Spray Painted Plastic Outdoor Chairs {update: one year later}

One of my most popular posts is my post about How to Spray Paint Plastic Outdoor Chairs and I thought that since so many people are searching for information on the topic I should give you all an update on how mine are holding up one year later. It turns out that there is a spray paint for outdoor furniture and I’ll tell you which one worked best.

If you haven’t read the post about the original problem with my chalky residue plastic adirondack chairs you can get caught up right here, but let’s just say that even with a little bit of fading they are still way better than what I started with a year ago. And they have been a lovely place to enjoy an adult beverage if I do say so myself 🙂

can you spray paint plastic adirondack chairs

There they are, my spray painted plastic adirondack chairs when I first painted them, and what they look like now.  Clearly you can see that the blue one held up quite nicely and the green one faded quite a bit.

Just to give you some background info, I live in sunny Southern California and these chairs are always kept outside where the endure a lot of sunshine.

So why did one fade and not the other?  Well I used 2 different types of Rust-Oleum spray paint and one did a much better job.

best type of paint for plastic outdoor chairs

In my experience when using Rust-Oleum spray paint on something that you are going to have outside, it is best to use a satin finish.  For some reason it doesn’t fade as much (or really at all in this case) and keeps your plastic outdoor furniture looking nice for longer.  Neither of the finishes chipped at all, which sort of surprised me.

So the answer to the burning question, “can you spray paint plastic outdoor chairs?’ is YES!  It works great and is a great way to add a huge pop of color to your backyard. And anytime you can save money and revamp something to give it new life it is worth a bit of time don’t you think?

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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.

63 thoughts on “Spray Painted Plastic Outdoor Chairs {update: one year later}

  1. I think it might be more of a color issue, rather than gloss vs satin. Some colors tend to fade allot faster than others.

    1. Yoeun Aun says:

      Hi! I want to spray paint Levana seashell plastic pool for the kids. The color of the pool is blue !what kind of spray do I use .

    2. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Yoeun Aun, please research this carefully before doing any painting on a pool that kids will be swimming in. Any marine paint (that would take being submerged) could be toxic in such a small environment.
      A pool paint won’t stick to plastic. Plastic paints do not claim to hold up under water, or not to be toxic in this instance. I don’t recommend you try this; get expert advice first.

    3. Brandon says:

      Yup, you are absolutely right.

  2. Melody Drinkwater Wagner says:

    Hi Corey! Beautiful job! I too used the Satin Lagoon but on my mini (real)pumpkins and skeleton for my back patio. They lasted the whole season. I love the color! I’d be honored if you could take a look @ my teal pumpkins. Search Melody Drinkwater Wagner. Then click on Melody Drinkwater Wagner Pinterest. Click on-Fall Back Patio with Teal Pumpkins. Let me know what you think. I think my teal pumpkins and your teal chairs would look beautiful together. Loling!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks Melody; I’ll check it out 🙂

  3. MaryJo says:

    Does it work on PVC outdoor chairs?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Great question, MaryJo! Yes, select a paint made specifically for plastics.

  4. Nita says:

    I played around with the idea of painting my patio chairs and now I found this blog. It feels great to know I’m not crazy nor alone lol. Will the paint bleed onto clothes?

  5. Dennis says:

    Interesting results,my daughter used this paint also and so far the results are similar. She did have chipping on just one chair but really think it was caused by someone’s belt! The paint is good although the coverage was not that good,a smaller patio chair required about two cans to complete.(from dark green to light green)

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Dennis. Going from a dark to light color would definitely require more than one can!

  6. I love that you did an update on this! I love this paint and use it all the time. It’s good to know that it lasts and stands the test of time.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Adrienne. Yes, it’s a great product!

    1. Hey Deborah. It is hard to say. Usually when paint chips it is because the surface wasn’t prepped correctly. Using a primer usually helps tremendously.

    2. Mogie says:

      How well was it cleaned before it was painted? The paint is only as good as the surface it has to adhear to. If the chairs have a slick finish the paint might not bound too well. A light once over with a light grit sand paper would help with that. Just enough to give the surface teeth so to speak.

  7. KathyJB says:

    I very much appreciate that you posted your findings. Very good thing to know here in Texas

  8. Karen Martin says:

    I have a fear of the paint transferring to my (or my vistors’) clothes. Has that been an issue?

  9. Melody says:

    How much paint does it take for one chair? Thanks!

    1. I think it takes about 1/2 a can per chair.

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Corey,
    I have two chairs with the same problem, chalky residue. We had family over last summer and one of the guys sat in the chair with a black shirt on. To my surprise when he stood up is whole back side was white. Was I embarrassed. I have bought the paint to spruce them up, just haven’t done it yet. I think I will drag them out this weekend and give them a spray. Thanks for the update on the paint.

    1. Peg C. says:

      I had those chalky chairs that sat up on my pool deck. They were the heavier ones that you pay a little more for so you hate to them throw away. I decided I had nothing to lose to try and paint them. I didn’t want to have to scrub too hard because I am old and there were four of them. Two words! SOS Pads!!! It took the chalk off so easy that it was amazing! It scratched them up a little bit but boy did they hold that paint well. I sprayed a light coat of paint (Rust-Oleum 2X), waited 24 hrs. and painted them with a second coat. After they are done you will want to wait a week before you use them. This gives the paint time to cure and adhere to the surface. Mine are holding up perfectly (no chips, no rubbing off,etc.) and they are sat on daily with wet swimming suits. They still look like new! Worth every minute of the work! Good Luck!

    2. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks for a sharing your experience, Peg. SOS does work great!

  11. Tracy Cannon says:

    I spray painted a Large LT outdoor play structure and it chipped. Any suggestions? I used Krylon Fusion.

    1. Hi Tracy.
      Any time something chips it’s due to the paint not adhering well to the surface. So it needed to be cleaned or sanded better before painting. At least that is my experience.

  12. Victoria says:

    I’m pretty sure it may have to do with the color. Chartreuse has a lot of yellow in it & a person from a paint store once told me that yellows used outside almost always fade faster than other colors. I didn’t care though; I painted my front door a gold & even though it faded, I still love it. 🙂

    1. Dria says:

      How well do you think a gloss black will do on vinyl shutters?

    2. Hmmm. That is a tough one. I think that my best advice is to use a primer first because it is hard to get paint to stick to vinyl. Definitely test a spot first or if you can find a scrap piece of vinyl similar to your shutters test it there. I love the idea of gloss black on shutters though!

    3. Jami says:

      I agree here. Used both these same colors and the green faded but blue and pink didnt!

  13. Donna says:

    Was there any prep before painting?

    1. I just washed them really well. Then started painting.

  14. Carolyn says:

    Are you sure it was not the color? Better test now would now be to test blue in glossy and green in satin.

  15. Teresa says:

    Were you still able to stack the chairs once they were painted?

  16. Melissa says:

    Wow! This is great to know I just started my patio furniture makeover today and I’m relieved to know I used the right finish. I took a picture of the before and after of the chair and it looks completely different! I’m very pleased with the outcome.

    1. Awesome Melissa! Hooray for summertime!

  17. Fran says:

    I have fifteen-year-old plastic outdoor furniture with that chalky, oxidized surface. I’ve been wondering if a coat of spray paint would solve the problem. I tried one chair just to be sure. It looks great! For less than $40, I’ll have usable furniture for at least another season. Thanks!

    1. Hooray! I’m so happy this worked for you! I was in the same boat. I just needed to extend the life of what I had, and it was a perfect opportunity to go with really fun colors! Hope you have a fun weekend ahead!

  18. Sandra says:

    I just painted my plastic chairs today. I used gloss. Wish I had read this earlier. Oh well, they look great for this summer! Thanks for the post.

    1. Awesome Sandra! They will be fine. I think I could really tell the difference because they were side by side. Hooray for fun colorful chairs for summertime!

  19. Shelley says:

    Love your bright chairs! Just a thought though…could it be the COLOR and not the sheen that affected whether the chair faded?…I dunno…just was wondering 🙂

  20. Kelly S says:

    How many bottles does it take to spray one chair?

    Thanks!
    Kelly

  21. Alma says:

    Thanks for sharing the type paint that is best! I have been thinking about doing this project.

    1. No problem! Let me know how it goes!

  22. bethC says:

    Hi,
    The chairs look great. I’m wondering about the feel of the chair after painting. Do they feel sticky or tacky? Do they feel different then the original? And do they chip or scratch at all?
    Thanks,
    Beth

    1. Great questions Beth. I did not notice a difference it the way that they feel. They aren’t sticky or tacky at all. I’ve also not had any chipping or scratches except on one, but that was my little boy actually digging at the leg of the chair with a garden shovel. 🙂 Let me know if you have any more questions.

  23. Oh wow, so interesting! Good to know! I would have thought the glossy would last better!

    1. That is what I thought too, but I think because the chairs are a matte finish, the satin worked better. Who knew right?

  24. Such great info, Corey! I’m so glad you gave an update! I almost always buy a satin finish anyway. And really, having to freshen up the paint job once a year still isn’t bad!

  25. Good to know! Kind of weird that the finish would make such a difference in fading. Would have never thought…

  26. Thanks for the tips. I use Rustoleum spray paint exclusively and it’s good to be informed of the different finishes.

  27. I used the krylon fusion plastic paint on some dingy chairs that were left at our house when we rented. They have been outside for two years and are still the same color as the day I painted them. I live in the Seattle area so they see all the elements.

    Maybe try that next time. 🙂

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Great question! I did not use primer. See the details of how I did it here. Thanks for stopping by, Carol.

  28. I pinned your original post on these chairs a while back and can’t wait to do this to our hideous, filthy looking, plastic chairs! Thanks for the satin vs. gloss tip, I’ll definitely keep this in mind when choosing a a color. All I need is a free afternoon without rain to make this a reality 🙂

    1. It was fun to be blogging long enough to do one of these update posts. So excited for you to try this, it is so easy and makes such a difference! Hope the weather dries up soon 🙂

  29. Thanks for sharing. Now I won’t be afraid to buy the ugly hunter green chairs they sell everywhere. I can just spray paint it. I spray paint everything, but I don’t know why I never thought to spray those chairs until now.

  30. Eagle Mom says:

    Good info. I am finding that Rustoleum products are usually the winners over other brands. I especially like the Rustoleum Universal products with the great spray gun feature.

  31. What a great tip! I never would have thought the satin or gloss finish would make such a difference, so that’s really good to know. Wow, the blue chair still looks fabulous!

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