Learn how to spray paint outdoor chairs – with my tips and tricks! I even show you how to add a message by layering the paint. So cool.
There’s a project that we’ve been trying to do around here for quite awhile! My outdoor chairs have needed an overhaul and until now, I just haven’t taken the time to do it.
The reason for the desired revamp? Because when I moved to my condo, the blue outdoor chairs and white table stood out like a sore thumb agains the brick of my building and the landscaping surrounding it.
I wanted more natural colors that would blend into the background a bit . . . but with a fun twist because everything I do has to have at least a little bit of personality! I’ll explain that in a minute.
I was looking around for spray paint colors at Lowe’s and came upon this beautiful display (cue angels singing):
It’s a display that I’ve noticed before, but this time I was shopping for something specific: Valspar Outdoor Spray Paint. There were several reasons I selected this paint!
- You can use it on virtually any surface (wood, metal, terra cotta, etc)
- Outstanding weather protection – including UV-resistance
- Rust resistance (important for these chairs which tend to rust)
- No sealer required
Not to mention the amazing color palette! I chose three colors: Dried Pepper, Spring Sprout, and Exotic Sea Spray. The Dried Pepper and Spring Sprout were to be the main colors.
And the Exotic Sea Spray? Well, that was for the secret message. Yep – these chairs have messages on the seats, which you may or may not have noticed in the first photo.
And now I’m excited to share the complete tutorial with you. Here’s how we completely revamped our outdoor table and chairs using Valspar spray paint!
Spray Paint Outdoor Furniture
Here is one of the chairs we started with. Let me also share a fun tidbit with you about these chairs – at one point I used a cleaner on them that I wasn’t supposed to, so the paint was really splotchy. This revamp came just in time!
We wanted to make sure our chairs and table were clean and ready to accept the paint – so we washed them and used 150 grit sandpaper to scrape up the surface slightly. You don’t have to do a perfect sanding job, but you want to hit everything at least once with the sandpaper.
To remove the sanding dust and get the chairs and table REALLY clean, we wiped them with a cloth sprayed with some rubbing alcohol. You don’t want to leave any dust behind.
Then we unassembled the chairs and table and put the nuts and bolts in a plastic bag for safe keeping. You can technically dis-assemble first before cleaning – that’s just the way we chose to do it.
Now you need to decide two things: 1) where you want your messages and 2) what color you want them to be. This is where I wanted to incorporate the Exotic Sea Spray!
Though my chairs were already blue, they were not the turquoise-y shade that I desired. So I decided that I wanted one message on one seat of the chair and a different message on the other.
Then I sprayed both seats (just where the message would go) with the Exotic Sea Spray. Give it at least two coats and let the chair dry.
I recommend letting the seats dry overnight (or whatever piece you are putting the message on) because you need them really dry for this next step.
Now you’ll need TWO items: adhesive letters in the font of your choice and painter’s tape. Place a strip of painter’s tape across one seat so that your message will be perfectly horizontal.
Then place your adhesive letters down onto the chair, lining the bottoms up with the tape. We chose two messages: “Take a Seat” and “Stay Awhile.” We spelled these out and smoothed the letters down.
Now you’re REALLY going to get spray painting.
I’ll address the seats with the messages in a minute – but for now, you’re going to spray paint everything else . . . the tops of the chairs, the arms and legs, the table . . .
We decided to use the Dried Pepper for the arms, legs, and the table. The Spring Sprout would cover the back and seat of the chairs.
When you’re spraying: spray in light, even coats – going back and forth several times over the surface.
I actually did quite a few coats because that is how I have been the most successful with spray paint in the past. I find that rushing the job can only ruin the project. So work slowly! The spray paint went on smooth and evenly.
You’re probably wondering why I have a picture of a tree with orange things hanging from it. Those are the legs and arms of the chairs!
We found that stringing them up with wire and spraying them made it SO easy to cover the entire surface from all sides. Just be careful not to spray the tree (no trees were harmed in the coating of our chairs!).
It took us several hours to spray paint these outdoor chairs – but that includes breaks in between for dry time.
You don’t want to skimp on home decor items though, or rush it. The best way to get the best result is patience! It’s not a virtue of mine, but I forced myself :0
Now that we’ve addressed the other parts of the chairs, let’s address the seats with the special messages.
We made sure to spray the backs/underside of the seats first and let them dry completely. Then we spray painted the sides and tops – and yes, sprayed right over the adhesive letters! Do several coats just as you did with the other parts of the chair.
Let them dry just a few minutes and then remove the adhesive letters VERY carefully with a pointed tool (I used an X-Acto knife).
You do not want the paint to dry too much or the letters will pull up paint with them . . . and you don’t want that!
BEHOLD – a message!! Isn’t it so fun??
We repeated with the other chair. Then we let it all dry, and reassembled everything. Be very careful when reassembling . . . you’ll probably want two people even if your chairs aren’t like mine. Why?
Because if it’s humid, it’s going to take several days for the paint to cure. Our chairs were dry but still tacky for a few days (it’s been very humid here).
You can wait and let the pieces dry for several days if you’re concerned – it’s up to you!
Either way, you’re going to end up with some pretty awesome chairs at the end. I’m so happy about our “new” outdoor set . . . and I can’t wait for my neighbors to come over and check out the messages before they sit down. I hope they are tickled!
If you need some guidance on how to paint areas of your home or other decor projects, jump on Valspar paint’s center to get tips.
Now that you know how to spray paint outdoor chairs, will you give it a try? Let me know in the comments! I’d also love for you to check out the following projects: