Easy Ombre Effect With Spray Paint on a Metal Garden Chair

3 Materials
20 Minutes

A simple and quick spray paint project for an instant gratification makeover of your metal garden chair.

I have had this chair for years. I picked it up by a bin on the street near my office. I brought it in at lunchtime and it sat next to my desk for the afternoon and then came home on the bus with me! It’s been in my garden as is ever since. I always intended to do something with it but it just hadn’t happened - until now. 

So the first thing I needed to do was give it a clean – I used baby wipes but you can just use a sponge and some soapy water or sugar soap depending on the state of your chair. I then used some steel wool to smooth the edges of one rust spot on the corner. This won’t hide the uneven surface but it will help it to not chip as easily after its sprayed. 

If you want a totally smooth surface you’ll need to look into fillers. For me this was a ‘I just need to transform something!’ kind of a moment, so I was not going to stop for filler!

If you are going for a two tone effect like I did then start with your first colour from the top down. I’m calling this an ombre spray paint effect but I think technically two tone is more accurate. But by ombre I am meaning there isn’t going to be a sharp line between one colour and the next, so there is no taping needed. 

Use lots of thin layers of spray paint rather than saturating it to avoid drips. For my first colour I used  Kobra HP spray paint in Lake, which is kind of a teal blue green colour. 

For the underside (because this is for my garden and not resale), I took an ‘eyeball approach’ – by which I mean I knelt beside the chair and sprayed the paint at any yellow I could see rather than turning it over and trying to get complete coverage. I have an issue with wasting paint on bits of furniture no one will ever see!

Like everyone else these days I am crazy about copper,  so this was the colour I choose for the second colour of my ‘ombre’ effect metal chair spray paint project. 

I basically did the opposite of what I did with the fist colour, spray painting from the bottom up until I had slightly overlapped onto where the blue was. 

There was no particular rhyme or reason to why I went as far up the chair leg as I did, it was just what looked good to me. This effect would look just as good with just a touch at the feet of your chair if you are for example trying to find a project for a partial can of spray paint (not that this took the whole can! Far from it!).  

Lastly all you need to do is leave it to dry – preferably outside for a few hours or overnight and you have your transformed chair. That’s it! Instant gratification. That’s what spray paint was invented for right?

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Kristen Hubert
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5 of 11 comments
  • Wyldecent Wyldecent on Oct 29, 2019

    Nice! While you won't see it, painting underneath can help deter rust since this is outside furniture.

    • See 1 previous
    • Trudy Trudy on Nov 01, 2020

      Love it, copper is really cool. Actually, while the top gets direct rain exposure, it also gets direct sun to dry off while the underside stays damp. And moisture collects there when air temp is different than ground temp; and more moisture means rust, ack!

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Nov 02, 2019

    Really nice - I furnish my garden also lol! I would have sprayed the underside so it would last longer outdoors, though. 😎🌸