How To Paint Outdoor Cushions

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Outdoor furniture can get beat up pretty bad from being outside in the elements and pushed in and out of storage – especially cushions – they fade and get stained so quick. Even if your cushions are in great condition – styles change and patterns get dated fast! Reupholstering or replacing your cushions is SO expensive. The perfect solution to update your outdoor cushions is to paint them! Yes, you can paint your outdoor cushions and you won’t believe how comfy, durable and fabulous they look. AND it’s super quick and cheap!

how to paint outdoor cushions

Step-by-Step How To Paint Your Outdoor Cushions!

how to paint outdoor cushions

STEP 1 - Remove any dirt or grime from your cushions

STEP 2 - Give your paint can a good stir to get all that yummy pigment from the bottom

STEP 3 - Apply one coat of paint

  • Brush it on with a natural bristle brush. Don’t use a cheap synthetic brush, you’ll get brush strokes! Always use a quality brush! House&Canvas offers Natural Bristle Paint Brushes
  • You can go quite thick with your paint. Don’t be afraid to really slap it on. Just be sure to apply in even, smooth strokes. You can see how heavy I go in the video at the end of this post

STEP 4 - Let the first coat completely dry and paint on another coat. Remember that fabric takes longer to dry than furniture. The first coat may take a few hours to fully dry

how to paint outdoor cushions

STEP 5 - Let it sit overnight

STEP 6 - Using a fine grit sandpaper (180+), gently sand your surface

  • When I say sand your surface, I mean a quick, super soft sand just to soften the paint a little bit. Don’t go working up a sweat

STEP 7 - Dust off your surface and apply a coat of House&Canvas Wax Top Coat in Clear

  • Use a brush or a lint free cloth and apply a thin layer of wax
  • Remove any opaque wax build up with a lint free cloth

STEP 8 - Let your cushions sit for a few days so the wax can fully cure. Then they are good to go!

how to paint outdoor cushions

Once your cushions are finished and the wax has had a chance to fully cure they are ready to enjoy. The beauty of the wax top coat is that it is water resistant. Liquid will just bead off. You’l notice after lots of use the paint does NOT crack, nor rub off.

how to paint outdoor cushions

The only thing you want to avoid is leaving your cushions in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Like anything that sits in direct sunlight, they will be at risk of fading or the wax becoming soft. Our wax is solvent free and made entirely from natural waxes, therefore it is not UV resistant.

If you would like to give your cushions an extra durable, direct sun, all weather top coat, there are products on the market that can be found at your local hardware store. The trade off to these products is that they are stiff and not as soft and comfy as our wax. Most of them will have a glossy sheen to them as well, where as our wax is has a matte finish.

If you are looking to refinish the frame of your furniture, follow the same steps!

Can’t wait to see all your fabulous outdoor spaces 🙂

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Darlene Moore- Krohn
    on Jul 18, 2019

    I was all excited till I read the part about sun on them softening the wax, I have full sun on everything at some part of the day! Does it transfer onto clothes if soft

    • Cai47326001
      on Jul 19, 2019

      Hi Darlene! We tested this, and what happens is the wax gets a bit soft to the touch... Almost like rubbing your finger over a candle. But it doesn't come off or transfer to clothes. If your cushions are in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time, you can still use the furniture paint to paint them, but I would use a different top coat to seal and protect.... Like a waterproof fabric guard! Thanks :)

  • Iberkeley
    on Jul 18, 2019

    Looks lovely. I am amazed how nicely the paint covered the dark print. However, would it not be easier to just dye the whole lot? Perhaps the covers cannot be removed, in that case it would make sense to paint them. I have some removable cushion covers that I am thinking of dying. What do you think ? They are outside but not in full sun. I am concerned about excessive fading. I wonder if the coat of wax you applied would work on dyed pieces. That could alleviate some fading as well add water resistance, I assume.

    • Cai47326001
      on Jul 19, 2019

      Hi there!! I've never tried dying fabric outdoor fabric! You'll have to let me know how it turns out. I always paint because it's so quick and easy! What will you be using to dye the fabric? Wax generally can go over anything!! Thanks!

  • Kathy Pereira
    on Aug 2, 2019

    Can this technique be used on indoor furniture? Is the wax step still necessary?

    • Cai47326001
      on Aug 2, 2019

      Absolutely!! I've painted a ton of interior upholstery and it works like a charm!! And yes, add the wax ontop to seal and protect!!

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