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How to Spray Paint Plastic Lawn Chairs

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to spray paint plastic lawn chairs, check out this before and after!  The previous homeowners left us a pair of plastic lawn chairs but I didn’t love the beige, so I decided to try spray painting plastic.  It turns out that it’s easy to spray paint plastic and painting my beige plastic lawn chairs immediately made them look crisp and new.

Here’s a peek at our “new” aqua lawn chairs!

And here’s what they looked like before:

Painting plastic is nearly identical to painting other surfaces.  Although many Rust-Oleum paint products can be applied without a primer – or include a built-in primer – it was recommended that these chairs be primed first.  I cheated and used a Rustoleum paint + primer combo in flat white as my first coat, because that’s what I had on hand.  Other than that, the steps for how to spray paint plastic lawn chairs were simple!

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How to Spray Paint Plastic Lawn Chairs:

  • Scrub the chairs with Mr. Clean.  I used Q-tips to really get into the corners (there was a lot of gunk on these).
  • Rinse with a garden hose to thoroughly remove soap and let dry.
  • Using multiple, thin coats apply the primer.
  • With one hour (or after 24) apply multiple, thin coats of paint (I chose Painter’s Touch in Satin Aqua).


Review of Rust-Oleum Spray Paint on Plastic

Tips and Tricks for Painting Plastic Lawn Chairs:

I didn’t flip the chairs over to paint the undersides, because they will never be seen.  Instead, I painted what could be seen underneath the seat with a few blasts of spray paint.  These new-fangled spray cans that can spray in any direction are excellent for speeding up a project because instead of flipping a piece of furniture back and forth (and wasting paint on the bottom), I just crouched down and sprayed upwards to cover what’s visible of the underneath area.  So easy!!  I did make sure, however, to spray the backs, under the arms and the insides of the legs thoroughly.  It’s definitely an aerobic activity making sure that the surface is evenly covered from all angles. 

Although this paint dried quickly – it was dry to the touch in an hour – it takes a bit longer for paint to fully cure on plastic (about a week).  So I made sure to store these so the paint could fully cure before subjecting them to wear.  Unlike metals and woods, there’s always a chance that not all plastics will accept paint well, but these turned out perfectly.

Aqua Lawn ChairsSummer Project: Spray Paint Lawn FurnitureTips for Painting PlasticCan you paint plastic lawn chairs?

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to spray paint plastic lawn chairs, hopefully you feel emboldened because as long as you have the right product and prep – it’s so easy! 

How to spray paint plastic

For these two chairs, it took one can of primer and three cans of paint.  The only reason I required so much paint was all of the nooks and crannies at the back of my chair!  Plus it was a kind of windy day.  Every day on the lake is a windy day, so sometimes I don’t even notice.  Time-wise, it took less than an hour (including scrubbing, but not including dry time).

How to Spray Paint Plastic Lawn Chairs by @danslelakehouse

The former owners left all kinds of goodies behind.  Did you catch Szuka and Handy Hubby in the paddle boat we unearthed last week?  I shared an adorable photo on Instagram but I’ll admit something just to you: the whole boat ride Szuka was pretty calm as we paddled back and forth close to shore.  She leaned against our backs, which was so cute.  I hopped out and Hubby paddled away so I could snap a photo.  She started to fuss and fuss and fuss and … SPLOOSH – found herself in the water.  Seconds after she hit the water, she was already booking it to shore.  The girl can paddle.  I’m not even sure the top of her head got wet, thanks to her awesome doggy life jacket.  Once she made it to shore, she looked at me like, “we’re both safe, but what about him? Who cares about him? Let’s escape while we can” and she took off toward the house, looking back to make sure I was behind her. 

Large Dog in a Life Jacket on a Paddleboat

Looking for more easy spray paint furniture makeovers? Check these out: DIY dipped stool makeover, mcm tulip table makeover, vintage typewriter table makeover, and spray chalk paint cabinet makeover



  1. Dana@Mid2Mod
    September 30, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    Have you tried Krylon Fusion, the spray paint specifically for plastic? I haven't used it in a project yet, but I've been told it really does bond with the plastic.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 30, 2014 / 9:20 pm

      I haven't tried it! Didn't know about it. This stuff is formulated for plastic, wood, metal etc. I like the versatility because I always have extra.

    • Kathy
      February 14, 2022 / 9:38 pm

      Yes! It doesn’t run at all and bonds to the plastic. No prep. Just clean the surface, dry and spray. Love this stuff. Sprayed my plastic pots and planters, furniture too. All in gloss. Beautiful. Never flakes.

  2. Lets just build a house!
    September 30, 2014 / 5:03 pm

    perfectly matches everything else in your home 🙂 I think szuka needs a matching collar, yes?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 30, 2014 / 9:22 pm

      Haha, I definitely looked for one!! I have a gold project coming up that is really different for me! Not a drop of aqua, lol.

  3. Michelle {Jarrah Jungle}
    October 1, 2014 / 4:51 am

    They look awesome I would never have thought to paint plastic chairs, I have a few of the beige boring ones lurking around at home too!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 1, 2014 / 7:09 pm

      Thanks! Spray paint has definitely become a lot fancier, with formulas to cover everything. I'm finding the coverage is getting better and better, too. I'm spray painting everything in sight right now, and getting really nice, even coverage.

  4. Arielle Moore
    October 1, 2014 / 5:25 am

    Wow, the coverage on those chairs is incredible! I feel like I'd be there all day trying to get that level of colour. Was that just one can?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 1, 2014 / 7:12 pm

      I used a can of paint + primer and three cans of aqua paint. I wouldn't have needed so much, except the nooks and crannies at the back of the chair took a lot of paint. I just kept layering on super thin coats. It looked crummy at first, but I tried my best to be patient and keep layering it on thinly. It only took about an hour of spraying to achieve this intensity. Putting on the layer of white seemed to help a lot, because the colour wasn't muddied by the beige. This formula (Painter's Touch) is designed for superior coverage and it seemed like it did, indeed, cover better!

  5. Elaine
    October 1, 2014 / 8:34 pm

    Ha ha! Poor Szuka! She must have been quite shocked! The chairs look great 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 2, 2014 / 2:08 am

      Her eyes went a little wide! We kept close to shore in then boat, though, so she had a short swim back. Her life jacket is fabulous.

  6. brikhouse2
    October 1, 2014 / 9:35 pm


    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 2, 2014 / 2:09 am

      Haha, #turquoiseforthewin. Will you still like me when you see my upcoming non-turquoise projects?? 🙂

    • brikhouse2
      October 4, 2014 / 11:46 am

      Of course, turquoise just make me happy to look at, it's kinda strange……. but I do like other colors as well, like other shades of blue lol

  7. kilipohi
    October 2, 2014 / 12:51 am

    The chairs look great! Nice work!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 2, 2014 / 2:10 am

      Thanks!! It was nice to make these freebie chairs feel new. I'm no longer tempted to leave them roadside…

  8. tailsaroundtheranch
    October 4, 2014 / 12:20 am

    These turned out fabulous! Love, love, love the color.

  9. Anonymous
    June 16, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    Did they peel after a while ?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 16, 2017 / 10:32 pm

      They didn't but only one has survived the other was taken by the wind and smashed into a million pieces. That one did scratch but it was a strong enough gust to rip it apart. Other than that damage no peeling happened.

  10. August 6, 2020 / 10:34 pm

    Wouldn’t it actually be cheaper to just buy new plastic chairs? Paint is not that cheap..
    They look great though 🙂

    • August 7, 2020 / 1:05 pm

      I think it depends on the quality of the chairs. You can sometimes pick them up for super cheap but there are also really sturdy, higher quality chairs worth painting. But it’s also about the color! When I painted these, the only plastic lawn chairs available were red and beige so by painting I could customize the color and keep these from the donation pile or – worse! – the landfill, while still saving a little $$$. However, having said that, I have noticed the price of spray paint has doubled recently! So I do pick and choose my projects.

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