How to Paint Vinyl Furniture

Updated April 13, 2018

You don't have to toss your old vinyl furniture if it is outdated, faded or doesn't match your new colour scheme. Today's new speciality paints make it easier than ever to paint vinyl furniture. Because of vinyl's flexibility and natural liquid repellency, it used to be difficult to not only get paint to adhere to vinyl, but to resist cracking and flaking. To combat these issues, several companies have developed speciality paints that bond to vinyl and other paint-resistant surfaces. These paints make it easy to give your old vinyl furniture new life with a fresh coat of paint.

Clean the vinyl furniture with a solution of ¼ cup liquid dishwashing soap, ¼ cup household ammonia and 1 gallon of water. Use a stiff brush and scrub the furniture well to remove any dirt, grime, oil or flaking paint.

Rinse the vinyl furniture with clear water and allow it to dry completely before painting. Furniture with patterns such as wicker may need to dry overnight.

Set the furniture on old newspapers and protect the surrounding area from overspray.

Apply blue painter's tape to any areas that you don't want painted. Open windows and doors, if working inside, to provide ventilation.

Sand any glossy areas lightly with 200-grit sandpaper. Wipe down the furniture with a rag moistened with white spirit.

Shake the paint can for as long as recommended by the can's directions.

Apply the paint in even side-to-side strokes, keeping the spray tip at least 12 inches away from the surface, or the distance recommended on the can. Overlap the strokes and maintain an even coat. Check the can for application directions, as some paints recommend a thin first coat, while others recommend a thick first coat. Allow the paint to dry for the recommended time between coats.

Apply additional coats as needed. Wait 24 hours before using the furniture. This gives the paint time to cure and bond.

Things You'll Need

  • ¼ cup liquid dishwashing soap
  • ¼ cup household ammonia
  • Stiff brush
  • Newspapers
  • Blue painter's tape
  • 200-grit sandpaper
  • Rags
  • White spirit
  • Vinyl spray paint
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About the Author

Drue Tibbits is a writer based in Central Florida, where she attended Florida Southern College. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur and Your Home magazines. She has also been profiled in the Florida Today newspaper and the Writer's Digest magazine. In addition to writing brochure copy for local businesses, she helps new start-up companies develop a local image presence.