Painting my patio furniture has been on my DIY to-do-list for quite some time. I have been reluctant to start because we have a small patio and we are renting, so I did not want to loose my security deposit over a DIY-gone-wrong. After getting tired of the standard boring colors of my cheap patio chairs and tables, this spring I finally decided it is time to give my patio a colorful twist. Here are some tips and ideas on how to do DIY patio furniture painting without damaging your patio.
- Use spray paint carefully
I started off with the idea to use spray paint and quickly paint over 4 metal chairs. I bought Rust-Oleum spray paint in a beautiful shade of blue as well as a light green spray paint from Krylon. I got better results with the Rust-Oleum blue paint. To protect my patio from paint stains, I covered the floor with plastic bags taped to each other. I also used cardboard boxes to make a crate around the furniture. Below you can find the materials I used:
Although I do like the blue color of the spray painted chairs, I strongly recommend not using spray paint unless you have a lot of room (and thus do not need a cardboard crate) and only if you use a mask. Since when I started painting I was working without a mask and on a tiny patio, I inhaled a good amount of the spray paint which resulted in a runny nose and eyes for about a week – worst experience ever. On top of this, spray painting has two other disadvantages – you will need more of it than if you are using a regular paint and the color can be not intense enough and somewhat disappointing (as in the case of the green chairs).
Overall, the good thing that came out from my furniture painting experience with spray paint is the realization that unless you have a large patio, mask, gloves, and you hold the spray at least 15 inches away from the surface (and as far away from your face as possible) you should stay away from spray painting.
- Buy small buckets of outdoor paint
After the spray paint fiasco, I decided not to give up on my patio makeover and to try furniture painting with regular outdoor paint. I bought three small paint containers – grey, red, and blue. Instead of buying paint brushes, I used some of my old brushes I use for painting with acrylic paint indoors. I kept the patio covered with plastic bags and got to work. I painted the four chairs and two plastic tables:
I used two coats of paint to get a more intense color and better coverage. I love the end result! Painting these pieces was quick and easy, letting them dry overnight and than starting again the next day. One piece of advice is to be careful when drawing shapes (such as polka dots in my case) on a vertical surface. You need to make sure that you use just the right amount of paint so it doesn’t drip. Less is better in this case since you can always add another coat if necessary.