Patio Cushion Rehab With Paint

5 Materials
3 Days

My patio furniture was still in great shape but the cushions had faded terribly. 20 new cushions would be waaay more than what I spent on the entire set! And other than being faded, the cushions were still in great shape as well. I also couldn’t stand the thought of 20 cushions ending up in a landfill just because they were no longer attractive. I read that they could be painted with latex or acrylic paint mixed with water and fabric medium. So, I decided to give it a try. I figured, “What have I got to lose?” I took the risk and couldn’t be happier with the results!
I pressure washed all 20 cushions and let them dry in the sun. Since my cushion covers are removable, I beefed up the bottom cushions with an extra inch of foam sandwiched in between the existing foam. Because I was keeping them the same color, I took one cushion to Lowe’s with me that still had a spot of the original color and had them color match a quart of exterior latex paint. I chose exterior in hopes that it will be less prone to future fading. I mixed one part each of paint, water and fabric medium.
Before painting, I lightly misted each cushion with water in order for the paint to spread more evenly.
I used a one inch brush around the piping and a two inch brush on the main body of the cushion. I really worked the paint into the fabric, doing the sides first, then the top or front and left them to dry. Once dry, I flipped them and did the bottoms and back sides. Most cushions only required one coat. The really faded ones got two coats.
Before and after of back cushions.
Painted back cushion, unpainted bottom cushio
After photo of completed cushions.
Conversation area with newly painted cushions
Dining area with newly painted cushions
All 20 cushions brought back to their original color! It only cost me $65.00 and took three days! I’m truly blown away by the results. They look exactly as they did when I first bought them. I’ve been sitting on them for days now and there’s no cracking in the fabric. It is very soft and flexible.

Suggested materials:

  • 1 quart of Olympic One exterior paint/primer  (Lowe’s)
  • 2 rolls of 1 inch mold/mildew resistant foam  (Walmart)
  • 2 8 oz bottles of Ceramcoat textile medium  (Michael’s)
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • Maggie
    on May 5, 2020

    Where do you buy textile medium?

    • Angela
      on May 5, 2020

      Any craft shop. Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Joanne Fabrics, Walmart.

  • Mnm49304901
    on Jul 17, 2020

    can the color of the cushions be changed

    • Angela
      on Jul 18, 2020

      You absolutely could change the color but it would require more coats. I got by with just one coat on most of the cushions because I was “reviving” the color.

  • Debbi Gosdin-Burke
    Debbi Gosdin-Burke
    on Sep 20, 2020

    You ladies have certainly inspired me. I too have a great outdoor set which I had all "blasted" to remove original coating, after having personally spent approx 65 hours trying to do it myself. Went thru allot of wire wheels (fit on drill for removing paint), band aids, time & energy. Finally paid to have it done professionally and power coated. Back to Cushions, there are 9. big, thick, and nice Sunbrella fabric. Perfect condition, Very faded. New furniture, rugs, new dining chair cushions & re-covered bar stools do Not take away from "The Moss Colored Cushions. They are textured, almost like a very small corduroy, do you feel that latex paint w/ fabric medium will work or be stiff? Opinions or experience do's & dont's certainly appreciated.

    • Angela
      on Sep 20, 2020

      It should work fine. However, I would try an inconspicuous area first, i.e. back edge of cushion, to see if you like or dislike the feel. The fabric medium keeps the paint from cracking when you sit on the cushions. Mine have held up even better than I could have imagined. But it does make the fabric feel a little bit stiffer, but not much. I mean, it’s an outdoor fabric...after I painted mine they just felt like a more “substantial” outdoor fabric, if that makes any sense.

Join the conversation

3 of 8 comments
  • Angela
    on Aug 8, 2019

    It’s been over a year now and they are still holding up great! Because I used exterior house paint, they haven’t faded. But when they do start to fade I’ll just put another quick coat on them!

  • Diana Aycock Duncan
    Diana Aycock Duncan
    on Jan 8, 2020

    Thank you for sharing! This makes my day!!!! I have a large matching set that was originally a beautiful apple red. Now it's definitely pushing pink, so instead of continuing to procrastinate on replacing them, I can just bring them back to life! Btw, I really respect the fact that you thought not only about the cost, but also the environment. If everyone had that mindset, the world would be a better place.

    • Angela
      on Jul 18, 2020

      Diana, I just saw your post. Did you End up painting your cushions? If so, I’d love to see pictures! It’s been almost two years since Ipainted mine and they are still doing great.

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