Freshening Up Outside
After a few seasons, the sitting area in anyone’s backyard, patio or balcony space can begin to look grimy and old — particularly if you live in a more humid environment. But there’s no need to buy a whole new set of furniture. With the right preparation, the right paint, favorable weather conditions and a little elbow grease, you can get it all looking good as new.
Make sure you have a clean surface, otherwise the paint won’t properly adhere to wood, metal or plastic. Wipe away all dust and dirt, as well as any rust or old paint flakes. Try to remove or smooth over any other imperfections. For wood, lightly sand before painting. Wash everything after each step. If hardware is in place, remove it and label everything for easy reattachment later.
Make sure you have the right tools before work begins. For instance, brush-on paint may require a pan and stir sticks. You may also need rollers or smaller brushes to get paint in tight spaces within the furniture. Table tops and bulkier items are more easily painted with large rollers. Invest in gloves, painter’s tape or masking tape, drop cloths and protective eye wear, as needed.
There’s a difference between paints formulated for indoors and outdoors, and plastic furniture requires its own special products in order to bond properly. Make sure you buy the right version. Brush-on paints work best with primer, and make sure both are applied smoothly. Thinner coats go on more easier, while also drying more quickly. Two coats is usually a good rule of thumb on any painting project. There’s no need for primer if you choose a spray paint option. Keep the can the recommended distance from the furniture as you paint, working in bursts to avoid drips.
Where You Paint
Check paint can guidelines for temperature ranges, then pay close attention to the weather forecast. Some formulations won’t adhere if it’s too hot or wet outside. Make sure you paint in a well-ventilated area to avoid the accumulation of potentially toxic fumes. A shady spot will give you a break from the heat while encouraging the paint to dry more evenly. Don’t forget to hydrate!