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Easy Instructions to Spray Paint Outdoor Furniture

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Give your patio a makeover and learn to paint outdoor furniture. This DIY project can definitely be done in a weekend and your outdoor metal furniture will look like new again.

To paint outdoor furniture you will need to use a wire brush to remove any rust and a scrub brush to clean metal furniture well. After letting fully dry, use two coats of Rustoleum Paint and Primer Spray Paint for full coverage and good durability.

Four metal outdoor chairs with gray cushions sitting around fire pit with fire glass.

Get more tips for updating outdoor spaces and home painting projects here.

Those are the directions in a nutshell, but I break it down further in a moment.

I love pretty things…but, I’m rarely willing to spend a lot of money to get them. Sometimes a good ‘decorating on a budget’ personal challenge is just what I need!

Hint. This time it involved spray painting outdoor furniture. Get comfortable. I have lots of photos to share for inspiration for your deck or patio decorating projects!

When the weather started to get warmer here in Missouri, I spent some time shopping around for new patio furniture hoping to find a steal of a deal.

Unfortunately, it was beyond expensive!

It’s hard for me to justify spending money on new things when I have something that is still working well and in decent shape, no matter how old it is.

Some might call this “cheap”, but I prefer to think of this as frugal.

The “bones” of our metal patio/deck furniture were still in good condition, just outdated in terms of style.

A little spray paint could give our old furniture a nice face lift. 

DIY for the win yet again!

Our Outdoor Space Before:

It certainly wasn’t bad before. But, the metal chairs had scratches all over them.

Restoring metal patio furniture

Everything just needed a good refresh!

Our outdoor space has really had a great transformation over the past couple of years.

We had concrete poured under our deck last year when we had a roof installed over our deck.

Our backyard faces the hot, west summer sun. So this has been a wonderful addition for us.

Read all about our outdoor projects below.

What Kind of Paint to Use on Outdoor Furniture

Fire Pit High Heat Spray Paint:

I used Rustoleum High Heat spray paint for the fire pit. This paint was just used on the top portion of the fire pit that has close contact with fire.

Spray paint for body of outdoor deck and patio furniture:

For the body of the fire pit as well as the furniture, I used Rustoleum Paint + Primer Spray Paint in black.

I chose flat finish as this most closely matched the high heat spray paint I was using on the fire pit. BUT, you could certain use satin finish, semi gloss, glossy, etc.

This exterior paint gives a smooth finish and gets in every nook and cranny. No paint sprayer or paint brush is required.

I love this Rust-Oleum paint with the built-in primer because it eliminates the need for the extra step of priming. In my opinion, it is the best spray paint for exterior projects.

I have found it really lasts!

RELATED: How to Paint Outdoor Cushions

Spray Paint for Outdoor Storage Box:

If I’m being honest, I forgot to take pictures of the exact color of spray paint I used for the outdoor storage bins.

BUT, I feel fairly confident it was Rustoleum Paint + Primer in Perfect Gray.

Blogger fail. Sorry, guys!

Tips for Using Spray Paint to Restore Outdoor Furniture:

As mentioned above, clean furniture well prior painting.

If you have rust areas, use wire brush to remove. If you have peeling paint, use medium to fine grit sandpaper to remove as much as possible.

Then thoroughly clean the metal furniture using mild soap and water or TSP and old rags.

Allow to thoroughly dry prior to painting.

1. Paint in a well-ventilated area

I attempted to paint outside in our backyard, but it was way too windy the day I worked on this project.

Spray painting metal outdoor furniture on drop cloths inside garage.

Even in the garage, the fumes can occasionally get a bit overwhelming.

2. Wear a Mask:

Part way through my patio furniture painting, I realized a mask was necessary to prevent me from breathing in the paint fumes.

Even in the garage, I found this to be an issue.

Save your lungs. Just wear a mask! Also where gloves if possible.

RELATED: 25+ Painted Furniture Makeovers

3. Don’t paint in high humidity

I get it.

Sometimes you have to complete a project when you have a free moment to do it.

Prompt Painters out of Florida (something tells me they know about high humidity) recommend spray painting when relative humidity is between 40-50%.

It was pretty muggy the day I did my painting. As you can see below, the high humidity caused my paint job to bubble.


Spray painting in high humidity caused bubbles on metal chair.

But, it was a fairly easy fix.

After it dried, I sanded it down, wiped it well, then applied another light coat of spray paint.

This took care of most of the issues.

If you are like me, you have to work with what time you have. I knew this was the only day I was going to have to get this task accomplished.

Not perfect, but good enough!

4. Cover any areas you Do NOT want paint

Spend the extra time to tape off and cover any areas you do not want the paint.

The prep work with painting is my least favorite part of the project, but it makes all the difference.

I didn’t want to take out all of our fire glass. So I covered it with an old cloth and used painter’s tape around the firebowl portion of the fire pit.

The high heat spray paint was only used on the top surfaces of the fire pit.

Covering the fireglass to spray paint the fire pit.

In the above and below photos, notice all of the scratches on the body of the fire pit. 

That is mostly my doing!

When the concrete was being poured for our patio last year, I didn’t have our lawn furniture moved far enough away.

Unfortunately, the concrete splattered all over the furniture.

When I tried to sand it off (somewhat unsuccessfully by the way), I scuffed up the furniture pretty badly.

Spray paint to the rescue!

Repainting an old fire pit

Since I was planning on replacing the old, mildew-covered rug, I completed the fire pit repainting directly on the rug. But for your project, grab a drop cloth or tarp to protect your work space.

As I mentioned before, it was probably too windy for spray painting.

But, it was too heavy for me to move around from my backyard to my garage by myself.

So, it worked for me.

high heat spray paint in black for outdoor fire pit.

RELATED: How to Paint Cabinet Hardware with Spray Paint

New Rug for the Outdoor Space

I did have to spend a little money on updating the patio with a few purchases.

This 9 x 12 feet Lulu Pine Indoor / Outdoor rug in gray was found at Wayfair.

Lulu Pine Indoor/Outdoor rug in black and white from Wayfair.

Spray Painting Outdoor Storage Box

I didn’t realize just how nasty our storage bins had gotten until everything else looked fresh and new.

Outdoor storage box covered in dirt and mildew.


After a really good scrubbing with soap and water, I allowed them to dry well.

Then they both got a nice coat of paint, too! I allowed sufficient dry time after the first coat prior to starting the second coat (see can for specific dry times).

Yes, the before picture below is after I cleaned it!


Dirty gray storage box on deck.

What a huge difference spray paint made on these outdoor boxes! Perfect for accessories and storing items for our pool.

The interior got cleaned thoroughly, but I didn’t paint the inside.

Good enough;-)


Spray painted outdoor patio storage box with Rustoleum Paint and Primer Spray Paint.

This same painting process would work great on not only painted metal furniture and plastic bins, but outdoor wood furniture and wicker furniture, an outdoor table, iron patio furniture. 

You get the idea. If you have outdoor furniture and  you want to give it an update with paint, go for it!

Related: Best Paint Sprayers for Home Use

Don’t forget to decorate your deck or patio with flowers!

I’ve mentioned it several times before, but I’m a huge fan of geraniums for spaces that get a lot of sun.

Bright red is my personal favorite!

They take some intense heat and sun during our Missouri summers and still manage to look pretty.

Low maintenance is a friend of mine!

Evergreen shrubs in pots and red geraniums for low maintenance patio plants and flowers.

I also love these evergreen shrubs in large planters. They are left out all year round and do great.

They rarely get any water unless it rains and they’ve managed to survive for quite some time.

Did you notice the sky chair in the background?

That is a family favorite around here.

So relaxing and cozy. I highly recommend getting one if you have a good space for it!

Even though they cost more than I wanted to spend, I did grab some new gray outdoor cushions from At Home, Home Decor Store.

It was time.

Before and After of Patio Space:


Brown metal outdoor furniture prior to using spray paint to update look.


Gray patio cushions in black metal outdoor chair after spray paint.
Outdoor living space on patio under deck.

Notice the exterior roller shade below. It’s perfect for when we want to be on the patio late afternoon.

Deck and patio with exterior roller shade to block sun.
Exterior / outdoor shade blocking west facing sun on a patio.

More day time shots of the deck and patio:

Red geranium flowers and evergreens  in pots decorating a patio.
Shed roof over deck and covered patio space.

Aw, string lights;-)

Outdoor string lights on patio under deck.

All lit up at night! Have you noticed I have a thing for string lights?!

Deck and patio at night with string lights.

The high heat spray paint is perfect on our fire pit and provided a nice durable finish!

Fire pit painted with high heat spray paint.

My husband got a TV mount for the patio so we can watch shows outside at night.

We bring in the TV when it’s not in use. Totally worth the extra few minutes it takes!

It’s great for movies, Sporting KC games, or any other family TV!

Do you see our sweet dog photo bombing the picture?!

Outdoor furniture makeover using spray paint (at night view).

Just for fun, I thought you might want to see the before and after from last year’s roof addition and deck remodeling project!

Before and After of Last Year’s Deck Project:


Uncovered deck prior to adding roof and adding Trex flooring.


Decorating a covered deck with lights and dining table with table top fire bowl.

Yes, that is the exact same angle! It’s so different.

I love outdoor string lights and fire pits as I’m sure you’ve noticed!

We have some on our deck AND patio. The lights are fairly inexpensive for the impact they bring.

If you are interested, here is a link to our table top fire bowl. If you want more options, I wrote an entire post on fire pit options. I just love the ambience a fire brings to a patio. ALL times of the year.

Thanks for stopping by Love Our Real Life today!

Grab some spray paint and transform some of your outdated outdoor furniture!

I bet you’ll be glad you did!

Spray painting outdoor furniture can make all the difference;-)


Can you spray paint outdoor furniture?

You can spray paint outdoor furniture if using spray paint made for exterior use. Rustoleum Paint + Primer Spray Paint is an excellent choice for durable spray paint for outdoor furniture.

Is spray paint good for outdoors?

Spray paint is great for outdoor projects as painting outdoors allows for adequate ventilation.

How do you spray paint outdoor furniture?

To paint outdoor furniture you will need to use a wire brush to remove any rust and a scrub brush to clean metal furniture well. After letting fully dry, use two coats of Rustoleum Paint and Primer Spray Paint for full coverage and good durability.

Don’t forget to PIN THIS to your favorite Pinterest board:

Spray painting outdoor furniture collage of process.
Collage of how to use spray paint to update old outdoor furniture.

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  1. Wow!! That looks amazing! I love the rug and Ava would never get out of the sky chair if we had one! It’s so easy to forget what a difference a fresh coat of paint makes!

  2. You have created an amazing space! I always love your ideas!

    Our current challenge is attempting to replace our cushions. The set is still in great shape but the cushions haven’t faired as well. We looked into replacing them but WOW expensive and oddly enough, hard to find.

    1. Thanks so much, Jill! I get the struggle with finding reasonably priced replacement cushions. Mine are from At Home. I also noticed Target had some nice cushions. Good luck finding the perfect fit for your furniture!

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