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How to Paint Outdoor Furniture so it Lasts for Years

I will show you the best way to paint your outdoor furniture so it lasts for years in the elements!

How to paint outdoor furniture so it lasts for years…

I love our blissful outdoor Adirondack chairs.

AKA our Muskoka Chairs.

Whatever name you want to call them.

They are my favourite outdoor chairs.

There is something so symbolic about them.

So summery. Lake-y. Beachy.

I even like to leave a pair of them out on our dock by lake all winter long.

Then I can see them sitting there; out at the edge of the dock; like beacons of hope reminding me on even the coolest foggy days that summer will, once again, return.


A large Adirondack chair on the grass with a pillow and blanket on it.

So obviously, living out in the elements all winter the chairs can take a beating from the weather.

I last painted this set of chairs when we first moved into this house five years ago. But truthfully they were looking a little worse for wear so I figured there is no better time than the end of summer to get them back in top shape.

Because there is definitely a bit of a process involved on how to paint outdoor furniture so it lasts for years.

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I used:

Paint Scraper
150 grit Sand Paper
HomeRight Spray Shelter
HomeRight Finish Max Sprayer
Outdoor Paint – I used an oil based paint designed for metals and other materials

Note about paint types and the weather:  I have always used an oil based exterior paint on these chairs and have painted them three times in the sixteen years that we have owned them. The first light blue colour was an oil based Porch and Floor paint and held up quite well (I consider five years out in the yard in all the elements before needing to be repainted to be pretty significant). We get a ridiculous amount of rain here but very little snow. I can’t say how the paint would hold up to a winter full of snow and freezing temperatures. If you get a ton of snow in your area then you may want to put your furniture somewhere dry for the winter. Talk to the paint expert at your local paint store for the best type of paint for your conditions and area. 

Now let’s get started, shall we?

A large light blue outdoor chair on the patio.

To paint outdoor furniture you first want to start with excellent preparation. You want to make sure you remove all loose bits of old paint (for previously painted surfaces) as well as all dirt and oils etc.

Start with a good paint scraping tool and scrape off all the loose and bubbled bits of paint.

Scraping loose paint off the Adirondak chair in preparation for painting.

Once all the loose bits have been scraped off, sand the wooden chair everywhere with a medium grit sandpaper. I used a 150 grit.

Sanding the chair by hand.

Then I gave them a good scrub with some TSP and a scrub brush, and rinsed it off after with the garden hose. I dried them off with an old towel and then let them fully and completely dry in the warm sunshine before I started to paint the outdoor furniture.

Using a scrub brush on the blue chair prior to painting.

While they were drying, the hubs and I set up my HomeRight Spray Shelter in the driveway.

This Spray Shelter is my new favourite DIY Tool. It may even have helped my marriage;)
A spray shelter in its carrying case on the ground.

There is a little story about spray painting and overspray that may or may not have ended up on my husband’s truck. Which led to an extremely fearful look in his eyes whenever I mention the word spray paint around here.

But now I have the spray shelter! So when I’m tackling a big job I can use it indoors or outdoors to protect the surrounding area from inevitable overspray.

I can’t wait to get my hands on the new small spray shelter for using inside the garage during the winter months – for those smaller spray paint projects which always seem to pop up during the holiday season.

You know; some of us bake Christmas cookies and some of us spray paint…

The spray shelter tent set up outside.

Once the spray shelter was setup with two drop cloths below, I took turns with each chair…

The blue chair in the spray shelter on a drop sheet.

And painted them with my HomeRight Finish Max Sprayer. So much easier to get into all those nooks and crannies with; it’s a great tool to paint outdoor furniture with.

Preparing the Finish Max spray painter with paint.

Holding the spray painter and aiming it at the chair.

I shared some tips about using a HomeRight sprayer in this post and this post when we tackled our rental house kitchen renovation last summer.

Or there are some great how-to videos on the HomeRight website if you want a little more information about using their Spray Shelter or the Finish Max Pro.

Didn’t it do a great job?!

And now we are all ready for the winter weather…

The fully painted chair in a slate blue outside on the lawn beside the lake.

A Life Is Better By The Lake pillow on the chair.

A pillow and blanket on the chair by the lake.

How to paint outdoor furniture so it lasts for years!

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This is awesome! Pin it to remember it!

How to paint outdoor furniture so it lasts for years poster.

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Disclosure: Thanks to HomeRight for collaborating with me on this post and project! All ideas and opinions are 100% my own.

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  1. Your instruction format is very easy to understand, simple, and gives confidence that someone can actually do the project. Great job!

  2. Awesome sharing, got the exact thing I was looking for to paint my outdoor furniture.
    Thank you Krista.

    1. Hi Janet,
      We actually had the paint colour matched to a piece of exterior siding. It’s the darker blue/grey hardi plank brand of siding – the colour is Evening Blue. Sorry it’s not an easier answer!

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