The Painting Guide: Choosing Paint for Garden Furniture

Are you going to be brightening up your outdoor furniture? Then this guide is for you.

We’ll show you how to choose the best paint for garden furniture and share some helpful tips and tricks about how to best apply it. 

Painted furniture can help to create a chic and cohesive outdoor look with very minimal effort. You have complete freedom with your outdoor furniture. You can opt for light neutral colours, but the abundance of natural light means you have a great opportunity to experiment with darker colours too. 

The Best Paint for Garden Furniture

Choosing Paint for Wooden Garden Furniture

There are two different ways to paint wooden garden furniture. The first option is this Intelligent Exterior Eggshell paint. It is self-priming and has a low-sheen finish which is ideal for exterior woodwork.

The other choice is Matt Emulsion paint. This is a great option if you want to use leftover paint you already have, but you will need to seal it with a water resistant varnish to keep it looking fresh. 

In terms of colour, it’s good to keep the size of the project in mind when you’re choosing wooden garden furniture paint. For example, a large piece of furniture like a wooden swing chair would suit a colour like this Harley Green which fits in seamlessly with natural green surroundings.

Alternatively, if it’s a smaller item like a wooden bench, why not try a bolder colour like this deep pink Ashes of Roses?

Top tip: Prepare the wooden garden furniture before you paint it. This means removing any old paint and sanding down the furniture so it is a smooth base for the fresh paint. 

Choosing Paint for Metal Garden Furniture

Oil-based paints like Little Greene’s Tom’s Oil Eggshell are a great option for metal furniture. This paint gives a smooth light sheen finish on metal work but is also a wonderful option for woodwork if you’d rather use the same tin of paint for multiple projects. 

However, you may prefer something a little more like this Traditional Oil Gloss paint. Not only does it give a high shine finish, it forms a deep bond with the metal which improves the longevity of the paint. Light neutral colours like this Book Room Green look great on metalwork, especially if you choose a glossy finish.  

Top tip: Along with removing any loose or peeling paint, you’ll need to sand off any rust before painting on metal furniture. 

Choosing Paint for Plastic Garden Furniture

Painting plastic garden furniture works best with a glossy paint. This Intelligent Gloss is a great water resistant paint that gives a high-quality finish. For best results, we recommend using a primer, too. 

For colour, there are no rules for plastic furniture so you might like to opt for a light summery colour like this Beauvais Lily, or choose a darker colour like this Pompeian Ash which will look chic all year round. 

Top tip: Give your plastic furniture a clean with hot soapy water and a cloth to remove any dirt. Make sure the furniture is completely dry before you paint.


Garden furniture paint comes in lots of different finishes and differs by materials, so do a bit of research about the type of finish you want. Whether it’s gloss or low sheen, it really couldn’t be easier for you to upcycle your outdoor furniture. 

Once you’ve revamped your garden furniture with a fresh coat of paint, you might find yourself itching to turn your outdoor space into the perfect summer staycation location. Browse our full guide for inspiration on how to accessorise and update the rest of your outdoor space.

Little Greene

At Grace & Grey, we’re head over heels with Little Greene. This independent British paint manufacturer creates beautiful, high-quality paints and wallpapers and is committed to socially and environmentally responsible production. Browse our full range of Little Greene paint, here.