
  • Smooth, glossy finish
  • Longer open time allows for more extended periods of work without the paint drying too quickly
  • More challenging clean-up, usually involving paint thinner or mineral spirits
  • Longer drying time
  • Higher VOC content, making it less environmentally friendly
  • Strong odors

– Exterior Spray Paint

Exterior spray paint is another preferred option for outdoor furniture painting. Its ease of application and the ability to create a flawless finish without visible brushstrokes make it a popular choice among DIY enthusiasts.

  • Easy application with no visible brushstrokes
  • Comes in a variety of finishes and colors
  • Touch-ups and repainting can be done quickly
  • Overspray can create a mess if not adequately controlled
  • Painting large pieces may require multiple cans of paint
  • Not as durable as some other paint options

Paint Recommendations for Outdoor Chairs

From personal experience, we recommend the following paint options for outdoor chairs, considering their performance, durability, and finish:

  1. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover: This acrylic latex paint is specifically designed for outdoor furniture and offers excellent coverage, durability, and a variety of finish options. It’s suitable for wood, metal, plastic, and more.
  2. Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior Acrylic Latex: A high-quality, 100% acrylic latex paint that provides superior protection and durability, along with a variety of finish options. It’s suitable for wood, metal, and more.
  3. Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Spray Paint: Designed specifically for metal surfaces, it provides excellent rust protection and a smooth, long-lasting finish. It comes in various colors and finishes, including hammered, metallic, and satin.

Extra Tips for Painting Outdoor Chairs

In addition to selecting the right paint, the following tips will ensure a long lasting, beautiful finish on your outdoor chairs:

  1. Proper Surface Preparation: Be sure to clean the surface thoroughly, removing dirt, loose paint, and rust. For wooden chairs, sanding the surface is also essential for starting with a smooth, even base.
  2. Primer Application: Applying a suitable primer, such as Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer, helps ensure proper adhesion, corrosion resistance, and durability.
  3. Thin Coat: Multiple thin coats of paint are preferable to one thick coat. Thin coats dry faster, ensuring your project is completed more quickly and reducing the opportunity for dust, dirt, and debris to settle onto the wet paint.
  4. Curing Time: Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying and curing time to ensure optimal performance of the paint.

In conclusion, selecting the best paint for your outdoor chairs involves considering factors such as protection from the elements, durability, and the desired finish. Acrylic latex paints, oil-based paints, and exterior spray paints each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Take into account the recommendations provided in this article and apply the extra tips to achieve a professional, long-lasting finish on your outdoor chairs.

Is it Possible to Paint Outdoor Fabric Chairs?

Outdoor fabric chairs are a popular choice for patios and gardens, as they offer both comfort and style.

However, over time, they might begin to show signs of wear and tear or need a makeover to complement a new color scheme. This leads to an essential question – can these chairs be painted?

The answer is yes. With the right choice of paint and some easy-to-follow steps, you can successfully refresh the look of your outdoor fabric chairs.

Types of Paint Suitable for Outdoor Fabric Chairs

When it comes to painting outdoor fabric chairs, the choice of paint is crucial. Some of the options include:

– Fabric Spray Paint

Fabric spray paint is specially formulated for painting fabrics and can be an excellent choice for outdoor chairs. This type of paint can be easily found in craft stores and online retailers. Some popular brands include Simply Spray Upholstery Fabric Paint and Rust-Oleum Specialty Vinyl Spray Paint.

These fabric spray paints are not only suitable for outdoor chairs but also offer various finishes like matte, satin, and gloss. They dry quickly and are generally resistant to water, UV rays, and fading.

– Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint, commonly used in crafts and artwork, is another great option for painting fabric chairs. To make the paint more flexible and fabric-friendly, you can mix it with a fabric medium, which can be found in most craft stores.

Some popular brands of acrylic paints and fabric mediums include Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint and Golden GAC 900 Fabric Medium.

Acrylic paint is available in a vast range of colors and can be applied using a brush, roller, or spray gun.

– Latex Outdoor Paint

Latex paint is a versatile option that can be used on various surfaces, including fabric. However, latex paint is usually thicker and may require thinning before application. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for thinning ratios and drying times.

Preparing Outdoor Fabric Chairs for Painting

Before you start painting your outdoor fabric chairs, proper preparation is essential to ensure a successful and long-lasting finish. Below are some necessary steps to follow:

– Clean the Chairs

Start by thoroughly cleaning the fabric chairs. Remove any dirt or debris with a brush or vacuum cleaner. Use a mild detergent and water solution to clean any stains or embedded dirt. Ensure that the chairs are completely dry before moving on to the next step.

– Repair Any Damages

Inspect the chairs for any tears, loose threads, or other damages. Repair any damages using a needle and thread or fabric glue. This helps ensure that the paint adheres better and does not seep into any holes or tears.

– Protect the Surrounding Area

Place your outdoor fabric chairs on a drop cloth or a flat surface clear of any obstacles to make the painting process more manageable. Additionally, cover any parts of the chair that you do not want to paint with painter’s tape or plastic sheets.

Painting Your Outdoor Fabric Chairs

Once the chairs are prepared, follow these steps for painting:

  1. Test the Paint: Before applying the paint to the entire chair, test it on an inconspicuous area to ensure it adheres well and achieves the desired color and finish.
  2. Apply the Paint: For fabric spray paint, shake the can vigorously and spray evenly from a distance of about 6 to 8 inches. For acrylic paint, use a brush or roller to apply the paint in even strokes. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the application process and drying times.
  3. Allow the Paint to Dry: Let the paint dry completely before evaluating the results. This may take a few hours to a day, depending on factors like temperature and humidity. Refer to the paint manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.
  4. Apply Additional Coats if Necessary: If the first coat does not provide complete coverage or the desired result, apply additional coats. Be sure to allow each coat to dry before applying the next.
  5. Seal the Paint: Once the paint is dry and you are satisfied with the results, it is essential to seal the paint with a fabric sealer or a clear acrylic or polyurethane spray. This provides an extra layer of protection against weather elements and ensures a longer-lasting finish.

Maintenance Tips

After successfully painting your outdoor fabric chairs, proper maintenance is essential to keep them looking fresh and new. Follow these simple maintenance tips:

  • Regularly clean the chairs using mild detergent and water. Skip harsh chemicals or bleach to prevent damage to the paint or fabric.
  • Store the chairs indoors or cover them when not in use to protect them from harsh weather conditions.
  • Inspect the chairs for any damages and repair them promptly to prevent further wear and tear.

In conclusion, painting outdoor fabric chairs is an achievable DIY project that provides an affordable and easy way to refresh your patio or garden’s look.

By choosing the appropriate paint, preparing the chairs correctly, and following the proper painting steps, it is possible to achieve professional, long-lasting results. For additional guidance and resources on painting outdoor fabric chairs, Better Homes & Gardens offers helpful tips and advice.

Yes, you can paint outdoor fabric chairs using fabric spray paint specifically designed for upholstery or fabric. Make sure to clean the fabric thoroughly and follow the instructions on the paint can for optimal results.

What Type of Paint is Best Suitable for Outdoor Wooden Furniture?

Outdoor wooden furniture not only adds beauty to your garden or patio but also provides a cozy space for gatherings and relaxation. However, to maintain their attractive look and ensure the durability of your outdoor furniture, it’s essential to select the right paint.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Paint

Before delving into the types of paint suitable for outdoor wood furniture, it’s crucial to consider various factors that determine the longevity and aesthetics of the paint:

– Weather Resistance

Outdoor furniture is constantly exposed to harsh weather conditions like sun, rain, and snow. Therefore, it’s vital to choose a paint that can withstand these elements and protect the furniture from damage such as warping and rotting.

– Compatibility

Different types of paint work better on certain wood species due to their unique characteristics. It’s essential to research and select paint that is compatible with the type of wood your furniture is made from to attain maximum protection and an attractive finish.

– Drying Time

Outdoor furniture needs to be dry before use. Choose paint with a quick drying time to ensure that your furniture is ready for use sooner after painting.

Types of Paint for Outdoor Wood Furniture

With the above factors in mind, below are some recommended types of paint for outdoor wood furniture:

– Latex Paint

Latex paint is a water-based paint that is suitable for outdoor wood furniture due to its durability and resistance to peeling and cracking. It is also an environmentally-friendly option since it has lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) compared to oil-based paints.

Latex paint dries fast, allowing you to apply multiple coats in a single day. I recommend using exterior-grade latex paint for your outdoor furniture as it is formulated specifically for this purpose and contains additives that boost its weather resistance.

Visit this page to learn more about the benefits of latex paint.

– Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint is another option for outdoor wood furniture, offering a durable and glossy finish. This type of paint has excellent adhesion, so it’s less likely to peel off like latex paint. However, it takes longer to dry, and you might need to wait up to 24 hours between coats.

Oil-based paint also emits higher levels of VOCs, which are harmful to the environment and your health.

If you go for oil-based paint, make sure to choose an exterior-grade product for better performance under outdoor conditions.

– Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a versatile option that works well on outdoor wood furniture. It is a type of water-based paint and shares some similarities with latex paint, such as quick drying time and low VOC levels.

Acrylic paint provides a durable and weather-resistant finish that can be easily maintained by cleaning the furniture with soap and water.

When choosing acrylic paint, opt for an exterior-grade version that is formulated specifically to withstand outdoor conditions.

– Epoxy-Based Paint

Epoxy-based paints are a good option for outdoor wood furniture because they offer a tough, chemical-resistant finish. This type of paint is known for its durability, making it ideal for furniture exposed to harsh elements.

It requires a two-part process involving a resin and a hardener, making it more time-consuming and costly compared to other types of paint.

To get the best results with epoxy-based paint, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it using a brush or roller.

– Wood Stain and Sealant

Although not technically a paint, wood stain is a popular choice for outdoor wood furniture, as it allows the natural wood grain to show through while providing UV and water protection. Wood stains come in various colors and tints, offering ample opportunity to match your furniture to your desired aesthetic.

Once the stain has been applied, a sealant should be used to further protect the wood from moisture and other elements.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, selecting the right paint for your outdoor wood furniture is crucial in ensuring the furniture’s durability and maintaining its attractive appearance. Opt for a paint type that is compatible with the type of wood your furniture is made from and offers excellent weather resistance.

Remember that the quality of the paint will have a direct impact on your furniture’s overall performance and longevity, so take your time to research and make an informed decision.

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