There’s no better time to make a statement with a lick of paint and transform your garden into a functional, exciting sanctuary to relax in.

Whether you’re customising a new garden furniture set to make it your own or upcycling an old one, find out all the tools and tips you’ll need to paint your garden furniture in our useful guide. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Garden furniture paint (this must be suitable for wood or metal)
  • Exterior primer
  • Exterior grade wood-filler
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller
  • Abrasive paper
  • Dusting brush
  • Dust sheets or newspapers
  • Chisel
  • White spirit 
  • Waterproof glue
  • An old cloth

What paint to use to paint outdoor furniture?

If you want your outdoor furniture paint to last, you must select the correct type. The key is to select a good quality exterior wood or metal paint and allow enough time for each coat to dry before applying the next. Always remember that applying several thin coats is better than fewer thick coats because they’ll be quicker to dry, produce a harder finish and look smoother too. Exterior paints are available from hardware stores and often come in matt, gloss or satin finish.

How to prepare garden furniture for painting

Prepare the area

To set up your workstation for painting, move your furniture to an uncluttered area, away from valuables. Using a dust sheet or old newspapers, cover the floor beneath and around your furniture to protect it from accidental drips of paint. Be sure to remove any cushions or fabrics from your garden furniture and put these to one side to prevent them from getting damaged. As paint often contains chemicals, it’s best to wear a mask and paint outdoors if you can or in a well-ventilated area where windows and doors can be opened to let fumes out. 

Check for Cleaning and Repairs

If you’re working on an older furniture set that is being upcycled, you may find that elements of the woodwork are rotten, broken or unstable and need to be replaced. It’s wise to conduct all repairs on your wooden furniture set prior to painting. For quick repairs, use your chisel to remove the rotten or broken pieces of wood. Using a strong waterproof glue, patch up the furniture with new pieces of wood and fill any smaller gaps or holes with exterior grade wood-filler, then sand until smooth.

Before applying any form of paint, ensure your furniture set is as clean as it can be and given enough time to dry. Check out our guide for information on how to clean garden furniture.

Priming and Sanding

Carefully sand the furniture down before painting, ensuring that any old paint bubbles or drips are removed and smoothed. Next, use your old cloth and dusting brush to remove any dust or debris from the sanding down. To ensure all dust is removed, it’s a good idea to wipe the set over with white spirit before applying a coat of exterior primer. Once applied, your furniture will then need to be left to dry for 8 hours or so (check manufacturer’s instructions for guidance).

Painting Garden Furniture

It’s best to paint on a warm sunny day so that rain won’t ruin your work and the paint can dry quicker. 

If you’re painting a small furniture set, using a paint brush alone may be enough. However, if you’re working on a larger set, you may require a brush and a roller (particularly for painting the tabletop). To begin, turn your furniture upside down and paint underneath first. Ensure you’re painting along the wood grain for a good finish and allow the paint to dry fully before flipping the furniture set over to paint the top side. 

Once you’re happy and you’ve painted enough coats for the paint to look consistent, allow your furniture to dry fully before use.

Now it’s time for the best bit… Gather around friends and family to see your garden transformation and enjoy relaxing outdoors long into the evening on your newly painted garden furniture.

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Paint pots Photo by Unsplash