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How To Paint Garden Furniture

The summer is fast approaching, and there will be plenty of days ahead where sitting in the garden is at the forefront of your mind. To get warm weather-ready, now is the time to give a little love to your garden furniture which may be looking a little sad and uninviting, particularly if it’s been sitting out in the cold for a few months. You can soon get it looking good again with some very easy DIY. So to restore your furniture back to its original painted colour or to experiment with a new one, just follow this simple guide and shop The Paint Shed’s selection of garden paints and accessories today.

The British Summer as short as it may be, is the ideal opportunity for spending time in your otherwise unloved garden or patio. Dig out your garden furniture for sunbathing, al-fresco dining or even creating your very own beer garden. Your outdoor space doesn’t have to be large to make an impact, with a quick lick of paint and the right decor you will have everything you need to soak up the rays in style.

Here’s what you will need:


Pick Your Garden Furniture Paint

The secret of a fine finish is nearly always determined by the amount of effort going into the preparation of the wood prior to painting. You should use good quality exterior wood or metal paint and allow enough time for drying between each coat. Remember that several thin coats are better than one thick one. Thin coats take less time to dry, produce a harder finish and look better too. We stock a wide range of exterior paint finishes that are suitable for garden furniture including matt, gloss and satin. 

If you are experimenting with colour, always aim for a shade that compliments your home’s exterior. You can draw colour inspiration from your garden, doors or surrounding area, for more tips and tricks on painting your garden look here. Alternatively, if you want to stay thrifty you can use leftover paint from other DIY projects. Tie in the colours of your interior and exterior home by painting key furniture pieces the same shade. This will save you time and money while also creating a cohesive colour flow throughout your home. For advice on getting the most out of your leftover paint click here.

When picking your paint remember to consider your climate, depending on where you live you may need extra protection from the elements. With weatherproof, UV resistant and rust protection paints available you are sure to find what you need at The Paint Shed. Alternatively, you can always stain or varnish your wooden furniture for a revived look that will hold up well to extreme weather conditions.

Recommended Garden Furniture Paints

Prepare your area

Move your furniture to a well ventilated, uncluttered area away from any valuables. Place the piece of furniture on top of a large dust sheet or any old newspapers/bin bags you have at home, this will help protect your floor. Use any leftovers to cover the surrounding area to stop paint splashing on the walls, this is particularly important if you are using a spray mist. Next, if you can remove any hardware from your outdoor furniture, this will make the painting process a little easier.

Preparing the woodwork

Now’s the time to repair any soft or rotten woodwork before repainting. Use a mallet and chisel, or a saw for the larger areas, to remove wood. Then patch these sections with new wood using strong waterproof glue. Fill any smaller holes or cracks with exterior grade wood-filler and seal the gaps around the joints of the new and old timber, then sand smooth. Remember that wood filler often shrinks when it dries, so it’s better to leave some of the filler protruding above the surface prior to sanding.

Wash the bare wood with warm soapy water (scrub if necessary) and allow to dry thoroughly. If it’s appropriate and your garden furniture is robust enough, power-wash the wooden surfaces to remove old flaking paint etc. Also, if mould or algae are in evidence then add some bleach or mildewcide to the water.

Priming and sanding

Sand the furniture carefully, removing any old flaking paint, bubbles, old paint drips etc. Course abrasive followed by a finer paper such as 180-grit should be used and close attention paid to all the little crevices. Now use an old paintbrush or a rag to remove any dust from the sanding process. Wipe over with white spirit to remove any lingering dust and grease. Apply a coat ofexterior primer, and allow to dry (this normally takes about eight hours).

Garden Furniture Preparation

Painting garden furniture

First it is important to start with the right tools, for smaller patio furniture a small brush will be suitable but for tabletops a roller would be your best choice. It is best to have the both at hand to alternate according to need. If your paint brush or roller is hard with dried paint simple revive it with a soak in brush cleaner. Find everything you need to get started in our tools and accessories section.

Once you have settled on your tools, stir the can of paint thoroughly. Now turn the furniture upside down, and, using an appropriate brush, paint underneath and allow to dry, try to paint evenly along the grain of the wood. (Remember – when painting wood several thin coats of paint are better than one thick one and the darker the colour the more coats that will be required) Turn the furniture the right way up and repeat the process and allow it to completely dry before use.

Now that your garden has had its makeover it’s time to celebrate with friends or family. Show off your newly painted furniture with a garden party or family picnic!

Browse our range of garden paints, woodcare and masonry products to get started. 

For more painting guides and product reviews look to our tips and advice blog here.