Outdoor Chair Makeover

Since we were getting our porch repainted, of course I wanted to so some other quick projects outside to make the space a bit more presentable than the random collection of furniture that currently was thrown together out there. One of those projects was my rug makeover that I showed you on Monday, the other was an outdoor chair makeover that I planned on some old wooden chairs I inherited from a family member.

Enter the chairs before. You’ve probably seen chairs like this someplace right? At a yard sale. I your aunt’s garage. On the side of the road waiting for the garbage truck. They are make of wood an were painted this red stain by me when I was about 13 years old. A summer project for myself and my sister as I remember. It’s about time I painted them again!

Outdoor Chair Makeover

The red stain did not go with my vision for an outdoor space, needless to say, so I did what I know best. I painted them.

Since these are outdoor chairs, I knew I needed something that would stand up to the elements. My product of choice was oil paint. Although it doesn’t have the easy clean up like water based paints have, oil paint makes up for all that with its staying power and durability. I chose Rust-Oleum’s protective enamel in charcoal grey because clearly I’m obsessed with grey and I can’t get enough of it.

Outdoor Chair Makeover

First thing I did was sand the chairs down lightly to remove any loose debris and cobwebs from them. Then I wiped off that dust with a damp cloth and got to work. I didn’t need to prime these chairs since they were already painted, I just put the paint right on top of them as is.

The best was I’ve found to paint a chair is to turn it upside down first and get all the parts you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. I covered about 3/4 of the chair this way. They ended up taking two coats.

Outdoor Chair Makeover

My garage. The outdoor summer workshop. We get all kinds of things done out there.

Then I flipped them right side up and only had a little left to do.

Outdoor Chair Makeover

I really liked working with the oil paint. I had not used that kind before and was pleased with its coverage. It went on nice and smooth and came out more glossy than any paint I’ve used to date. Really. Even more glossy than spray paint. I like it a lot. If you need glossy, this is your paint.

Here is how they came out. Not bad for some inherited chairs. I still have the old cushions on them, I’m saving up to get some that I really like, but I’m not sure what color I’ll get yet. What do you think?

Although I found the pillows last year and couldn’t resist them. Cute right? Even if they don’t match.

Outdoor Chair Makeover

I also painted two little side tables that came with the chairs. They have neat X bases and I put them together for our drinks and such. There are my DIY tile coasters and the lamp is a quick stand in for when we need a little light outside.

This porch makeover is far from over. I kinds of feel like it’s pieces of things we’ve had just thrown together, but we’re on a budget. You know how that goes!

Outdoor Chair Makeover

I like how the wood grain of the chairs still came through, it gave them a nice texture. One more porch project done!

Here is the updated porch makeover plan:

  • Remove all the paint on the porch See more here
  • Remove paint on the concrete stairs
  • Repair broken wood, repaint the porch and touch up any trim
  • Stain the flower boxes?
  • Get a rug See more here
  • Repaint the chairs
  • Replace the cushions on the chairs
  • Get a coffee table of some kind
  • Add decorations like lanterns, pillows, plants and other accessories including outdoor lights

Outdoor Chair Makeover


  1. love it! that new color is gorgeous with those pillows!

  2. This is a fantastic makeover. I love how the chair turned out.

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