How to Paint Outdoor Furniture Cushions
DIY
March 28, 2022

How to Paint Outdoor Furniture Cushions

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Do you have outdoor furniture that has seen better days? Have you ever thought about painting it? I painted the cushions on our outdoor sectional and I love the way they turned out! A big return on a small investment is my favorite kind of DIY project! I’m sharing all the details with you in this blog post, so you can decide if you want to try it too!


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When we moved into our house, just about three years ago now, we didn’t have any outdoor furniture. Our old house didn’t have a deck or patio, so we had no need. You know that I like a good deal, so the first place I looked was Facebook Marketplace.

I lucked out and found a sectional sofa (that all came apart for easy transport) for $175. It was in pretty nice condition and fit perfectly in the spot where we wanted it to go!

You can see the sectional here. Not bad at all…but it just lacked some ooomph. I had other plans for it…

You can see the sectional here. Not bad at all…but it just lacked some ooomph. I had other plans for it…

After having the sectional for a couple of years, I was getting tired of the faded and dingy-looking cushions, but we were not in a position to be spending money on anything new for our deck.

So, I decided to spray paint the cushions!

Truth be told, I did this project a couple of months ago, in the midst of some personal issues happening in the background. Apparently, my mind wasn’t all present during, because I must have deleted all the pictures of the painting process. Or maybe I didn’t take any at all. Who knows…

Luckily, you don’t really need any visuals. The process is easy enough, and I can tell you everything you’ll need to do it!


Supplies:

  1. Disposable Gloves—This is a messy job, so you’ll want several pair!

  2. Spray bottle

  3. Fabric softener—I used the cheapest I could find

  4. Card Table—I have a card table that I use for all painting projects. This will save your back!

  5. Water

  6. Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint in Matte Black—I used between 1.5-2 cans per cushion. It takes a lot of paint, but even with all of it, this project still comes in under $100

  7. Snap & Spray Gun spray paint attachment—This is a life saver!

  8. Scotchgard UV Water and Sun Shield Protective Spray—This will help to protect against water and sun fading.

If you are a very determined person, you could start and finish this project in one day. I am a little bit more on the lazy side, so it took me a few hours, split up on a couple of different days. You’ll also have to consider the drying time, so just know that it might take longer than you think.


To get started, you’ll want to mix about 1:1 parts of warm water and fabric softener. I didn’t measure this at all, just kind of eyeballed it. You’ll be spraying the mixture onto the cushions, to help soften the fabric so that it will accept the paint. It also helps the paint to not dry crunchy to the feel—instead, the fabric will feel soft.

Next, set up your table in a wide-open space! There will be lots of fumes from the paint and the fabric softener, so give yourself as much fresh air as possible. I put mine in the back yard in the grass, but if you need to put it on the driveway, be sure to layer a tarp or something underneath for over-spray.

Once you have your spray area set up and your water + fabric softener mixed, you’re really ready to go!

Before I started this project, I ready a few blog posts from others who had done it. Just like any project, there are lots of different methods for how to paint outdoor furniture cushions.

The one I landed on was to use spray paint meant for outdoor fabric. I was lucky enough to have a company give me some free product to try out, which was so nice to have! There were a couple of negatives to this, though. The first, is that the paint was kind of splattery coming out. It covered ok, but it was messy and a hassle. Also, the cans were small (and expensive to purchase) and I was going blow through my gifted paint before I was anywhere close to finishing the cushions.

So, I had to get creative! I decided to use regular spray paint—my favorite Rustoleum American Accents 2X Ultra Cover Paint + Primer Ultra Matte. It covers nicely and sprays well, especially with THIS sprayer attachment!

I had read several other blog posts about painting fabric in general, and they almost always suggest getting the fabric wet in some way beforehand.

I had heard about using water or fabric softener before, so I figured using both would be the best option! The mixture helps the paint to go on and stick and to keep the fabric soft even after the paint dries.

To paint the cushions, I sprayed the top and sides down well with the water and fabric softener mixture. Then, I sprayed the paint on. I let it dry and did both steps again. Once that dried, then I flipped the cushions over and did the underside.

One thing to note is that you will think you got the whole cushion, but there will still be spots that you miss. The piping around the cushion was one area that I really struggled to completely cover, so I had to be extra careful with that to make sure that I got all the spots. Also, because the fabric is more of a basket weave, it would look good from one direction, but if I looked at it from another direction, it looked unpainted. I made sure to walk around all sides of the cushions and spray from all angles.

The best part about this project is that it is easy to touch up the cushions if need be!

The rest of the process is pretty self-explanatory. Spray, paint, and repeat! Once all the cushions were painted and dry, I sprayed them with Scotchgard UV Water and Sun Shield Protective Spray. This will help protect the cushions against water and sun damage. While it does help, just know that the cushions will still fade—especially if you use black like I did.

I am absolutely so thrilled that I tried this DIY project! I had been seeing lots of folks posting about how they’ve painted outdoor furniture cushions to refresh them, but just wasn’t sure how it would work out.

My best piece of advice to you about doing home improvement or DIY projects is that you never know how they will turn out, or how much you are capable of doing, if you don’t try!

This is also a pretty entry-level project, so it’s a great place to start if you are wanting to try more house projects, but have been afraid to try. It really only requires some time, lots of spray paint, and even more fresh air!


Have you ever painted outdoor furniture cushions? Maybe I’m the only person who’s waited so long to try it! I would love to see your project, so post it to your Instagram story and tag me so I can see…and maybe share! you can find me on Instgram at @hilaryprall.

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