How to Spray Paint Patio Furniture

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Painting patio furniture with a brush often seems like tedious work when other outdoor chores beckon. Many homeowners speed the process and produce excellent results using spray paint to bring weathered furniture back to life. Beginners will discover that part of this art involves spraying just the furniture. The work is not hard but some planning is important to keep paint going where it belongs and off nearby plants, paving and the painter.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper or other remover for old paint
  • Rags and towels to remove sanding dust
  • Fabric or plastic drop cloths
  • Spray paint
  • Sponge or bristle brush to smooth drips

Preparing Furniture for Spray Painting

  • Remove all old paint chips and peeling paint. This might involve sandpaper, a putty knife, or other removal tools, depending on whether furniture is metal, wood or plastic.

  • Sand chipped and peeled areas until edges are smooth, either by hand or with an electric sander (a sanding wheel on your electric drill speeds work greatly). Lightly sand all other surfaces of the furniture to provide the slightly rough surface that ensures good adherence of new paint. Remember to include parts of the furniture not necessarily seen but still exposed to paint-damaging weather: the bottoms of seats and insides of legs or the undersides of arms, for example.

  • Wipe down sanded furniture to remove sanding grit with wet towels or rags. Dry furniture thoroughly before spray painting.

Spray Painting Your Furniture

  • Spread drop cloths over your work area. Include any neighboring objects or structures that would not welcome a coat of paint -- the garage wall, your lilacs or the swing set. Once the floor area is covered, use tacks or tape to secure drop cloths on vertical surfaces or over objects to a height of the piece of furniture you are painting. Unlike the drips of paint on a brush, you need to counteract droplets of paint going in many directions.

  • Don protective clothing, including eyewear and face mask (you are one of the objects that does not welcome a coat of paint!).

  • Holding can in upright position, tip your furniture piece so that you can paint underside areas (undersides of seats, armrests, table tops, rungs, etc.) with a light coat of paint. Keep the can moving; staying in one place or trying to cover with a heavy single coat will produce dripping and clotting of paint. Let dry thoroughly and apply a second light coat of paint to complete coverage.

  • Proceed the same way with visible, top sides of your furniture: two light coats with complete drying in between. For surfaces that receive heavy wear, such as chair seats and backs or the top of a table, be prepared to add a third coat. Sanding lightly between coats will improve the adherence of the paint.

  • Use a small foam or bristle brush to smooth drips and cover final areas needing touchup.

Tips & Warnings

  • If old paint is in bad condition or you plan a drastic color change (yellow over green, blue over red), inquire about a suitable sealer pre-coat. Available sealers will differ according to furniture material.
  • As with all chemicals, make sure that your workspace is well-ventilated or choose an outdoor location to work with spray paint.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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