What Kind of Paint Stands Up to Furniture Left Outdoors?

What Kind of Paint Stands Up to Furniture Left Outdoors?

By Vanessa Salvia Updated January 20, 2021

When you’re planning to refurbish your outdoor furniture, you’ll find that several types of durable exterior paint are available. Whether you use a spray or liquid paint on your outdoor furniture, choose paints and primers formulated for the specific material your furniture is made from. Alternatively, go with a multi-surface exterior paint that works on wood, metal, plastic or other materials.

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For best results, regardless of the material it’s made from, clean and sand the furniture to be painted to remove the old finish, dirt or rust before priming and painting.

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Painting Outdoor Wooden Furniture

To protect it from UV rays, wooden furniture requires an exterior primer plus an exterior paint finish that completely seals the piece. Prepare the furniture by sanding or stripping to remove the old finish to the bare wood. Apply the primer and allow it to dry; then apply several coats of paint that completely cover all surfaces of the wood. Unless the furniture is wicker, the exterior paint may be either oil-based or latex. Wicker and other flexible wooden materials should be painted with oil-based exterior paint.

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For wood, you have a few options. The Benjamin Moore paint store suggests an opaque stain that allows your wood furniture’s natural grain to show through. Alternatively, if it’s not in good shape or you want a solid color, choose from either a glossy or matte finish from the wide selection of outdoor furniture paint colors.

Painting Outdoor Metal Furniture

On metal furniture, use a metal primer followed by an exterior-grade enamel paint. First, prepare the surface by removing loose paint and rust with a scraper and metal brush; then sand it to smooth the surface. Bob Vila says that if you’re refinishing rusty metal furniture, commit to finishing it all at once rather than spreading the job out over days. Otherwise, a “flash rust” can develop, sometimes in the space of a few hours.

Prime the patio furniture with rust-inhibiting metal primer. After that, choose a rust-inhibiting paint formulated specifically for metal. Your furniture will look best if you apply both the primer and the paint in multiple very thin coats – at least three thin coats of primer and three or more thin coats of paint. Choose from spray or roll-on paint. Spray painting primer and paint usually results in a more even coat than trying to apply it with a brush.

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Painting Outdoor Plastic Furniture

Sun can fade otherwise attractive plastic chairs, but painting them can give them extra life. Before painting any outdoor furniture, use painter’s tape to cover up any parts of the furniture that you don’t want painted, such as metal legs.

If it’s very smooth plastic, first lightly sand the furniture, recommends True Value, especially if the furniture has been painted before.

Prime the outdoor plastic furniture with an outdoor primer formulated for use on plastic. Allow the primer to dry, and choose your paint color. Using a primer allows you to paint the chair with any kind of spray paint, even if it’s not formulated specially for plastic. Alternatively, you can paint outdoor plastic furniture with a paint and primer combo that’s formulated specifically for plastic surfaces. [external_footer]