How Do You Paint Metal Folding Chairs?

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Whether the existing paint has chipped away in some areas or simply doesn't suit your home's decor, spray paint makes metal folding chairs look new. Use a metal primer and spray paint for best results; other types of paint may not adhere or may peel off in a short time. If you've never spray painted before, practice on a scrap piece of paper or cardboard to get a feel for the size of the spray and the ideal painting speed for a consistent, drip-free finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic tarp
  • Dish soap
  • 2 buckets of water
  • Sponges
  • Old towels
  • Fine-grit sanding block
  • Tack cloth or soft rags
  • Painter's tape
  • Face mask
  • Metal spray primer
  • Metal spray paint
  • Cover the ground of a well-ventilated work area, ideally outdoors, with a plastic tarp. Set up the chairs on the tarp.

  • Squirt some mild dish soap into one of the buckets of water. Dip a sponge into the soapy water and wipe down each chair including the legs, back and all areas that will be painted. Wipe down each chair with a clean damp sponge, then immediately dry the chairs afterward with old towels, ensuring the chairs are completely dry.

  • Sand the chairs with a fine-grit sanding block to scuff up the existing finish. Wipe away the dust with a tack cloth or soft rags.

  • Flip the chairs downward, resting the chairs on the front edges of the seat and seat back so the seat bottoms are exposed. Cover any areas you don't wish to paint, such as the caps on the chair legs, with painter's tape.

  • Put on a face mask. Shake the primer can vigorously for a minute or so. Prime the legs and the underside of each chair as well as any areas that would be difficult to reach with the seat in upright position. Use slow, consistent and straight arm motions, overlapping each spray line slightly. Hold the spray can 12 to 18 inches away. Begin spraying before reaching the chair and stop beyond the end of the chair for a consistent spray line. Flip the chairs back upright after 10 minutes or so and prime the remaining metal areas. Allow the primer to dry for several hours or as recommended by the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Flip the chairs to expose the seat bottoms once again. Shake the paint can and paint the underside of each chair, as well as the legs in straight, slightly overlapping spray lines while holding the can 12 to 18 inches away from the chair -- as you did while priming the chair.

  • Flip the chairs upright and paint the remaining areas in the same fashion. Allow the paint to dry for several hours or as recommended by the manufacturer's instructions. Apply a second coat if the color is inconsistent or if primer is visible through the paint. Wait several days before folding or using the chairs to allow the paint to cure completely.

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  • Photo Credit Winai_Tepsuttinun/iStock/Getty Images
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