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Guys, I have to be honest with you, sharing this post is kind of a big deal for me! Because sharing it with you means we finally redid our patio cushions, and when I tell you our patio furniture needed some love…guys, they needed a complete do-over (in fact, I still can’t believe I’m sharing these before photos for the whole world to see). But never in a million years would I have thought we’d be doing a painted patio cushions DIY as our way of bringing them back to life! I don’t know what makes me happier, the fact that my patio furniture looks totally different or that it cost us less than $50 to do it!
Let me back up just a bit. We bought our patio furniture off of Craigslist for pretty much next to nothing back when we first bought our house. I was proud of my frugal shopping and figured I’d eventually get around to making it over. Well, five years and a baby later, and I never got around to making them over.
Well Allie, why not just buy new ones? I don’t know if you’ve looked recently, but new patio furniture isn’t cheap, so that nixed that idea.
Well Allie, my not just recover them? That was my first thought, till I realized how much outdoor fabric I would need and how much it can cost if you’re not careful. That and I’m a novice seamstress, so my confidence in my sewing skills was somewhat lacking.
Then I heard of the idea of painting your cushions. Color me intrigued. The more I looked into it the more excited I got about the idea and just knew we had to try it. I figured if it completely ruined them we weren’t losing any money on the deal. So my sweet husband jumped head first with me on this project and a few days later we had beautiful
sort of new patio furniture!
This is a perfect weekend project because ideally you want at least two days to give everything enough time to dry in between steps. Ours took longer only because we had a toddler and constant rain working against us, so it dragged on a bit.
You’re going to need a handful of items and a good bit of patience. But if you’re looking for an inexpensive no-sew option for bringing your patio furniture back to life, this is definitely the project for you!
What you will need:
- 1 gallon of exterior paint
- 4 6oz bottles of fabric medium
- Something to mix your paint and medium in (we used a plastic graduated cylinder to make measuring easier)
- Paint rollers (we found the smaller one actually worked better for us)
- Paint pan
*To help keep the price down on our paint we went with generic exterior paint from Walmart and used a $10 off gift card that I had saved up from my Shopkick app! Read more about how you can save with Shopkicks here! Psst: it’s #5!!
*Optional: we went ahead and cleaned our cushions before starting. You can either wipe them down by hand or just hose them down like we did.
So to get started, following your fabric medium’s instructions, go ahead and mix your medium with the appropriate amount of paint. The Martha Stewart brand called for 1 part medium for every 2 parts paint. Once you have it all mixed up well, you’ll want to pour your fabric medium/paint mixture into your paint pan and get your paint rollers nice and covered in paint.
Now the fun part! Time to start painting those cushions!!
We found it easier to do the sides first so that you had the top and bottom to hold onto, but whatever works best for you is fine.
Warning: you may notice during your first coat that your original fabric is still coming through, and you might begin to think you have completely jacked up your furniture. Don’t panic! This project takes a few coats, but trust me, it does work!
Okay, now for the hard part, once you have all of the tops and sides painted on your cushions, you need to leave them alone to dry. They need AT LEAST one hour.
Once they feel dry to the touch, it’s time to do a light sanding. You’re going to want to use a high grit sandpaper (220 grit should be fine). Don’t go crazy here. Just buff it up enough to keep your cushions from getting too stiff. When you’re finished with that it’s time to work on the second coat for your tops and sides!
You’ll want to let them dry for at least an hour again, and when they’re ready you’ll get to repeat the sanding. Who would have ever thought to sand cushions?!
If your original cushion fabric was lighter, you may not need a third coat. We had a very bold red pattern to fight with, so ours definitely needed it. If yours does too, go ahead and paint your tops and sides one more time!
Once your final coat is done, let dry overnight. You want to make sure it is good and dry before flipping it over to paint the bottoms.
When you’re ready, flip your cushions over so you can paint the backs. Repeat the same process you did for the tops and sides till you are happy with the coloring of your cushions! Then you’ll want to allow them to dry overnight one last time to make sure the color is good and set.
That’s it! You’re done!
Painted Patio Cushions DIY
- Mix your exterior paint and fabric medium per your fabric mediums’ instructions.
- Pour into paint pan and fully cover rollers with fabric medium/paint mixture
- Paint tops and sides of cushions.
- Let dry for at least 1 hour.
- Once dry, use high grit (220 grit) sandpaper to lightly sand cushions to maintain cushion’s flexibility.
- Repeat steps 3-4 until satisfied with coloring, remembering to sand in between coats. Do not sand once final coloring has been achieved!
- Allow final coat to dry overnight.
- Begin painting bottoms of cushions, repeating steps 3-6 till final coloring is achieved.
- Allow to dry overnight for project completion.
Pretty crazy right?? I’m still in disbelief whenever I look out onto my patio. We’re one step closer to creating that beautiful outdoor space we always wanted!
So, what do you think?! Would you ever try painting your patio cushions? If you’re feeling the patio makeover love and want to join along with me, make sure to follow along with me on Instagram and post your patio pictures with the hashtag #errpatiomakeover! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!