Should You Spray Paint Your Plastic Chairs?

should you spray paint your plastic furniture

Everyone Else is Doing It!

Should you spray paint your plastic chairs? Or buy new ones? Everywhere I turn on Pinterest is showing people spray painting their patio furniture. It sounds SO easy and smart! After all, some of those brighter colours fade after a year in the sun. The chairs look terrible if left to the winter elements as well (especially up here on the coast in Canada!).

There are so many great tutorials all over the internet and it is pretty easy. Give your chairs a good wash, maybe even buff them up a bit with some grit paper (another cost if you do not have any on hand). Host down, dry and spray away.

Cost of Paint Versus Cost of New

The cost of spray paint is around $10-15 a can and how much can you really get from a single can? What if you needed two cans per chair? How much would this project actually cost and was it worth it?

The flip side, chairs have really come down in price, those plastic ones that used to be priced around $50 a piece where on sale at various places for $20 and $35 for the sturdier ones (and remember these are Canadian prices on the East Coast and may be different in your area!).

Another issue is spray paint should be done in a well-ventilated area. I do not have a garage so this means outside…and when the wind blows your spray paint may not end up directly on the project and rather the bushes. Judging how much you will get out of a can is hard to predict!

chair needs a refresher
Our free but ugly chair!

Decided To Go Ahead and Try

I had to try because honestly our chairs were so ugly and gross looking. I was tired of the eyesore and ran to our local hard ware store. I knew I wanted a spray paint that was indoor/outdoor, for plastic, and had a built in primer. Yes, I could have bought primer as well but that would have added to the cost.

Once home I scrubbed those chairs down with a cloth and bristle brush, so that I had a nice clean surface to work from.

spray paint from #homehardware

Free Chairs That Did Not Match

dirty green plastic chair that needs a makeover

These chairs were a freebie from a neighbour who was throwing them out. (can you blame them?). They were several years old, covered in years of filth and gunk. Even scrubbing them down didn’t help because the colour was not my favourite.

We already owned a pair of black/olive chairs and these ugly lime green ones matched the style, but not the colour. We had planned to buy more chairs to match the pretty ones but guess what? Cannot find that colour anywhere! Also could not find a spray paint that colour so we went with black.

One Can Two Chairs

transformation of a plastic chair using black spray paint

I only bought one can and had two chairs to complete, I was a bit worried that I would have enough and I was right. I needed maybe a tiny bit more. On the back side of one chair there are a few spots I didn’t quite get, I also only did one coat on both chairs.

I would say I was able to do 90% of the chairs and really should have bought a second can if I wanted to do the chairs 100% perfect but I am not going to worry about it!

These chairs can sit in a place that no one will even see the back of them. Ironically, this hammered black has some sheen to it and the colour underneath was a lime green so the end colour looks VERY close to our other chairs.

Postives for Spray Painting Plastic Chairs

a plastic chair that was spray paint olive green

The positives for spray painting the plastic chairs was it did give them a quick makeover for $13+tax. Buying two new chairs would have cost $40-60. I was able to have them match of other chairs, so now I have four matching chairs, which looks nice in my backyard.

We also didn’t add to the landfill, these chairs are in perfect condition, except they were not the colour I wanted. I hate throwing away something that would have been perfectly fine. However, before the colour was not one that many people would want!

Spray paint is also super quick! It stuck to the plastic, no problem, zero drips and were easy to wipe up. I did let the paint cure over 24 hours before anyone sat in it as well.

If you wanted a certain colour and couldn’t find it, spray paint would be the answer. So many different options and colours to chose from.

When Spray Paint is Not the Answer

why your should spray paint your outdoor living plastic chairs

The truth is the cost of spray paint can quickly add up. If I wanted to cover every inch and give them a second coat, it would be a better bang for your buck to purchase new chairs.

A windy day could also make the cost rise, due to the spray paint not ending up on your project. The weather really needs to be perfect to get a good result.

Overall, I know that this was a great little experiment! I now know why I would and would not choose spray paint for my plastic furniture. Spray painting is quick, a little fun and the perfect summer project!

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DIY, massive (slow) renovation on a budget, momming 5 little ones, farmhouse & vintage goodness, Canadian Mom blogger

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