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Painting Patio Cushions And What I Learned

My patio chair cushions needed to be refreshed. After sitting in the shed for three years, they were kind of grungy. I tried washing them but they were stained from all the dirt and pollen.

So I decided  I'd try painting them. I figured I had nothing to lose even if it didn't work out - I gathered my white homemade chalky paint, black paint, water, paint brush. I dampened the one side of the cushion and then painted on a thin, watered down coat of paint. Let it dry then painted a second coat. The flower pattern was still showing through. It took two more coats of paint.

I liked the way it was going, so the other three cushions got their first two coats painted on too.

After two more coats, I let them all dry before tackling the black stripes I wanted to paint on. A light sanding then I tried to stick tape on the first cushion to mark off my stripes. The first "disaster". The tape wouldn't stick so holding in place, I painted the first stripe followed by the others. Ugh, it was awful looking and I messed up the spacing. Maybe if I added horizontal stripes? Oh, no, I should have left well enough alone! "Disaster #2"!  I didn't want to have to paint over it and try to hide the black. Time for plan B.

Two hours later I had this: four cushions with these pretty new covers.

Yep, I bought fabric and recovered each cushion.  I figure the paint will just make the them more waterproof. Fortunately, the fabric was half off and sewing them didn't take long.

What did I learn? I did learn I could paint fabric but I need a better plan for adding pattern. Stencil perhaps? And painting fabric takes a lot of patience since you have to keep the coats thin which means it takes several coats to cover. Plus you have to let them dry in between coats. Kind of annoying for a two sided cushion you want done quickly.

So next time? I'll probably just get fabric for such a small project.

In other news, yard sprucing up continues. The pups left our test grass alone so Bruce ordered 2 pallets of grass to put down.

Because I'm still taking it easy with my back, I had our son come over and help (bribed him with supper- ha). He and Bruce had it all done in a couple of hours.

I can't tell you how strange it is to walk out and see green grass. After three years, it's a beautiful sight to see.

Now all I have left to do is to repaint the table and chairs, add plants and BBQ art, and spruce up this find from Canton!
It's going to make the perfect barbecue accessory cart.

Hope your week is going well!


  1. Oh, Cecilia! Here I was expecting to read about how you successfully painted your outdoor cushions. Sorry it was a fail. But your newly upholstered ones look fabulous! Love the color and pattern! I bought fabric spray paint last year the same color as my outdoor cushions, just to spruce of the color since it was faded. But I haven't gotten up the nerve or I guess the stamina to try it. I just envision it as spraying and spraying and never being satisfied with the results. I do have an excuse right now. It's been raining for 15 straight days and it's still rather chilly so I'm just thinking about it.

  2. I love the new fabric! Everything will go with it which is fun. Your new grass looks fresh and great. :)

  3. Cecilia,
    I was holding my breath when you said you were going to paint the cushions! You were so brave to try this project!
    I really like the new fabric you chose for the project, I just know how new/reupholstered cushions change the entire look of a patio.
    Your grass is wonderful:) I am sort of into grass too, because of the new yard.
    Can you imagine having to sprout seeds for a lawn!
    Looking really good my friend.
    Your artistic talents are many!

  4. Oh those cushions look really made a great effort!!! The yard is looking great too!

    1. LOL, yes, I made a great BIG effort. sigh. But I do like how they turned out. Goodness, how I've missed having grass...I didn't realize how much until the new sod was laid. Happily, it's been raining so it should get a good start.

  5. Sorry about the cushions, but they look great now! And that vintage rolling cart, LOVE it! xoKathleen

    1. All's well that ends well. :-) Isn't that cart so cool? I got it for a great price too! Now if we'll just get some sunny days so I can finish painting! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I don't think I have the patience to paint fabric and I love the covers you made for your cushions. Your sod looks like a thick green carpet. I am still in the thinking stage about sodding my yard. Hope you share you BBQ cart when you get it done.

    1. Thanks, Sharon. I like them too. I will definitely share the cart when it's's been raining so all outside projects are at a stand-still for now.

  7. Your beautiful green grass urge to walk barefoot ) recovered cushions look really mesmerizing.

    1. Thanks, Linda! I love my grass! It's so nice not to have mud. :o)

  8. Remember my painted chair project? Just to refresh your memory it was titled 'how NOT to paint fabrics'.


    I totally know what you mean. Sometimes it's just better to do things the old fashioned way.

    I always laugh when I see that quote graphic 'why spend $8 for an item when you can spend $112.00 to make the same thing'. lol

  9. Cecilia, love the pretty fabric you chose! Your grass looks great--can't wait to see how your cart turns out! Blessings, Cecilia

  10. Great job and great to know when to quit! :)

    1. Haha, you know it! Better than being frustrated! :o) Thank you!


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