Thursday, May 21, 2020

How to Paint POLYWOOD Outdoor Furniture

In the anticipation of moving into our new home in a few weeks, I've been doing a lot of projects. Luckily all this quarantine business has allowed for a lot of free time to tackle my never ending list of ideas. First order of DIY business - the outdoor furniture. 

A little backstory: 

When we purchased our home we noticed the previous owners had a lot of POLYWOOD outdoor furniture surrounding the pool. We knew from experience that outdoor furniture receives a lot abuse as a result of living in the sunny South.  POLYWOOD and Trex Board tend to stand up well to both the elements and the extreme use of a family of who likes to entertain a lot outdoors. So when we were negotiating the sale we decided to ask for the furniture on a whim. 

We have a lot of outdoor furniture at our current home, but we figured we could worry about what fits best in each space when we move in. The minute I was these adirondack chair sets I knew I wanted to keep them. They were in the roughest shape of the bunch, but I had hopes I could bring them back to life. 

I waffled on the colors and what to do (one set is purple and one is orange). Everything else has a neutral base, and while I liked the vibrant purple, it didn't match the rest of our outdoor furniture or decor. I knew I didn't want to spend a ton of money to redecorate since we are in the midst of a major renovation on the interior of our home, so I came up with the idea of changing the color. 

I did a ton of research and realized a few things about POLYWOOD furniture. 
  1. You can clean it, but aren't supposed to pressure wash it. 
  2. Sanding it scratches the protective surface and voids any warranty it has. 
  3. Painting isn't recommended because that also voids the warranty. 
  4. Painting has been done, but be cautious on what to use. Also, for the long term it might not last.
So obviously I did what any sensible person would do. 

Wrong. I painted it. 

And have no regrets. 

I figured we essentially got the furniture for free so if I messed it up, no real monetary loss. I also researched if I was to paint it, what would be the most successful. 

Here's how I painted my POLYWOOD outdoor furniture, but I think this process would work for any outdoor furniture you want to transform. 


What You'll Need
  • Primer + Paint: Look for water based primer and paint designed for plastics. I found this Krylon ColorMaxx Spray Paint that is a primer and paint mix designed for a lot of surfaces including plastics. 
  • Cleaning Materials: A good scrub brush is a must. Use vinegar or a mold and mildew cleaner
  • Gloves 
  • Optional: Mask (to block spray paint particles) & spray paint comfort grip (trust me - worth it!)

What To Do
  • First clean your outdoor furniture. Remove all dirt, mold and mildew. The paint will adhere better to a clean surface. Let it dry for one hour. 

  • Test a spot first. I tested the underside of one piece to dip my toes in (catch that pool pun?), and let it sit for a few hours. This allowed me to confirm color, and make sure the paint would adhere.  
(Using thin coats: this is the second coat being applied.)

  • Once I was satisfied that the paint would adhere, I sprayed the whole piece and let it sit in the elements for a few days. 

  • I sprayed one light coat first, and repeated the process until I felt the furniture was well covered. (To avoid drips or obvious spray marks it's best to do really light coats rather than one or two thick ones. This will also help prevent the paint from chipping prematurely.)

Overall the process was quite easy, and I'm very happy with the results. The chairs have been through a few sunny weeks, a ton of kid use (both wet and dry), and a few rain storms and seem to be holding up well. 

| Polywood Furnture | Throw Pillows

I chose this bright aqua paint color because it looks similar to a color Polywood offers in their furniture line, and matches the pool tile well. It's the Krylon ColorMaxx Paint + Primer in Aqua. I purchased a few extra cans to have on hand in case any chips do appear over time. I also like knowing I can purchase new pieces directly to match if needed. 

Now that I've transformed the purple set, I've set my sights on the orange set. 

Here's a teeny tiny sneak peek at the color I'm going with for that set! 

This was a fun project, and I was glad I was quickly and cost effectively able to update our outdoor furniture. And now - time to sit back, relax, and enjoy it! 

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  1. How did the paint hold up? We have some similar chairs that fell and were submerged in lake for let's just say awhile. They now look horrible and the original paint is super faded and no longer even. I'd like to paint them, but wondering how the paint on yours lasted over the last year.

  2. Thinking about doing the same. Would love to hear how this held up after a year?