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How to Paint Your Outdoor Furniture and Make it Look Like New


If you’ve ever stumbled across a beautiful old piece of furniture during trash-pickup, or handed down a family favorite, then you understand that sometimes the best things are old. Even if it is a bit rough around the edges, it doesn’t take much to refresh a vintage piece of furniture. 

Quick, easy, and affordable, painting your furniture is the easiest way to freshen up an outdoor space. But before you start generously splashing on the paint, avoid it looking like a budget job with lumpy, peeling paint, and take a minute to read our step-by-step guide on how to painting outdoor furniture.

Assess the damage.

Depending on the state of your furniture, you may need to do some prep work first. Remove old, flaking paint with stripper or sandpaper, and give varnished items a rough sand to help the paint stick. Likewise, rust on metal pieces can be removed with a wire brush or sander, and wicker or cane will need a good clean with a soft brush and sugar soap solution.

Decide on a paint type.

Gloss, satin, and eggshell finish all work well for timber, while spray paint gives an even finish to wicker, rattan, and metal. Plastic furniture will need a special formulation that adheres to plastic. In all cases, ensure your paint is suitable for outside use, and also consider the climate where you live. Many paints have UV protection or anti-rust factors.

Check the forecast.

Some weather conditions aren’t conducive to painting. Too hot and your paint may dry too fast, or too humid, and it will take longer to dry, causing surface imperfections. Strong winds also make spray-painting difficult. Where possible, aim for a day that’s around 69 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity at 50 percent or less. Plan ahead and, for obvious reasons, wait a few days after painting before using your furniture.

To prime or not to prime.

This will be decided by the surface you’re working with and the type of paint you’re using. For instance, bare timber is porous and generally requires a primer to seal it before painting. If you’re using a brush or roller to paint, a primer is also worthwhile, to help achieve an even finish. But if you’re using spray paint? No primer required — hurrah!

Keep it clean.

Painting is messy, so move any furniture, plants, and rugs well away from your work area. Lay down drop sheets to prevent paint drips on your deck, garage floor, or grass, too. And wear old clothes and a mask.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.

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