Whether you’re hoping to give tired looking furniture a bit of a revamp, or are simply looking to introduce some more colour into your outdoor decor, painting your garden furniture can completely transform the look of your outdoor space. In order to help you prepare your garden area for summer 2022, we’ve put together the following guide on how to paint garden furniture. These are the key steps to consider:

Clearing & Preparing The Area

The first step in how to paint garden furniture is clearing an area for completing your DIY project. You’ll need to pick a well ventilated, decluttered area that’s far away from any other furniture or valuables. Preferably, if you can pick a clear, dry day then it’s most practical to paint outside in order to get the best ventilation and to reduce concerns around mess. However, whether you’re inside or outside, you should always place a large dust sheet on the ground to protect the floor from any spillages.

Preparing The Wood Or Metal

Before applying any paint, it’s important to repair the material and restore it to the smooth standard required for painting. If you’re painting wooden garden furniture, then you’ll need to start by removing any broken or flaking patches of wood using a chisel. You can then fill any holes or cracks with wood filler, before smoothing over the surface and leaving to dry. If you’re looking to paint metal garden furniture on the other hand, then you’ll need to prep the metal by assessing the conditions of the bolts and replacing any rusty or missing ones.

Washing & Drying

When explaining how to paint garden furniture, most of the steps actually take place before you even pick up a paint brush. Once you get to the painting stage, that’s the easy part! One of the most important steps that takes place before that is washing the furniture. You should wash the surface with warm, soapy water, and you may need to apply a mildew cleaner if mould or algae are a problem, before rinsing thoroughly and leaving to dry.  When cleaning metal furniture, you should avoid using alkaline-based cleaning products as these can cause the metal to corrode. There are many specialist cleaners on the market for cleaning aluminium garden furniture, we recommend doing your research and checking reviews before purchasing (and using) anything.

Priming & Sanding

Once everything is thoroughly clean and dry, the next step in how to paint garden furniture is priming or sanding. Sand the wood using a sanding block or sand paper, making sure to remove any flaking, bubbles or old paint drips that might be making the surface uneven. Next, use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dust created by  the sanding process before applying an exterior primer and leaving to dry. Metal and wood require different types of primer and so make sure to take this into consideration when choosing the right products. Whilst you can’t sand down metal using the same process that you do for wood, you can use steel wool or a wire brush to remove any excess rust or paint before priming. 

Choosing Your Paint

Choosing the best paint plays a crucial role in achieving a high quality finish. Look for good quality exterior paints, and preferably ones that have weather-resistant properties to help enhance the longevity of your outdoor furniture. One question that people often have when choosing the right paint is “can you use fence paint on garden furniture?”. Whilst technically you can use fence paint on any exterior surface, we’d strongly advise against using it on your garden furniture. This is because it is not colour sealed meaning it can rub off on clothing. It’s also not designed for smooth surfaces and is usually packed full of nasty chemicals that make it unsafe for consuming food around, and therefore unsuitable for use on outdoor dining sets. Choosing an alternate exterior paint in a colour of your choice is the best option – You could stick to a timeless neutral colour palette, or bring some fresh colour into your garden with some bright and bold shades that are perfect for the summer season!


The final but most important step in how to paint garden furniture is applying the paint itself. Stir the paint thoroughly before using your brush to apply the colour evenly along the grain of wood. It’s easiest to start by turning your furniture upside down and painting the underneath sections first before turning it over and painting the top surfaces. After applying the first coat, leave to dry before applying the second coat. Repeat the process as required. Keep in mind that several thin coats are better than one thick coat and the amount of coats that are required will vary depending on the choice of colour.

Once your furniture has been left to dry, it’s time to invite friends and family round and kick back whilst enjoying some well deserved fun in the sun!



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