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By Tim Torres

May 2, 2008 5 min read


Revive outdoor furniture with fresh coat of paint

By Tim Torres

Copley News Service

American homeowners love to redecorate their outdoor spaces. Last year, they spent nearly $5 billion on outdoor furniture and accessories, according to spray paint manufacturing giant Rust-Oleum.

If you don't have the money to buy new furniture or accessories, it's easy and affordable to spruce up your digs with a little imagination and a few cans of spray paint.

You can:

- Give your patio table and chairs a designer look with textured paint or a rich multicolored hue like "Aged Iron."

- Transform your old planters into stylish accents from a wide selection of vibrant colors, even terra cotta.

- Give the grill a makeover with special black or metallic spray paint that's designed to take the heat.


When purchasing spray paint, remember the aerosol can does more than hold the paint - it is the application tool as well. It affects finish quality as well as your comfort and convenience while painting.

When spray painting:

- Work in a well-ventilated area.

- Use newspapers or drop cloths to cover surrounding surfaces.

- Paint only clean, dry surfaces.

- Shake the can vigorously before using.

- Apply multiple thin coats.

- Don't handle the painted surfaces until dry.

Some spray painting projects take more preparation time than others. As with any painting, you need to make sure the object being painted is clean, dust-free and dry. Bare wood or bare metal should always be primed, advises Pay attention to the time allowed between priming and finish painting. Some spray primers allow you to apply the finish paint almost immediately after the primer is applied. That can be a real timesaving benefit.

To get the best results, spray paint when it is nice outside; don't spray paint if the humidity is above 85 percent. And don't spray paint if it is windy or there is dust in the air. The dust can settle on the wet paint and ruin your project.

Gather all the parts you need to paint a particular color and paint them all at once. This will reduce paint wastage.

The trick to spray painting is to apply thin coats of paint by keeping the spray paint nozzle moving. Do not stop and allow paint to build up in one spot. This will cause runs. Hold the paint can 10 to 14 inches away from the surface being painted. Make even side-to-side movements. Be sure you have good lighting so you can see if you are missing spots. It is best to have each layer of paint overlap the previous layer.

Once you are finished using the can, hold it upside down and push on the nozzle until no paint comes out of the tip. This usually takes about five seconds. This clears paint from the nozzle so the spray paint can be used in the future, says

Another tip: if it's cold or the spray paint can is running low, put it in some warm water for a minute or so. This will cause the can's propellant to expand and provide the extra pressure needed to get out those last few drops.

Most aerosol can nozzles are removable. If you get a clog, take it off and soak it in paint thinner or lacquer thinner to dissolve the clog.


One new item on the market is Krylon's EZ Touch 360-degree Dial Spray Tip that rotates so users can change the direction of the spray pattern for greater paint control, Krylon says.

According to Krylon, 88 percent of users report greater accuracy using this new tip; and 82 percent report no finger or hand fatigue.


If you don't know exactly where to start painting, Rust-Oleum can help.

At you'll find scores of easy painting projects - picture frames, candlesticks, doorknobs, bookcases, mailboxes, planters and more.

You can learn how an easy "crackle technique" can transform a flea market find into a beautiful chic accent; or how to create frosted glass mirrors in just minutes.

For outdoors, shows you how to makeover your old patio, or how to transform an inexpensive plastic pot into a rustic planter. Each project contains step-by-step instructions.

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