Easy Colour Makeovers for your Outdoor Furniture

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In less than a weekend, you can paint your exterior furniture using any of the many colours available on the market to create an updated, fresh new look.

Painting outdoor furniture pieces is an easy, fast way to transform and update the look of your deck or patio. Just follow these simple steps to achieve the best results.

Surface Preparation

  • The first step in painting outdoor furniture is to make sure that the wood is absolutely dry and free from mould and mildew. Be sure to check the undersides too.
  • If the old surface has mould or mildew, you can properly prepare the surface by using a mould remover, which are readily available from DIY stores.

Be sure to follow the manufactures instruction

  • Be sure to completely rinse the furniture and allow it to completely dry before applying paint or stain.
  • If the weather is cold, move the furniture indoors to dry. In milder weather it's enough to place the furniture in a garage, carport, or other shelter from the rain. Do not cover the furniture with plastic or a tarpaulin, as that will not allow enough air circulation for thorough drying.


The next step is to sand the surfaces to be painted. If the old finish is in fairly good condition, it's enough to just roughen the surface. Start with coarse-grade sandpaper, working with the grain. If you have an orbital hand sander, this is the perfect tool for this job.

If the old finish is in bad condition, you may choose to remove all the old finish down to the bare wood. This can be accomplished with a quality wood stain remover.


If the old painted or stained surface is still intact after sanding, you can skip priming. However, you should use a good primer formulated for outdoor use if any of the following applies:

  • If you're going to apply a lighter colour over a dark one,
  • If the wood is exposed,
  • If there are knotty sections,
  • Or if any stains remain.

Brush on the primer, working with the grain, using a good-quality nylon/polyester brush


Use high performance exterior primer, undercoat and gloss paint formulated to protect against weather and temperature extremes.

If you've primed the surface, one coat of stain will be enough. If you skipped the primer, you may want to apply a second coat. Let the furniture dry in a clean, dust-free, well-ventilated area. Don't leave it outside to dry, as wind and air will deposit dust and particles onto the wet surface.

Once the furniture is dry, you're good to go. Situate your furniture where it won't be under a drip line from a roof or tree limb. An occasional light wash with washing up liquid and warm water will help you enjoy your outdoor furniture for years to come.