How to Paint Outdoor Furniture


Outdoor furniture can last a long time if it is taken care of properly. However, even furniture that is babied is still exposed to the elements and will likely need a touch-up every few years. Painting your outdoor furniture is simple and can make it look like new for a fraction of the cost of a new set.

Things You'll Need

  • Enamel Paint
  • Paintbrush and supplies
  • Wire brush
  • Medium and light grade sandpaper
  • Metal Primer

Painting Outdoor Wood Furniture

  • Choose an enamel paint that is strong enough to stand up to the weather in your particular area (i.e. hot and dry vs. rainy). Check with your local paint supply store for the type best suited for your needs.

  • If possible, disassemble the furniture in order to be able to paint the end pieces and avoid moisture leaking under the paint layer down the road.

  • Brush the wood with a wire brush or medium grade sandpaper to remove loose paint, dirt or other debris. You may sand down all the paint if you like, but making sure you have a smooth surface with no snags is also sufficient even if some color remains.

  • Apply the first coat evenly and let it dry completely.

  • Once the first coat is dry, lightly sand it with light grade sandpaper and wipe off any resulting dust.

  • Apply the top coat evenly and allow it to dry completely before reassembling the furniture.

  • For best results, repeat this process every two to three years.

Painting Outdoor Metal Furniture

  • Wash the furniture thoroughly to remove any dirt.

  • Brush lightly with a wire brush to remove any remaining debris, rust or loose paint.

  • Coat the furniture with metal primer and allow it to dry completely.

  • Once the primer is dry, apply a coat of enamel in the color of your choice and allow it to dry completely before using it or placing anything on it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Enamel paint is best for outdoor furniture. It holds up well under many types of weather damage. Save at least a small amount of any remaining paint in order to touch up the furniture in between full paint jobs.
  • In metal furniture, chips should be reprimed immediately and then touched up with the remaining paint in order to avoid rust.

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