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What is the Best Spray Paint for Metal Outdoor Patio Furniture?

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If you have metal patio furniture, a high quality spray paint will make it look almost as good as new. Learn how to pick the best spray paint to refurbish older metal patio furniture.

There are a lot of spray paints on the market. But finding one that will withstand the great  outdoors is key to ensure your patio furniture looks great over time. 

Collage of metal patio furniture after spray paint.

Get more ideas for painting and outdoor projects here.

Keep in mind, even with a great exterior paint, I find touch ups are still required every few years with painted outdoor furniture. 

BUT, that is a lot more cost effective than replacing the furniture!

With the cost of everything these days, it’s great to find ways to live within our means, but still have pretty stuff. A little sweat equity can be all it takes for an outdoor space you’ll love.

Can I spray paint patio furniture?

Can you refinish metal patio furniture with spray paint? In short, yes you can certainly use spray paint to update outdoor metal furniture! 

An added bonus is that some products do not require sanding, priming or stripping. 

Anything to save time but still maintain a quality end result is a win in my opinion.

In the past, I have used a variety of different types of paint for outdoor furniture that have held up quite nicely. This includes spray paint but also various other types of paint made for outdoor projects.

But spray paint is SO much faster that painting with a brush.

The ease of completing a makeover on your outdoor metal furniture with something as simple as spray paint can almost seem to good to be true. 

But, the durability and quality of a few brands can not only give your outdoor patio furniture a refresh, but can protect metal from rust and moisture and provide a uv-resistant barrier for added protection.

See some of my favorite spray paint for outdoor metal furniture here.

What type of spray paint works best on metal?

These are some of my top choices for reasonable priced outdoor quality spray paint. The top three spray paints for outdoor metal furniture are RustOleum Painters Touch 2X Ultra Cover, Krylon Fusion All-in-One Paint, Krylon Color Maxx.

1. Rust-Oleum Painters Touch 2X Ultra Cover

My top pick for outdoor spray paint for metal is Rust-oleum Paint+Primer

This metal spray paint has great rust protection that will hold up year round.

I have used this in many different sheens (i.e., matte, gloss, satin finish). This is truly a personal preference. 

I tend to go for matte or flat finishes for projects like this. Matte is more forgiving with painting flaws than a sheen with more of a gloss. Satan looks really nice, too.

In my personal opinion, Rustoleum is the best option because it’s easy to find at most hardware stores, at Wal-Mart, and online (Amazon), it’s reasonably priced, and it is a quality product.

It comes in a variety of colors as well as sheens and is also quite easy to use. I painted my outdoor metal chairs that sit on my front porch bronze with Rustoleum spray paint several years ago and they have held up quite nicely!

Bronze porch chairs after using spray paint.

These chairs stay outside year round on a porch with an overhang. I’ve had no issues with chipping paint.

2. Krylon Fusion All-In-One Paint

I have also used Krylon outdoor spray paint several times with very good success. 

RELATED: 25+ Painted Furniture Before and Afters

3. Krylon Color Maxx

While I still prefer Rustoleum, Krylon Color Maxx is a solid option for spray painting outdoor metal furniture (or even plastic or wood).

Do I Need to Prime Metal Before Painting?

When using this all-in-one can of spray paint from RustOleum for spray painting metal, you can eliminate the additional step of priming. This is truly a time saver.

Proper prep work is still required! I wrote an entire post describing tips to actually paint outdoor metal furniture and other metal surfaces. Refer to that for detailed steps!

But here is a general description of how to paint your metal patio furniture:

Prep work

All diy projects do require a bit of preparation to ensure quality results, and this is no exception. See How to paint outdoor furniture for a more detailed description of steps, but this should cover the basics!

Taking a little extra time in the beginning will make the end result that much better.

Remove Chips and Peeling Paint

Use a wire brush to remove any old, peeling paint or chips. In addition to addressing any chipping paint, use the wire brush to remove any rusty surface. 

You may not be able to fully eliminate all rust, but do the best you can.

Use a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out any surfaces needed. 

The smoother the surface prior to painting, the better the end results will look.

Clean Well

Using a scrub brush and/or sponge with mild soap and water, clean away any residue, dust, dirt or grime. Rinse well and allow adequate dry time prior to painting.

You may wish to use TSP on a clean rag for extra cleaning if your piece is particularly dirty.

Place Furniture on Drop Cloth and Begin First Coat

There will inevitably be occasional drips, so ensure you protect your work surface. 

It’s best to complete spray painting outdoors for good ventilation. But, it’s also good to find a location that is out of the direct sunlight and has minimal wind.

I do not have a spray painting tent, so I usually just park our cars outside and use our garage. It works pretty well.

RELATED: How to Paint Outdoor Cushions

How Do You Spray Paint Outdoor Furniture?

Use light coats to spray paint outdoor furniture! 

Thick layers of spray paint are bound to cause problems and are more likely to have drips, bubbles, or blobs. All of these can ruin your project and you don’t want to have to start all over.

So just stick with light coats for all your spray paint projects and you should be set.

The biggest tip I can provide is to NOT overspray. Light coats, spraying back and forth in an overlapping pattern will give you the most even results.

The Rustoleum spray paint has an “any angle spray” which allows you to coat the underside of the furniture without having to completely turn it upside down.

Allow the first coats to dry ~15-30 minutes depending on the level of humidity. Once the first coat is dry, apply a second coat.

Depending on the color of the paint you have chosen as well as the surface you are attempting to cover, two to three coats should be enough.

At that point, you can just go over any areas that need a bit more coverage.

Fire pit and four metal outdoor patio chairs in black with gray cushions on outdoor rug.

The above fire pit was painted as well as the surrounding metal chairs using spray paint. These sit on our patio and have held up really well over time.

I did use a high heat spray paint for the edges of the fire pit that surround the bowl.

Can you use regular spray paint on outdoor furniture?

You can not use just any spray paint on outdoor furniture. You will need to use spray paint made specifically for outdoor / exterior use as it is created to withstand the elements (i.e., uv exposure, moisture from precipitation, etc.).

A spray paint for only interior surfaces will not last. Look for spray paint that says it is for interior/exterior projects.

RELATED: How to Paint Cabinet Hardware with Spray Paint

Can you spray paint over spray paint on metal?

You can certainly use spray paint on metal that has been painted before. The key is prepping the metal furniture prior to repainting.

As per above, if you are painting furniture that has been painted previously, ensure you scrape away any chipping paint and sand the surface for a smooth finish when the painting is complete. After this, clean the furniture properly prior to painting.

The can will guide you on how many cans of paint will be needed for your particular project. Painting in an area with little to no wind will save you a lot of paint! So make sure you select a good painting environment.

Is spray paint good for outdoor wood?

Exterior quality spray paint is good for a number of different surfaces including metal, wood, and plastic. 

So if you are attempting to give some older patio furniture made from wood a new look, spray paint is a good option for that.

Can you paint outdoor furniture with acrylic paint?

Acrylic paint is not going to be as durable as the exterior paints mentioned in this article. If you have outdoor furniture, stick with paint that was created for outdoor use.

The great outdoors can be unpredictable with temperature, sun exposure, rain, etc. and you want your painting efforts to last! Pick a paint made for exterior wear and tear.

What paint will hold on plastic?

If you select a spray paint that is made for exterior use, it will certainly hold on plastic.

As mentioned several times, ensure you properly prepare the surface prior to painting (i.e., removing any old chipping paint, clean thoroughly, etc.) and you should end up with beautiful results when painting plastic furniture.

I used Krylon spray paint on my outdoor plastic planters that flank my garage several years ago when updating my outdoor space for fall. They have held up really well.

Bronze planters filled with maroon mums flanking a Urbane Bronze garage door.

They had become very faded from the morning sun and the paint gave them a nice refresh that improved our curb appeal.

What Paints Other Than Spray Paint Work On Outdoor Furniture?

While I have had great success updating metal patio furniture with spray paint, I have tried other types of paint over the years that I’ve liked as well. 

I’m a big fan of Heirloom Traditions All-In-One Paints  (HTP) for both exterior and interior projects. On surfaces that get a lot of direct sunlight, it has probably worked even better for me that Rustoleum or Krylon spray paint.

I even used it to paint some outdoor cushions

While they weren’t perfect, that was definitely a project that extended the life of some stained cushions that were otherwise in good shape. It did leave them a bit “crunchy” to the touch, but still better than they were.

Creating an outdoor space can really add so much joy to the way we live. We updated our deck a few years ago by putting a shed roof over the deck for a little extra shade (backyard faces the west). 

Wow, what a difference that made!

I have NO ideas why we waited so long. Since we completed that project, we are outside SO much more and truly use the outdoor space like an extension (extra room) of our home.

Even with the crazy weather of Missouri we are able to enjoy our outdoor string lights on our patio furniture almost year round!

Two story home with string lights on both levels.

If you have some old metal patio furniture, I hope you now feel inspired to grab some paint and give it a nice refresh! While you are at it, spray paint some home accessories and extend their life, too!

Paint can make almost anything look better, in my opinion of course! 

Whether you are completing this project in April or August, best of luck and let me know how it goes. I hope you find that your outdoor space feels like it’s been given an upgrade you are proud of.


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