Painted Plastic Outdoor Chairs

I don’t know about you but I will be spending a good chunk of the summer in our backyard.  I can just see myself with a (sometimes adult) beverage in hand watching my kiddos play.  It is like a dream…until I realized that there is no great place to sit.  You see, we have had these disgusting plastic adirondack chairs for years that leave a white chalky mark on your bee-hind. I have tried rinsing them, and scrubbing them, but it seemed to just make them have more chalky residue, and I would get less dirty sitting on the ground…which sorta defeats the purpose of a chair right?  But I am just not okay with getting rid of them before I try to fix them and I am so glad that I did!  Who knew that you could spray paint outdoor plastic chairs and that about an hour of my time would result in loving them again?  And the best part…I have been dying to use these bright colors and finally had a perfect excuse!  Seriously, this project was so simple.  It took me about an hour (broken up into two 30 minute spray sessions) to do 6 chairs. So here is how I did it…
How to Paint Plastic Outdoor Chairs

What You’ll Need:Rust-Oleum paint for plastic

  • Spray paint made to bond to plastic.  About 1 can per chair. I used Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch (Colors: Lagoon and Key Lime)
  • Don’t worry too much about the sheen.  I used 2 different sheens (gloss and satin) and they didn’t come out differently.  So just go for the colors you love.

{Update:  Click here to see how my chairs look 1 year later!}

How I Painted Plastic Outdoor Chairs:

  • Clean ’em: I simply hosed down the chairs using a fancy nozzle I call my thumb to get the water to come out with some pressure.
  • Dry ’em: I allowed them to dry completely in the sun.
  • Prep your space: I don’t like the cleanup part of any project and try to avoid it as much as possible so I did my spraying right on the lawn.  It made some marks, but they were gone after the lawn was mowed.  If this isn’t an option for you, use a drop cloth or old sheet.
  • Paint ’em:  Spray each chair with a thin coat of spray paint.  Hold the can about 10 inches from the surface of the adirondack chair and keep the can moving while you spray.  Don’t worry about full coverage during this first coat of paint.
  • Tip: It may be best to start with the bottom side of the chair to get your rhythm down even though I didn’t even paint the bottom of ours.
  • Second coat: I let the first coat dry for about 30 minutes before spraying my second coat.  (I think the directions say to wait a bit longer, but I am impatient and the kid’s nap time is only so long.)
  • Final inspection:  You may have a few spots here and there to touch up.  Get down and crawl around your chair and look at it from all angles to make sure all visible parts are painted…and to make your neighbor, who happens to peek over the fence to say hi during this step, think that you are crazy.
  • Let ’em dry COMPLETELY:  The only thing worse than the original white stuff getting on my rear end would be spray paint. So I let them dry for the remainder of a warm afternoon and then waited a few days before anyone sat on them to be safe.
How to Paint Plastic Outdoor Chairs

Don’t you love these?  Don’t forget to PIN it so when the weather turns warm again you can give it a try! This was so simple and adds so much color to my yard! We are well on our way to a spruced up yard just in time for summer! What are you going to do to make your backyard cocktail worthy?

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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

34 thoughts on “Painted Plastic Outdoor Chairs

  1. Sue says:

    How did your clean time resin before spray painting? I’ve been trying to get this done for over a year. I’m using a nice Mediterranean Blue, think Greece.

  2. Tammy says:

    I sprayed painted my brown resin wicker chairs white! The white is flaking off. How do I get this white paint off? I decided to leave it brown! Please help. I was told to use a pressure washer to take it off.

    1. Hey Tammy. I’ve never tried removing paint from wicker. Sorry I’m not more help here.

  3. Beth says:

    I have purchased 4 white chairs with the idea to paint the backs to look like a piano keyboard. I am a musician and if they turn out right, will donate the chairs as a silent auction item for the group I sing with. Have you ever done anything that specialized, and do you have suggestions about how to even begin?

    1. Any time I’ve done detail like that, I’ve used really thin painters tape to get really clean lines. It means extra steps, but it’s worth it.

  4. Sandy Murphy says:

    Love your idea and the color! Went out and bought the exact same color (satin lagoon). I scrubbed my 2 chairs with a brush and used the hose to rinse and let them dry for hours before painting. Ran out of paint before finishing my second chair. Had to wait about 2-3 weeks to finish a little bit of touch up on 1st chair (due to back problems). I waited at least 3 weeks before even thinking about sitting on it. I also kept it in the garage for several days to dry right after spraying it (so it wouldn’t get rained on). I used an old towel to dry off the raindrops and noticed blue paint! Now I’m afraid to let anyone sit on it. I didn’t use primer. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Sandy. I didn’t use primer either but didn’t have this issue so I’m not really sure. I have found that a nice thick coat is better than light coats in this case cause it makes a really hard laquer like finish. Sorry you are having trouble. Wish I was close so I could come take a look!

  5. Tracy says:

    I did the exact same thing this weekend. I used the same green. I used seaside for the blue. I also painted one ye!low & one red. Did the same w/ my yardsale lanterns. It promoted my husband to buy a matching patio umbrella.

  6. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the
    head. The issue is something that too few folks
    are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I came
    across this during my search for something relating to this.

    1. Sandy Murphy says:

      Thanks for the info, Corey. I didn’t use primer either and I feel like I used quite a bit of paint. I tried to use a sweeping motion while spraying and I was worried about using too much, but since you mentioned using a thick coat, I guess I didn’t use too much (even though I used more than one can).

  7. Geri Kay says:

    I have 2 that are needing a facelift so going today to buy paint.

  8. I love spray paint!! I do wish there were a wider range of colors. I’ve learned to do several very light coats to avoid drips.

  9. Vonnie says:

    How many cans of pant per chair or how many chairs does one can of paint cover? Thank you

    1. Vivien says:

      Yes I would like to know too!

  10. Kathleen Murphy says:

    Very good article. I really want to try this soon.
    BTW, do you remember where you got those particular plastic resin Adirondack chairs? I’m asking because the new batch of A-chairs out there have been redesigned and I do not like the so-called lumbar support bump that they have now. Also, I have looked all over for the former design of the matching footstools. The “old” footstools were flat, not sloped like the “new & improved” design.
    Another case of a redesign that doesn’t meet many customers wants and needs. Thanks!

    1. Hello. We got them at Home Deopt. I think they are the old version.

  11. Denise says:

    Love this idea and my chairs look great–except there are chips in the paint after only one week. Did you have this problem? Any ideas of how to keep them from chipping again after I re-paint.
    Thanks for any insight,
    Denise

    1. Hmmmm…. mine didn’t chip. Make sure you clean them really well and you may want to use a primer this time around just to be sure. Sorry to hear you had some trouble. That can be frustrating.

  12. Gina says:

    Can you tell me how well you scrubbed them? Did you get all of that chalky stuff off? What did you use besides water? Thank you.

    1. Hi Gina. I just used a kitchen sponge with a rough side. Not all of the chalky stuff came off, but they were better than when I started. The paint did just fine without getting all of the chalky stuff off first.

  13. Gina says:

    Hi,
    I have exactly the same chairs with the same horrible chalky residue on them. Did you have to remove the chalky substance before painting? I went to Home Depot to buy my paint (ironically Satin Lagoon and a Satin Eden). The guy there told me to use TSP and steel wool to scrub off the white chalky residue, then dry then paint 2 coats. So far I have only scrubbed 1 chair (I have 4 lol) and it was exhausting. Just wondering if you scrubbed that off first or am I wasting my time. My friends think I am crazy to waste so much time painting 17.00 chairs lol.
    Thank you

  14. jamie says:

    Hi there these chairs are beautiful!! Did you need to prime them first??

    1. Hi Jamie. I didn’t prime them first. I just cleaned them and made sure they were dry before using 2 coats of spray paint.

  15. Lyn Brownfield says:

    fantastic idea, will try this on my shabby chairs, thanks

  16. […] the sprinklers, an (okay for now) dining table that I saved by restaining it last spring, and some Adirondak chairs that I brought back to life with spray paint last year.  What’s missing is a space on the patio right off of the house to sit and hang […]

  17. Robin says:

    Where did you find the spray paint? I found almost the exact same can you used but it doesn’t list plastic as one of the surfaces.

    1. Hi Robin! I found the spray paint at Home Depot. Each color seems to come in a different finish though, so it can be tricky. Let me know if you have more questions.

  18. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I am so going to try this on m lawn chairs! I might even use the same colors as you did!

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  20. I love these!! I never thought about painting them-such a cool idea-glad I found your site. (Sharon)

    Sharon and Denise ♥
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  21. love theses colors! thanks for the tips! I am so turning our plastic chairs into these next week!
    -Lauren

  22. Okay, I seriously have to try this. I have blue wooden ones but my old beige plastic ones are looking pretty sad. Thanks for the informative and funny tutorial!
    Krista@ thehappyhousie

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