How to Paint Plastic Outdoor Chairs

Are you tired of looking at those boring, old plastic chairs that take up precious patio space in your backyard? Painting is an easy and affordable way to give them a makeover and create unique outdoor furniture pieces.

Whether you want to make a statement with bold colors or prefer something more subtle, follow these simple steps for painting plastic outdoor chairs. Remember – the best results come from taking your time and being patient.

How to Paint Plastic Outdoor Chairs

Here’s how you can transform them from drab to fab with nothing more than some paint, brushes, and a bit of imagination. With a few simple steps, you’ll be able to learn how to paint plastic outdoor chairs- giving it a beautiful splash of color while having fun in the process!

What Will You Need?

  • Paint. Choose a paint that is made for outdoor furniture and plastic surfaces, such as acrylic enamel.
  • Brush or roller. Depending on your preference, You can use a brush or roller to apply the paint.
  • Primer (optional). If you are painting over an already-painted surface, it’s best to start with a primer.
  • Painter’s tape (optional). This can help you create clean lines or patterns if desired.
  • Drop cloth or newspaper. You will need this to cover the ground and protect it from splatters or spills.

Once you have all your supplies, it’s time to start.

10 Easy Steps on How to Paint Plastic Outdoor Chairs

Step 1. Clean the Chair:

Start by thoroughly cleaning the chair. Remove any dust, grime, or spider webs clinging to the plastic. For this task, you can simply use warm soapy water and a scrub brush. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Once you’re done cleaning, let the chair dry completely before moving on to the next step. This is crucial as any remaining moisture can interfere with the paint adherence.

Use Warm Soapy Water and a Scrub Brush

Step 2. Sand the Chair:

Next, it’s time to prep the chair for painting. Sanding the chair will help the paint adhere better to the plastic surface. Use fine-grit sandpaper (around 220 grit) and lightly sand the entire chair. Pay special attention to any areas with scratches or blemishes, as sanding can help even out these imperfections.

After sanding, wipe the chair down with a damp cloth to remove any dust or residue. Again, let the chair dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3. Apply Primer:

This step is optional but can significantly improve the longevity of your paint job. If you choose to use a primer, ensure it’s suitable for plastic surfaces. When you’re ready, apply a thin, even primer layer to the chair, ensuring all surfaces are covered.

Allow the primer to dry fully per the manufacturer’s instructions before moving on to the next step. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area and protect your lungs by wearing a mask if needed.

Step 4. Apply the Paint:

Now comes the fun part! Make sure your paint is well-mixed; if it has separated, give it a good stir until it has a consistent texture. Start painting your chair, ensuring you use even strokes to get a smooth finish. If you’re using a brush, try to paint in the same direction to avoid noticeable brush strokes. If you’re using a roller, ensure you roll smoothly without applying too much pressure, which could lead to uneven application.

If You Are Using a Brush

Step 5. Let the Paint Dry:

Patience is key in this step. Let the first coat of paint dry thoroughly. The drying time can vary depending on the type of paint you’re using, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for an accurate timeframe. It’s essential to take your time with this process, as applying a second coat too soon can result in issues like peeling or cracking.

Step 6. Apply a Second Coat:

After your first coat is completely dry, apply a second coat of paint. This will help ensure complete coverage and add depth to the color. Be sure to apply this coat like the first, paying attention to consistency and smoothness. Once again, allow this coat to dry fully.

Step 7. Apply a Protective Sealant:

Consider applying a protective sealant once your final coat of paint is dry. This will provide an extra layer of protection against the elements, helping your newly painted chair last longer. You can use a clear sealant that won’t alter the color of your chair. Apply the sealant using a brush or roller, just like the paint, and then let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 8. Inspect Your Work:

Now’s the time to admire your handiwork! Inspect the chair thoroughly to ensure complete coverage and look for potential areas needing a touch-up. If you notice any missed spots or thin areas, apply an additional coat of paint to those sections and let it dry completely.

Step 9. Clean Up:

Clean up your workspace, and properly dispose of any used paint or materials. Clean your brushes and rollers with warm soapy water and let them dry for future use. Keep the leftover paint in a dry place for potential touch-ups or future projects.

Step 10. Enjoy!

Take a step back and admire your finished product – you did it! Now that you know how to paint plastic outdoor chairs, unleash your creativity with other pieces of furniture. Experiment with different colors or patterns to create unique looks for your outdoor space. With a bit of effort and some DIY creativity, you can transform any outdoor area into an oasis.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Test Spray on a Hidden Area First: Before starting the main painting process, try the spray paint on an inconspicuous part of the chair. This can give you an idea of the paint’s color and finish, ensuring it aligns with what you want.
  2. Sand the Surface: To ensure the paint adheres well, lightly sand the chair’s surface using fine-grit sandpaper. This creates a slightly rough texture, improving the paint’s grip. After sanding, thoroughly clean the chair to remove any dust or debris.
  3. Apply a Plastic Primer: Using a primer specifically designed for plastic surfaces can greatly improve the paint’s longevity. Spray the primer uniformly across the chair, allowing it to dry completely before applying the paint.
  4. Use Multiple Light Coats: Instead of applying one thick layer of paint, opt for several light coats. This prevents drips and achieves a more professional-looking finish. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.
  5. Seal the Paint: Consider applying a clear sealer to protect your freshly painted chair from the elements. This provides a protective layer that prolongs the lifespan of your paint job, especially when the chair is exposed to sun, rain, or snow.
Using a Primer Specifically Designed

With these tips and tricks, you can easily paint plastic outdoor chairs to give them a new lease on life! Whether it’s for your patio or garden, adding freshly painted furniture will help create an inviting atmosphere. With the right supplies and technique, anyone can achieve a professional-looking finish.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid Painting in Direct Sunlight: While it might be tempting to paint outdoors on a sunny day, direct sunlight can cause the paint to dry too quickly, leading to an uneven finish. Opt for a shaded area or paint indoors if possible.
  2. Don’t Skip the Preparation: Preparing the chair’s surface through sanding and priming is essential for a long-lasting finish. Take your time with these steps and complete them.
  3. Avoid Using Non-Specific Paint: Ensure the paint is meant for plastic materials. Using a non-specific paint can result in poor adhesion and peeling.
  4. Don’t Spray Too Close: Holding the spray can too close to the chair can result in drips and a poor finish. Maintain a distance of about 12 inches for the best results.
  5. Avoid Immediate Use: After painting and sealing the chair, allow it adequate drying time before using it. Rushing can lead to smudges or damage to the new paint job.
Direct Sunlight Can Cause the Paint to Dry

You can easily transform your plastic outdoor chairs with a beautiful, long-lasting paint job with a little patience and the necessary supplies. Remember these tips and tricks – and the things to avoid – before getting started to ensure a professional-looking result!


You did it! After working through the abovementioned process, you now have a set of beautiful and unique plastic outdoor chairs. Even though it took some time, patience, and an understanding of the materials and tools used to paint them, you achieved your desired outcome in the end. It’s always amazing when a project comes together, and it’s even more fulfilling if you crafted it.

Painting plastic outdoor chairs can be intimidating initially, but with the right instructions and supplies, this feat is easy to accomplish. Now you have the skills to give any item a fresh upgrade for any season or occasion!

Hopefully, the article on how to paint plastic outdoor chairs provided the information needed for you to undertake this task and ultimately help you bring your vision to life!

Happy painting and crafting!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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