Easy Color Makeovers for Your Outdoor Furniture

Repainted chairs lend a cheerful feel to this back yard.
Colors: yellow lotus (2021-50), brilliant white exterior ready mix, twilight blue (2067-30).

In less than a weekend, you can paint your exterior furniture in any of our thousands of colors to create an updated, fresh new look.

Painting outdoor furniture pieces is an easy, fast way to transform and update the look of your deck or yard. Just follow these simple steps to achieve the best results.

Surface Preparation

The first step in painting outdoor furniture is to make certain that the wood is absolutely dry and free of mold and mildew. Be sure to check the undersides, too.

If the old surface has mold or mildew, you can properly prepare the surface by using our premium cleaner with mildewcide, Benjamin Moore® CLEAN (318). For mild cases, you can mix up your own solution using one part of household bleach to three parts water. (It’s best to do this outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.) Be sure to completely rinse the furniture and allow it to completely dry before applying paint or stain.

If the weather is cold, move the furniture indoors to dry; in milder weather, it’s enough to place the furniture in a garage, carport, or other shelter from the rain. Don’t cover the furniture with plastic or a tarp, as that will not allow enough air circulation for thorough drying.


The next step is to sand the surfaces to be painted. If the old finish is in fairly good condition, it’s enough to just roughen the surface. Start with coarse-grade sandpaper, working with the grain. If you have an orbital hand sander, that is the perfect tool for this job.

If the old finish is in bad condition, you may choose to remove all the old finish down to the bare wood. This can be accomplished with a quality wood stain remover such as Benjamin Moore REMOVE (315).


If the old painted or stained surface is still intact after sanding, you can skip priming. However, if you’re going to apply a lighter color over a dark one, if the wood is exposed, if there are knotty sections, or if any stains remain, you should use a good primer formulated for outdoor use, such as Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Start All-Purpose Acrylic Primer (023). Brush on the primer, working with the grain, using a good-quality Benjamin Moore Nylon/Polyester brush.


We recommend using Benjamin Moore’s ARBORCOAT® Solid Deck & Siding Stain (640), which is available in any of our thousands of colors and is especially formulated to protect against weather and temperature extremes as well as UV rays.

If you’ve primed the surface, one coat of stain will be enough. If you skipped the primer, you may want to apply a second coat. Let the furniture dry in a clean, dust-free, well-ventilated area. Don’t leave it outside to dry, as wind and air will deposit dust and particles onto the wet surface.

Once the furniture is dry, you’re good to go. Situate your furniture where it won’t be under a drip line from a roof or tree limb. An occasional light wash with dish detergent and warm water will help you enjoy your outdoor furniture for years to come.

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