Best Paints for Outdoor Furniture: Tips and Tricks

5 min read

outdoor furniture painting

Outdoor furniture has become an indispensable element in households, especially in the summer season. The outdoor space is the perfect place to relax and unwind, and what better way to do so than by sitting on some beautifully painted outdoor furniture? With a little bit of paint and some hard work, you can transform your old, dingy-looking outdoor furniture into something eye-catching and vibrant. Whether you’re working with wood, metal, or plastic, with the right preparation and paint, you can turn your worn-out furniture into something extraordinary.

Before painting outdoor furniture, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First and foremost: the surface should be clean, dry, and free from any grease or dirt. It’s important to prepare the surface properly, as it will ensure that the paint adheres properly and gives a smooth, even finish. Also, make sure you’re using an appropriate type of paint for your outdoor furniture surface. Different materials require different paint, so it’s best to do your research before starting. For example, a wood surface will need a different paint compared to metal or plastic. Taking these precautions ensures that the final result is long-lasting, and the furniture paint doesn’t chip or peel over time.

outdoor furniture painting

Choosing the Right Outdoor Furniture Paint

Different types of outdoor furniture paint are available for various materials such as wood, metal, and plastic.

Preparation Before Painting Your Outdoor Furniture

Proper cleaning, sanding, and priming must be done before painting to ensure a smooth finish and longevity for the furniture.

Tips for Painting Outdoor Furniture

Use a high-quality brush or roller, apply multiple thin coats, and choose a suitable time and weather for painting, among other tips.

Types of Outdoor Furniture Paint

outdoor furniture paint

One of the best ways to spruce up your outdoor space is by painting your furniture. By adding a bit of color and personality, it creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere. But before jumping into the project, it’s essential to choose the right type of paint that your outdoor furniture needs. Here are the different types of outdoor furniture paint that you might want to consider:

Oil-Based Paint

oil-based outdoor furniture paint

Oil-based paint is a popular choice for outdoor furniture because it’s durable and provides excellent adhesion. It creates a waterproof and weather-resistant finish, making it perfect for areas with high humidity and heavy rainfall. However, oil-based paint takes a long time to dry and releases harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It also requires mineral spirits or turpentine for cleanup.

Water-Based Paint

water-based outdoor furniture paint

Water-based paint, also known as latex paint, is a versatile option for outdoor furniture because it dries quickly and easy to clean. It doesn’t contain any VOCs or toxins, making it an eco-friendly choice. Water-based paint provides a smooth finish and is resistant to fading and cracking. However, it’s not as durable as oil-based paint, and it’s not suitable for extremely cold temperatures and high humidity areas.

Spray Paint

spray paint outdoor furniture

Spray paint is an excellent option for outdoor furniture if you want to achieve a uniform, smooth finish. It’s quick, easy, and convenient to use, perfect for small projects. Spray paint comes in different finishes such as matte, satin, and gloss, giving you plenty of options to choose from. However, it’s not ideal for large pieces of furniture, and it requires a lot of preparation work and cleanup.

Chalk Paint

chalk paint outdoor furniture

Chalk paint is a popular choice for outdoor furniture because of its ability to stick to surfaces without sanding or priming. It provides a matte finish that has a vintage and shabby chic look. It’s easy to use, dries quickly, and can be applied to various surfaces such as wood, metal, and concrete. However, chalk paint is not as durable as other types of paint and requires a protective sealant to prevent chipping and fading.

Epoxy Paint

epoxy outdoor furniture paint

Epoxy paint is a high-performance coating that provides a long-lasting and durable finish. It’s ideal for outdoor furniture because it can withstand extreme temperatures, humidity, and UV rays. Epoxy paint is suitable for various surfaces such as wood, metal, concrete, and plastic. It’s resistant to chipping, fading, and scratches. However, epoxy paint is more expensive than other paints, and it requires a lot of preparation work and cleanup.


1. What kind of paint is best for outdoor furniture?

The best type of paint for outdoor furniture is oil-based or latex paint that is meant for outdoor use. These types of paints are durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions such as rain, wind, and sun exposure. Oil-based paint is known for its resistance to peeling, chalking, and fading, which makes it perfect for outdoor use. However, latex paint is a good option too since it dries faster, has less odour and cleans up easier than oil-based paint.

2. How do I prepare outdoor furniture for painting?

Before painting, you need to prepare the surface of the furniture to ensure that the paint adheres to it properly. Start by cleaning the furniture thoroughly using soap and water or a power washer if heavily soiled. Allow it to dry completely before sanding using fine-grit sandpaper until the surface is smooth. Dust off and wipe the surface with a cloth to remove any leftover residue before painting. It’s essential to apply a primer to the surface if the furniture is new, unpainted, or damaged. This will help the paint to adhere better maintain its finish for long.

3. Can I spray-paint outdoor furniture?

Yes, you can spray paint outdoor furniture. But, it would be best if you are careful when selecting spray paint. Some spray paint is designed specifically for outdoor furniture, while others are only suitable for indoor use. Read the labels carefully before purchasing it. Ensure you sand the furniture surface before painting and apply the spray paint evenly, in light coats. Permit each coat to dry for an hour or so before applying the next one. This will help the paint to bond with the surface better. It’s important to protect the surrounding areas and yourself by wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves, mask and do spray paint in well-ventilated space.

4. Can you paint plastic outdoor furniture?

Yes, you can paint plastic outdoor furniture, but not all types of paint will adhere to plastic surfaces well. For the best results, you need to choose a paint that is specifically designed for plastic surfaces. Look for paints that offer good adhesion and are made with tough and durable polymers that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Before painting, ensure it is clean, dry, and free from dust and dirt – If you paint onto a dirty surface, the paint will not bond properly. Apply thin layers of paint, and allow each coat to dry well before applying the next one.

5. Do I need to use a primer when painting outdoor furniture?

Yes, you need to use a primer before painting outdoor furniture. A primer is a base coat that helps the paint to adhere properly to the surface. Primers help to seal porous surfaces and create a base coat for the paint to bond too – which can help with adhesion and longevity of your paint application. Applying a primer helps the paint to last longer, prevent peeling, and chipping.

6. How long does it take for outdoor furniture paint to dry?

The drying time for outdoor furniture paint varies depending on the type and finish of the paint used, temperature, humidity and application technique. Generally, oil-based paint can take up to 48 hours or longer to dry completely, while latex paint can take 24 hours, depending on humidity levels. Applying the paint in thin layers can help the paint to dry faster. Ensure to protect and avoid placing heavy objects or sitting on painted furniture for the first few days to allow the paint to cure and harden properly.

7. How long does outdoor furniture paint last?

The durability of outdoor furniture paint varies depending on various factors like the type of paint, how well it has been prepared, environmental elements, and wear and tear. Generally, high-quality outdoor paints can last for up to 5-7 years with regular maintenance such as cleaning and occasional recoating. It is essential to repaint outdoor furniture when you start to notice chipping, cracking or peeling. Painting outdoor furniture regularly helps to protect surfaces from weather damage and prolong its lifespan.

8. What colour paint should I use for outdoor furniture?

The colour of the paint you use for outdoor furniture depends on personal preference and the environment. The most suitable colours for outdoor furniture are earth colours that blend well with natural surroundings – Green, brown, gray and beige. Lighter colour paints will reflect more sun and reduce the risk of sun damage – dark colour absorbs heat and is susceptible to fading. You may want to choose a paint that matches the outdoor colours of your house to create a balanced look.

9. How to maintain outdoor furniture paint?

Maintaining outdoor furniture paint is essential to extend its life span. Start with cleaning it regularly to remove dirt, dust, or other stains that may lead to discolouration and weakening of paint. Conside covering furniture during harsh weather conditions like constant sunshine or severe rain and storms wear and tear can be a challenge for paint. Inspect your furniture periodically and re-paint it when there is noticeable chipping, cracking or peeling. It’s essential to store furniture properly during harsh winter months or whenever it’s not in use.

10. Can I paint rusty outdoor furniture

Yes, you can paint rusty outdoor furniture, but it’s important to address the rust spots first, else the paint job will not last long. You can start by removing rust with a wire brush, sandpaper, or rust converter. Then clean the surface with soap, water and allow it to dry completely. Consider using Rust-Oleum each primer on the rust spots or the entire surface of the furniture. Finally, apply a coat of rust-olium pain to protect surfaces from weather elements and offers an excellent finished quality.

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