Reviving Plastic Chairs



By Margaret Riley


Plastic chairs are inexpensive but after a season or two outside, they lack appeal. Who wants to sit in a dingy looking chair? The sun and the elements can be brutal on them. It only takes some spray paint formulated for plastic to make your chairs “new” each season. For those living in the north, you probably store your chairs in a shed or barn….or maybe just leave them outside! For those living in the south, your chairs stay out year-round. Even though fall is rapidly approaching, you can repaint your chairs before putting them in storage to be ready for their appearance in the spring. But southerners are getting ready to sit outside and enjoy the warm fall and mild winter. Where ever you live, think about which season you want to repaint those plastic chairs.



It is easy to revive plastic chairs. As shown in the finished photo, I painted a table to match the chair. You’ll probably need 2-3 cans of paint for a chair and 1-2 for a small table. Let’s get started! First, place an old sheet or some kind of drop cloth outside on the ground. Note: If it is a windy day, wait until it isn’t or you will be chasing your drop cloth and you will be the recipient of the spraying. Also, consider wearing a mask to cover your nose and mouth to avoid breathing in any fumes or spray. Gloves are good to wear to avoid getting paint on your fingertip.



Next, wipe down the chair to remove dirt and sneaky spider webs. Allow to dry. (I pressure washed mine and let it set in the sun for a couple days.). Read the directions on the spray can. It is best to start with the bottom of the chair. Lay the chair bottom side up to begin spraying. Spray in short spurts with a light coating at first. Layer your spraying of paint to avoid running. It may need to have a second coat. I left the chair in the sun for a couple hours to make sure it was dry.






Turn the chair over so the top is up. Repeat the spraying technique. Allow to dry. Inspect the chair for any missed spots. Let it cure for a couple days. Add an outdoor seat cushion, if desired.


Paint chairs in a variety of colors! Add some pizzazz to your outside décor with vibrant colors or do tropical colors. Cushions are relatively cheap at mass merchants but be sure you buy cushions that are made from fabric for use outdoors. Now, grab a glass of lemonade and enjoy sitting in those “new” chairs!

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  • Margaret Riley on

    I like the spray Valspar found at Lowe’s or online. I have also found that Rustoleum has a decent spray for plastic furniture. Read the label to make sure it accommodates plastic for the outdoor furniture.

  • charlotte komlose on

    What spray are U using, I have bad luck with outdoor for plastic. Even on Terra Cotta pots.

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