How To Paint Plastic Lawn Chairs

Plastic lawn or garden chairs are cost-effective alternatives to wood or metal. However, you may notice they have faded, or you no longer like the color. You think about throwing them away because painting seems daunting.

 Plastic resin can be challenging to paint, since the surface is non-porous. Luckily, manufactures make paints that adhere to plastic resin surfaces. Paint your plastic lawn chairs by following these steps.

Prepare to Paint the Chairs

To paint the chairs, gather:

  • work gloves
  • dust mask and eye goggles
  • hose
  • scrub brush
  • bucket 
  • drop cloths or plastic
  • cloths
  • dish soap
  • bleach or ammonia cleaner 
  • fine-grit sandpaper
  • primer and paint for resin plastic

It is ideal to clean and spray paint the chair outside on a flat concrete or asphalt surface to avoid grass damage. If you work inside a garage open a door or window, and cover the work area with drop cloths or plastic. 

Clean and Sand the Chair

Mix ammonia or bleach in a gallon of warm water. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. If the chair isn't dirty or moldy, dish soap should work. 

Dip a sponge or scrub brush in the mixture, and clean all parts of the chair. Rinse with the hose or a bucket of fresh water, let air dry, or dry with a towel.

Sanding plastic surfaces helps the paint adhere better. Sand the surface, and clean sand dust with a cloth. 

Prime and Paint the Chair

Priming isn't necessary unless you can't find paints suitable for plastic. The primer allows you to apply any kind of paint. Shake the can, and spray it on a piece of cardboard to be sure it has been mixed well.

Hold the primer twelve inches away from the chair to avoid drips, and spray primer in a back and forth motion, covering top and bottom. Don't hold the can in one position too long. Let the first coat dry, and apply another coat, if needed.

If you aren't priming, the paint must be formulated for plastic surfaces, or it may chip and peel quicker. Spray the paint on the chair in the same manner as the primer holding the nozzle several inches from the surface. 

Apply the paint in a sweeping, overlapping motions, releasing the nozzle a third of the way after each sweep. Let the first coat dry, then spray another coat. If you are feeling adventurous, make a stripe pattern with painter's tape after the primary coat dries, then spray in between strips. Contact a painting contractor, like Klenosky Paint, for more help.