A new coat of paint gives everything a new look, and if your outdoor furniture looks anything like mine, it needs a facelift badly.  My patio furniture survives very harsh winter weather pretty well, but after several years, the paint cracks, the colors fade, and I am usually ready for a fun change anyway.  

If you are ready to give your patio furniture a facelift in time for the summer, learn the best paints to use on outdoor patio furniture, and the important steps required to get that paint to perform at it’s best.  

In this article, I address water-based paints because they are more popular due to their ease of use.  If you are painting wood furniture, and want to use oil paint, you can follow the same steps, using oil paint.  Note that the process of priming, painting, and curing will take significantly longer.

metal patio furniture outside

** Before you jump into the steps make sure your weather is consistently 65-90 degrees.  Painting in cold weather can cause your paint to bubble, and painting in high heat can cause your paint to dry out and peel.  So wait for good weather.


Check your furniture before you plan your paint day.  Look for cracks, rust, or any loose paint. No matter what brand you use, if you paint over these things, it will not last!  You will have wasted time and money.

If you have cracks, rust or loose paint clean the surface with a little soap and water.  Sand the area down to create a smooth surface. If you are repainting an intricate surface use a power sprayer, or a strong hose adapter to get the cleaning done quickly.

outdoor patio furniture

STEP 2: Prime your furniture

It is is previously painted you could skip this step, but if it is free of paint, like that area you just sanded down, it needs to be primed.  Prime paint comes in spray cans and takes 30 minutes to dry. Don’t skip this step if you have bare furniture. Especially if you are painting metal or plastic surfaces.  

STEP 3: Paint

Now we can talk about painting!  Below are the best paints, based on my own experience. Give your piece 2-3 thin coats.  I usually paint on my grass, with my piece of furniture lifted onto 5 gallon buckets. When I mow the lawn, all over spray is cut off, and my sidewalk and garage stay clean.  

Pittsburgh Manor Hall Timeless (interior/exterior)– I use this line of paint quite a bit be cause of it’s durability and deep colors.  It also has a fairly quick cure time of only 2 weeks. I usually spray this paint on with a paint sprayer, but you could brush or roll it on as well.  

outside paint manor paint

Sherwin Williams Duration Acrylic – Sherwin Williams has great quality paint and this paint is great for outdoor furniture, exterior doors, etc.    This paint is self priming and is mildew resistant also. It resists blistering and peeling.

Farrow and Ball Exterior Paint – Farrow and Ball is a really high quality paint that looks beautiful and is very durable.  But it’s very pricey – between $70-100 per gallon when you factor in shipping. If you can find it at your local hardware store, consider yourself lucky!

If your piece of furniture is intricate such as willow furniture, use a can of spray paint, or paint sprayer if you have one. Sprayers get where brushes just can’t, without producing blobs of paint that eventually chip.

Here are some great brands of spray paint for outdoor furniture.

Valspar – This is my go to brand.  They have a great selection of exterior spray paints that are durable and has a great sheen to them.

spray paint

Rustoleum – This line of exterior spray paints is available at Home Depot.  This is a great brand and they have a good selection of exterior spray paints. I have noticed that my rustoleum cans don’t clog or drip like cheaper brands tend to do.  



STEP 4: Finish your piece with a top coat

Anything out in the elements, of rain, sun, or snow must have a top coat.  If you are using latex or water-based paints, use a polyurethane, which is water-based.  If you are using oil-based paints, use an oil-based top coat. The higher the gloss the more rust inhibiting and durable the furniture will be.  

painted wicker chair

STEP 5: Curing 

So many people skip this step!  They think the piece is done once it is dry to the touch.  No so my friends! Your furniture, needs to stay in a shaded area such as your garage, or under a patio until it is fully cured.  

Paint curing can take up to 30 days.  Read your can of paint, to learn how long it takes to cure.  If it isn’t listed, give it at least 14 days. Trust me, when you put that potted plant on your table 7 days afterwards, and forever have a ring or table, you will wish you waited.  

wicker chair brown

Good luck on your summer outdoor project!  I hope it turns out as beautiful as you have imagined it.

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A new coat of paint gives everything a new look, learn how to paint outdoor furniture correctly!