Spray Painting Plastic Outdoor Furniture for a Frugal Patio Upgrade

Last Updated on May 6, 2019 by Diane Hoffmaster

Looking for a frugal patio upgrade?  Try spray painting plastic outdoor furniture for a clean new look for your old lawn chairs and tables! This easy outdoor DIY project took less than an hour and most of that was waiting for paint to dry.   It’s not perfect, mainly because I am not an artistic person.  But, cheap plastic patio furniture is easy to clean and paint so no need to spend a lot of money on new outdoor furniture! 

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Spray Painting Plastic Outdoor Furniture for a Frugal Patio Upgrade

Frugal Patio Upgrade Desperately Needed!

When my husband and I moved into our home 15 years ago, we brought with us some cheap plastic patio furniture.  I’m pretty sure this old outdoor furniture was something we brought with us from graduate school.  When you are a graduate student, a $10 cheap plastic table comes in handy.  I think it was a nightstand at one point.  

I have been drooling over all the new patio furniture I am seeing in stores lately.  But, the price tag is a little steep.  With one kid IN college and another heading there next  year, our budget for frivolous spending is about ZERO.  Trying to get them out of college without student loans means I am clipping coupons and counting pennies.  So, a frugal patio upgrade was important.  That means our cheap patio furniture is going to have to get an upgrade with very little cost. 

Why Did We Buy White Plastic Patio Furniture?

Seriously.  Why in the world did we buy white plastic patio furniture?  It shows every single spec of mold and splash of mud that lands on it.  If you are considering buying cheap plastic outdoor furniture, I wouldn’t recommend white.  I’m not sure what color hides dirt best, however, I do know it is NOT white!

white plastic patio furniture

Tips for Cleaning Plastic Patio Furniture

Between the pollen, the mold, the bird poop and the sun, our outdoor furniture takes quite a beating.  Check out my post from a few years ago on how to clean patio chairs and tables for some great tips. Sometimes, cleaning is all you need.  Sometimes, however, no amount of cleaning will help and you need to resort to spray painting plastic outdoor furniture instead. Remember,  cleaning plastic patio furniture before you paint is vital!

How to Clean Plastic Patio Furniture Before Spray Painting :

  1. Use a hose to thoroughly wet the furniture
  2. Fill a bucket with warm water and add some mild dish liquid.
  3. Use a soft bristle scrub brush to remove dried on food, dirt, mildew, etc.
  4. Rinse the chairs with a hose  and allow to dry in the sun.

Once you know how to clean white plastic furniture properly, you won’t have to spend a fortune keeping them in tip-top shape. Clean them every year and then tackling a DIY painting project only when they are REALLY looking old. 

white plastic outdoor furniture

Spray Painting Plastic Outdoor Furniture

Once your patio furniture is clean, you can move on to painting it.  What kind of spray paint will stick to plastic? Look for spray paints that are specifically formulated for plastic surfaces. The wrong type of paint may blister, bubble, flake, or just won’t adhere properly to the surface. 

You can find spray paint approved for plastic on Amazon in a rainbow of colors.  Get creative and add some color to your outdoor space.  I put two layers of white spray paint on ours and that was plenty. 

spray painting plastic outdoor furniture

Cheap Plastic Patio Furniture, Only Better!

If you are spray painting plastic outdoor furniture, it doesn’t have to be boring.  Add stripes, stars, polka dots, or whatever else your heart desires.  That is the great part about this frugal patio upgrade.  Personalize your outdoor furniture and add a bit of pizzazz!  

More Outdoor Living Posts


outdoor furniture diy

Like I said earlier, I am not the most artistic of people.  Nor am I particularly patient.  I tried spray painting starts onto my newly white plastic furniture and that turned out ok, however the lines weren’t as neat as I had hoped.  And… waiting for paint to dry is like, well, waiting for paint to dry. 

I was impatient and had dinner to make.  So, I grabbed my trusty permanent markers.  I have used them on other outdoor projects and they really do last quite a while. You can also try outdoor paint pens which I want to get for my next DIY project. 

cheap plastic furniture painting

Yes, Painting Plastic Outdoor Furniture is Easy and Frugal

So, what did we learn today?  That we DON’T throw away ugly outdoor furniture! This is easy DIY that anyone can do.  You can spray paint plastic chairs and tables without spending a lot of money or time on it.   Then, once your furniture is painted, add a pretty plant and your frugal patio upgrade is complete!

Spray Painting Plastic Outdoor Furniture for a Frugal Patio Upgrade

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