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My mom has always loved the beach. Palm trees, hibiscus, and coconuts make her eyes light up like nothing else can. When I convinced her to come be my neighbor in the middle of North Carolina, it meant plenty of nature and green trees, but no coconuts to be found.
Her backyard is beautiful and private (aside from the occasional deer), but there’s no good place to relax and enjoy the warm weather.
She had some comfy outdoor chaise lounge chairs, but with the rest of the space feeling uninviting (and not having a place to put a drink), they collected more spiders and dust than anything else.
Maybe you have an outdoor space that could be really great, but it’s not quite as inviting as you want it to be.
Adding a pop of color is a great way to make a big impact without spending a lot of time or money.
So who’s with me? It’s time to reclaim our outdoor spaces and make them FUN again.
This quick and easy patio furniture makeover consisted of two projects: painting her resin wicker lounge chairs, and spray painting a wood and concrete patio table.
Let’s start with the wicker.
How to Paint Plastic Wicker Furniture
I know it seems wild, but yes, you can paint plastic wicker furniture and make it a whole new color. The key to any successful project is getting the right supplies.
We used Krylon® Fusion All-in-One™ for a few reasons: it adheres to pretty much any surface, it’s durable, and it’s great for outdoors. It even has maximum rust protection for the metal legs that are on the lounge chair.
For each chair I used:
- 2 cans of Krylon® Fusion All-in-One™ in Matte White
- 2 cans of Krylon® Fusion All-in-One™ in Matte Spring Shower
Total time for this project including dry-time: 4 hours
STEP 1: PREP
I hate prep work, which is one of the reasons I love using Krylon® Fusion All-in-One™.
Not only will it adhere to the plastic wicker and metal legs, but all you need to do before spraying is to clean the surface, which for me meant removing lots of baby spiders and cob webs. YUCK!
STEP 2: SPRAY PAINT YOUR FIRST COLOR
Originally I planned to paint the bottom and sides of the chair white and then have only the top blue.
After painting the first chair this way, I decided that having just the legs white was the way to go, so you can ignore the white you see along the edges of my chaise 😉
Start with the bottom of your chair. Lay it down so that the bottom is facing up and add a light coat, making sure to hit all the angles, especially around any metal rods.
Once you finish, loop back to where you started and add a second coat.
I repeated this for my second chair and then added a third coat to the legs or any parts that are especially visible.
After 15 minutes, I flipped the chair back over, folded up the back, and got any areas that weren’t sprayed due to the position of the metal poles.
Before spraying, I grabbed a paper towel and quickly wiped the surface of the chair again to get rid of any dust or debris that might have been picked up when laying on the ground.
If you don’t want to spray the full bottom, you can get away with just using one can of Matte White spray paint for each chair instead of two. You can also skip flipping the chair over and just move it into the position pictured below.
If you do it this way, you might end up doing some crouching to get all the legs, but luckily, Krylon® Fusion All-in-One™ can be sprayed any way (even upside down if needed!)
STEP 3: SPRAY PAINT YOUR WICKER CHAIRS WITH YOUR SECOND COLOR
Since my original plan involved putting tape on the first color and it was 105-degrees, I decided to wait 2 hours before taping everything up.
For the design I ended up going with, I just tarped up the legs instead of taping anything up.
If you’re not taping and you’re painting your wicker furniture in a cooler environment, I’d recommend waiting 15 minutes to an hour instead.
Since wicker has so many different angles and crevices, I like to work in straight lines so I can keep track and which angles I’ve covered.
For the first coat, paint up and down, slightly overlapping your previous paint line with every stroke.
You can go all the way up and down, or work in sections as pictured below.
Once I got the whole chair painted with a single coat, I went back to the area I started with and added a second coat, this time spraying from side to side.
I waited about 15 minutes and came back to see if there were any areas that needed a bit more paint. I added a third light coat to any areas that needed it and quickly sprayed the area around the spot as well to blend in the paint.
STEP 3: ENJOY!
One of the great things about using spray paint is that you don’t have to wait long before enjoying them!
After about an hour of drying, I carefully moved the lounge chairs to their permanent locations. After about 2.5 hours, I sat and enjoyed a tall glass of ice water with my mom in her freshly painted resin wicker chairs.
I’d recommend being careful with your freshly painted wicker furniture for the first week or so. It’s always good to give any paint time to cure before putting it too much to the test.
How to Spray Paint Outdoor Wood Furniture
To give my mom a place to set her drinks, we built a new side table for about $30 (get the tutorial here), but this technique will work on pretty much any wood furniture that you want to transform.
For our project, we used:
- 1.5 cans of Krylon® Fusion All-in-One™ Matte Desert Orange
- Less than 1/4 can of Krylon® Fusion All-in-One™ Matte Wild Honey
The total time (including dry-time): 45 minutes
STEP 1: PREP
You don’t need to sand first for the spray paint to adhere to the wood, but we like to make sure everything feels nice and smooth when you run your hand over it.
To prep this table, we sanded our wood using 150 and 220-grit sandpaper.
For the top of the table, we wanted a solid top so that we could add a pattern.
Solid wood tops + outdoors don’t really go hand-in-hand since you don’t want water sitting on top of the wood regardless of finish, so we decided to go with a concrete top instead.
The great news is Krylon® Fusion All-in-One™ bonds well to both wood and concrete, so there’s no need to prep or paint any differently.
Even for the concrete, there’s no need to sand first for the paint, but we ended up sanding the top and sides using 80, 150, 240, 400, and 600 grit sandpaper for a velvety smooth feel (even though it doesn’t look all that smooth).
After sanding, we ran tack cloth over the surface to pick up any dust that might be left on the surface.
If you’re not in the mood to sand, just make sure your wood is free of peeling paint, clean and dry. No need to prime first!
STEP 2: SPRAY PAINT
It’s time to break out the paint and watch your wood furniture transform before your eyes!
Start by shaking the can for 1-2 minutes. Bonus tip: throw in some dance moves as you shake the can for added fun.
Start spraying! Keep moving as you spray so that you apply even, light coats.
We painted one light coat on the table and then immediately looped back to where we started and added a second light coat.
Then we shifted gears to the concrete top. We added 2 light coats back-to-back and then waited 15 minutes before adding a third coat.
OPTIONAL STEP 3: ADD A PATTERN
One of my favorite things about spray paint is that you can use stencils to quickly add designs to your projects and you don’t have to deal with the paint bleeding through your stencil. We always get crisp, clean lines when we use spray paint.
Before adding your pattern, wait about 15 minutes for your base paint to dry.
To add your pattern, grab a stencil (we made ours out of cardstock) and position it to your liking. No need to tape it down–just make sure it doesn’t move while you’re spraying.
Quickly spray a light coat of spray paint over the stencil. If you want a really solid color, wait 30 seconds and add another coat.
Move your stencil and line it up with the section you just sprayed.
Continue until your entire surface is stenciled.
We used Matte Wild Honey for our stencil pattern.
STEP 4: ENJOY!
After 15 minutes, your paint should be dry to the touch, which means you can start to gently move it around. After about an hour (or two if you live in a humid place with high temperatures like I do), you’re free to grab a drink and start relaxing with your freshly-painted wood furniture.
There you have it! In just a few hours and the power of spray paint, I was able to makeover my mom’s back patio and take it from blah to a mini tropical oasis.
Sure, it looks out into a forest rather than the ocean, but it still delivers that big sigh of relief, “I’m on vacation” feeling.
If you’re looking to make your backyard feel like a tropic getaway (which we could all use after the year 2020 has been), try giving it a quick update with some bright colored paint.
3 Year Update
Curious how this spray painted furniture is holding up? The sides are still looking amazing and have even held up against pressure-washing!
Some areas on the chairs where the water sit have peeled, but I knew it was going to happen the moment I spray painted them. You see, we applied this spray paint in the middle of a heat wave. Humidity was over 90% and the temperature was over 100-degrees which is terrible weather to spray paint in.
Within 5-10 minutes of spraying the top of the chairs, the paint was already starting to bubble due to the heat.
I would 100% spray paint wicker furniture again (but this time in cooler, less humid weather). The sides holding up so perfectly, despite the horrible weather conditions, is proof that this can be a great and durable solution.