Patio Set Sitting Area

How to Paint Aluminum Patio Furniture

Before & After House & Home

Just like everything else in our home, our outdoor spaces have been a process too! What started as a pile of bricks has transformed into a patio where we love to spend time in the warmer months (and around a fire in the colder ones)! We ALSO love hand-me-downs (I wrote a 3-part series on how to decorate with hand-me-downs – go check it out here) and updating them to fit our home.

Before Entire Patio

After 20 years of life and 3 different homes, this aluminum and mesh patio furniture is still going strong! The paint has faded and the fabric doesn’t quite fit our style, but I think this falls into the category of “they don’t make ’em like this anymore!”

Patio Furniture Dining Before

Patio Set Love Seat Before

Probably like all of you, we see photos of gorgeous outdoor space inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram – swooning over the lounge as well as the feasting areas. I don’t know about you, but in our family, there are other areas that need our budget and attention first. So this year, we’re stretching our budget and doing a simple patio update! The first project? Transforming our patio furniture set!


Y’all, spray painting is so simple and inexpensive. This is a project any of you can do. The hardest part will be picking your color. 🙂 I’m convinced you’ll have great results with multiple types of spray paints and brands, but we decided on Rust-Oleum Metallic in Flat Soft Iron for its durability. We found ours at Home Depot for $6.98 a can, but here’s a direct link to find it on Amazon. I’d say a downside to choosing brand and type is that it comes in limited colors, but luckily they are all neutrals!

Spray Paint Rustoleum

If we didn’t go with the Metallic line, we would have gone with Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultracover in Satin, which is $2 less at $4.48.

Spray Paint Options

Both the Metallic and Painter’s Touch can spray both the aluminum/metal as well as the plastic mesh fabric of the chairs – HUGE WIN! The number of pieces you have in your set will determine how much spray paint you need to purchase.

Patio Chair Before

Patio Chair Fabric Before

Our (huge) set:
  • 6 chairs
  • 2 side tables
  • 1 rocking loveseat
  • 1 dining table
  • 1 chaise lounge
TOTAL CANS NEEDED: 10 / TOTAL COST: 10 x $7.98 = $79.80


If you follow me over on Instagram, you know I was debating between painting the entire chair (fabric and metal) the same color and painting the mesh a different color, but we ended up painting everything the same. The benefits for this are a lot less time (otherwise, you’d have to tape off different areas) and simplicity.

If you are looking for a low budget addition to your patio, these well-loved patio sets can be found on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist and are just waiting for an update!

Here’s how to paint your set:
  1. Purchase your spray paint.
  2. Clean off your set (we didn’t do much to clean, but you could always just hose them off)!
  3. Tape off glass or any areas you don’t want painted.
  4. Taped Off Furniture

  5. Lay down a drop cloth and move furniture to a well-ventilated area (preferably outside).
  6. Set of Chairs Before

  7. Start painting your first coat! If you’re painting your mesh fabric, be sure to paint both the front and the back for the best coverage.
  8. Large Set During Painting

  9. Wait 30 minutes and start with your second coat! The mesh definitely needs a second coat, but you could at least touch up the aluminum. The paint dries quickly!
  10. Chair Set After

  11. You’re done! Wait 24 hours to sit on and enjoy.

Patio Set After Sitting Area


Patio Chair After Metal Arm

Dining Area Close Up

I’ve had a few questions about the durability as well as if the paint will rub off on clothing. Since this spray paint is bonding, it should adhere well to our furniture and fabric! So far, there has been no evidence of the paint rubbing off and the fabric still feels like fabric. Our thoughts are that even if our set needs touched up next season, we’re thankful to bring some new life to it!


Patio Set Dining After

Patio Set Sitting Area

We are loving this simple update – we can’t believe the difference and how well they turned out! We still have a few things left on our patio to-do list, including whitewashing the brick patio, adding a pea gravel fire pit area, planting flowers and perennials in our landscaping, and of course some decorations. 🙂

Here’s an unedited photo, showing the actual color of the dining set now that it’s painted!

Patio Set Actual Color

If there’s anything I’m missing, please comment below with questions. Thanks for reading!

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14 thoughts on “How to Paint Aluminum Patio Furniture”

  1. Looks great! I want to do the same thing to my outdoor table. Was wondering if you took the glass top off the large round dining table when you spray painted? Not sure if you can get the spray on to the top of the underneath legs that touch the glass without removing the glass. Or did you just have to tape underneath before spraying?

    1. We removed the glass! It was kinda tricky, but were able to do it. For our side tables? We did use tape and newspaper and it worked great!

      1. Hi Kristin, you state that you removed the glass from the large table and that it was kinda tricky. I too have this type table and am wondering how you removed the glass. I have 10 clips on the underside that are held by screws (that I have removed) but am not sure if the clips need to be removed before the glass will release. Thoughts?

  2. Hi, did you tape the backs of the chairs? How did you avoid getting paint on the fabric parts? I’m thinking of spot painting the chairs where the aluminum is showing and was thinking of using canned paint. Just sort of at a loss of best way to proceed. Thanks.

  3. Kristin, Now 3 years later. Does your furniture still look good? Any pealing or fading of paint on the metal? Any flaking off from the fabric?

    1. It looks OK, but after being outside for many years now in all 4 seasons (we’re near Cincinnati), we’ll likely replace them within the next couple years. It was worth painting them to buy some more time (and it has), but the mesh specifically is starting to look a bit rough.

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