Painting the Cushions for My Lawn Chairs

2 Days

A friend recently gave me some lawn chairs and cushions. I wasn't very fond of the flowery pattern and knew I wouldn't be able to afford to replace them. I researched painting fabrics and found a recipe for making my own chalk paint. 1 cup of flat paint and a tbsp of unsanded grout. I used olympia brand paint with my cushions. My daughter and I spent about 2 evenings total painting the cushions. They took two coats of the paint. All said and done we used about a gallon and a half for the 6 cushions and the 2 foot cushions. I don't recommend letting the unused mixed paint sit around for any length of time. It was about two weeks between the 1st and 2nd coat and the first cushion we started painting on was extremely bumpy. I don't know if that was because the paint sat mixed with the grout for an extended time or if the last mix wasn't mixed well enough. Overall I am pleased with the finished results. We'll see how long it lasts.
This was the original pattern. 6 cushions and 2 foot cushions
a close up. I did wash some of the cushions before doing the painting
This is the first try with one side painted.
As you can see there is some damage on the side of the cushion. We did paint this as well.
I think that I made the paint too thin.
After this cushion I started adding just a bit more grout to my paint
This is with the thicker paint
Finished results. Two coats of paint
Close up of the chair.
We often use stumps as side tables. Cute little grouping.

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Have a question about this project?

16 questions
  • Diane Skartsiaris
    on May 29, 2017

    Does the paint stay on the cushions or does it come off as time goes on with wear & tear?
  • Tina Mccarrick
    on May 29, 2017

    Won't the paint rub off on clothes when sat upon ?
    • Heidi Burks
      on Jun 13, 2017

      As long as the paint has dried after application, it has never rubbed off on clothing
  • Cinnamon60
    on Jun 13, 2017

    I love your project! What color paint and grout did you use? Was it white paint and colored grout or colored paint to start with?
  • Beryl Parker
    on Jun 13, 2017

    do you take the fabric off the cushions first?
  • Beryl Parker
    on Jun 13, 2017

    do you paint both sides?
  • Linda Sikut
    on Jun 15, 2017

    What kind of fabric are your cushions? I have some I'd like to do but they are like a woven plastic. I'm concerned that they paint will crack, peel and come right off in flakes. What do you think? I know yours has been good for several years, but is it a similar fabric?
  • Pat
    on Jul 1, 2017

    Did the paint rub off on clothing or wet swim suits?
  • Cathy
    on Aug 2, 2017

    I have 2 questions: 1) are the cushions rough due to the grout? 2) what kind of paint brush did you use?
  • Nancy Wilson
    on Aug 2, 2017

    Do you think this would work on indoor cushions? I would like to update the look in my living room. The furniture (loveseat and chair with ottoman) are a very heavy outdoor wood and wicker design with removable cushions in a great fern-like pattern. It is in great condition and I don't want to change the wood, just the cushions. I am concerned with the paint coming off, especially since my pets love to sit on the furniture. The covers all come off for washing except the ottoman. I probably will start with that.
  • Lucille
    on Aug 2, 2017

    Your fabric looks like a cotton. Our cushions have slick fabric. I saw this idea previously and wanted to try it. Bought a spray can of paint for fabric and had my husband spray the back of one cushion. It is so hard I think it might crack. Is there something else I can use?
  • Millie
    on Aug 2, 2017

    I have these exact cushions. How did you wash? I would rather clean than paint. Does the material get stiff after painting? You can add water to thin chalk paint out.
    • Ardale
      on Aug 3, 2017

      I just throw my lawn cushions in my washing machine to wash them then throw them in the dryer or you can always just hang them to dry if you wish! I will say I don't leave my cushions out all the time. I pack mine up when not in use to keep them clean and bug and spider free. I have one of those large plastic Rubbermaid deck storage bins with double doors on it and just keep a large cardboard box inside that our lawn furniture came in as well as the huge plastic bag that also came with our lawn furniture. I just stack all of our outdoor cushions and pillows inside the plastic bag and store them in our deck box inside that cardboard box when not using. It's easy to get them out when needed. We have lots of trees and wildlife so I pretty much have to keep ours put away when not in use or they would be stained overnight from tree sap or torn up from al the wildlife. Done this way all of our cushions still look brand new with no signs of wear and tear at all and we've had them for many years. Of course I can do this because our patio, upper and lower pool deck and pergola are all in our backyard and out of sight from the road with nothing but trees surrounding our yard. I do keep a couple of outdoor throw pillows out all summer on a bench in our front yard and just wash them when they get dirty.
    • Millie
      on Aug 3, 2017

      Still trying to find out if the paint made the cushions stiff?
  • Edith Siegel
    on Aug 5, 2017

    How do these take the weather? Do they soak up the rain or bleach out in the sun?
    • Heidi Burks
      on Aug 7, 2017

      They haven't bleached out. If it pours then yes they will get wet. If it sprinkles then i
      dont worry. We store them on our covered porch unless they're in use so they've stayed in pretty good shape.
  • Rosana Halprine
    on Aug 30, 2018

    I would like to do the same to my cushions as the weather here in Florida has ruined them. I have been unable to get them clean and thought I could paint them. The fabric is indoor/outdoor fabric so I am wondering if they can be painted. Please advise.

    • Heidi Burks
      on Aug 31, 2018

      I don't see why not. These had the weird spots on them from weather and were pretty worn in some spots. They have held up very well. I made my own chalk paint with a DIY recipe i found on pinterest. If you're really worried about how it will look try it on one pillow first.

    • Rosana Halprine
      on Aug 31, 2018

      Thank you for your reply. I saw a recipe somewhere online for chalk paint that mixes paint with plaster of paris. Don't know if that is the same that you saw, but it is certainly worth a try. I am going to wait until later in the fall when the humidity is a bit lighter than it is right now and I can plan for the cushions to actually dry out. LOL Anyway, thanks again.

  • Snowdiva
    on Feb 7, 2019

    Waterproof, doesn't that mean it will keep the water out.? Like, won't let any water in.

  • Lyn Harris
    on Mar 3, 2019

    Can you paint leather

    • Trish
      on Mar 23, 2019

      There is leather paint one can buy on Amazon. I’ve used it and it was awesome! Only thing is that it stinks like crazy, so paint outdoors if possible. I can’t remember the name of it buy just type in “Leather Paint” and it should come up. No sanding necessary!

    • Ann
      on Apr 12, 2019

      Try website They sale leather paint.


  • Laila
    on May 18, 2019

    Have they held up ? Do you store them when not in use? I leave mine out the whole season... & store just in winter. Great job!

    • Heidi Burks
      on May 20, 2019

      I usually just put them up on the porch. They have held up. I do recommend putting them up when they aren't in use because they will hold water if it rains. If mine get wet I just lay them over the clothes line or porch railing to dry.

Join the conversation

2 of 23 comments
  • Buz15409339
    on Sep 2, 2017

    FYI: I used water proof spray on our new cushions, thinking I was being really smart! NOT Now they hold water when it rains and it takes a week to dry out.Basically, I ruined a whole set of new cushions. (I sprayed all sides and edges)

  • Rosie
    on Feb 10, 2019

    I think you did a terrific job and I am amazed none of the pattern shows through? They look great considering how much new cushions cost? I have some that need to be done also, may try it this spring. Thanks for sharing.

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