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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Painting New Life into Our Weathered Wood Deck Furniture

We've had this wood deck furniture for a few years and moved it over here from the old house. It's a great little set, doesn't take up a lot of space, and is generally pretty sturdy. Weather in Iowa is hard on exposed outdoor furniture - it gets beat up both in the heat of summer and frozen tundra of winter. You could be a better furniture mom than me and cover your outdoor furniture, but I'd rather buy it cheap, fix it up a couple times and then start over - because I feel like my tastes change that frequently.

old weathered wood deck furniture
Old weathered deck furniture

Everything about our back deck is pretty weathered and Zach has taken some baby steps to start to sand and repair the portion of the deck we want to keep, and start removing some of the deck we don't (that'll be another blog post another time) but in the meantime, summer's here so we want to enjoy it.

old weathered wood deck furniture
Works great, looks... not so great.

Prepping for Painting

I decided it was time to repair the furniture and extend its life by a few more years by giving it a fresh coat of paint. I might have been motivated by the fact my mother-in-law bought a paint sprayer which I've been dying to get my hands on and try out. Figured I couldn't screw the deck furniture up too much so it made for a perfect first paint sprayer project.

paint sprayer ready to paint
Ready to go! The closest I'll ever get to shooting a gun...

I chose Creamy Mushroom by Behr for the color and used an Exterior Satin Enamel finish. Not too shiny, but I thought just a touch of sheen would help make these tables more wipeable.

The furniture was so worn down and didn't have much original stain on it, so all I did was a quick light sand with my sanding block on the tops before painting to smooth down anything rough. I knew the paint sprayer would have quite the overspray, so I used canvas drop cloths to cover up the grass and thought anything that made it past the drop cloth could be mowed up rather than doing this on the driveway. (Pro tip: run this past your yard crazy spouse first to avoid eye rolls and grumbling.)

wood furniture on canvas drop cloth
Yes, I own a lot of canvas drop cloths! ;)

On top of protecting the grass, I grabbed this sexy pair of goggles to throw on over my glasses and wore my "painting clothes" - both absolutely critical. You don't want to do this job in clothes you want to keep nice!! PPE on and it was time to spray!

wear safety goggles when painting
Safety first friends!

Ready. Aim. Paint!

Before I began, I thoroughly read the instruction manual and watched a couple YouTube videos about how to use this sprayer. That took longer than getting a first coat on everything. AMAZING! Don't know what I've been doing all these years using paint brushes and rollers for projects like this!

Kiersten painting furniture with paint sprayer
Paint sprayer in action!

Speed is definitely the benefit to using a sprayer... wow. I got this whole project done in under 24 hours with dry time. First, I sprayed the top sides completely and let that dry for a few hours.

first coat on all furniture
First Coat - CHECK!

After a couple hours of drying, I flipped them over to get the undersides. Not critical, but I thought that might help protect the wood and extend the life of the furniture a bit longer if it was all coated. I let this side dry another hour or two and then flipped them back over and did a second coat on all the main tops and any place I thought looked like it could use another layer. Let that dry overnight and we were ready to enjoy them by lunch the next day!

flip over furniture and spray
Flip 'em over and do it again!

Here's the overspray, and painting pants scenario I mentioned. You can see just how much got past the canvas. While the actual paint job was phenomenal and so fast, the cleanup of the paint sprayer took forever and was quite a mess too. Follow the sprayer's instructions to a T so that you don't get it clogged or damaged.

paint overspray on grass
Hope Zach doesn't have a panic attack seeing this...

Painting the Accent Chairs, Too

While I was already a mess, I decided to hit the little cheap outdoor fold-up chairs with a coat of bright white spray paint to give them some new life too.

rust-oleum spray paint
My favorite brand of spray paint

They were wood slats with black metal before, so the bright white would make them look brand new and complement the other outdoor furniture we have as well.

spray paint chairs white
Lot less overspray so I did this on the deck (the part we're tearing down)

Final Results - Deck Furniture Looking New!

The seating area looks so fresh alongside the rug and pillows we had gotten earlier. And the picnic table's got a whole new sheen. All of this will look much better when the deck itself is done! We haven't picked the deck coating yet for the top but thinking about something dark. You can see some of the deck prog in the photos here... the sanded top deck and the darker bottom deck with half of the bench removed.

We're back in business dining al fresco! More to come as we get this deck in better shape.

Need a fix-up? Here's what we used:

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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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