Ombre Patio Chair Chalk Paint Makeover

Ombre Patio Chair Chalk Paint Makeover

This  DIY ombre patio set project took forever because of the weather.  I was beginning to think I had made a mistake starting it, but now I am really glad for my persistence. It finally cleared out allowing me all the time I needed to putter in the yard updating this old set.

Talk about decorating on a budget, this whole update cost less than $75.  Its such a dramatic change, so worth the effort to bring the modern colours to our back deck.

DIY patio furniture makeover with paint and a pretty table setting for Spring

Our set is about seven years old and it stays outside during the northern Canadian winters so it was starting to show lots of wear.  It could have served us for a couple more years as is but it was so dull and average.


Supplies for Four Chairs and the Table

Four cans of two in one spray paint (grey)

one quart can of white chalk paint

One quart of teal blue chalk paint

tape and newspapers or plastic bags

assorted mixing jars, small art brush, paintbrush,

Prepare for Paint

Start by cleaning your patio set really well.  For this set, I used our outdoor pressure washer. Let the patio furniture dry really well.

The before picture of an old metal patio chair set, prior to being given an Ombre Turquoise blue makeover.

Tape off the material part of your chairs,  tape, and newspaper.  As I don’t get the newspaper I used a box of small garbage bags I had bought in the wrong size.   When taping off make sure to cover all pieces of the material.

Paint the Metal Portions

Make sure to buy paint and primer in one paint.  I used Rustoleum Painters Touch Ultra in Dark Grey from Lowe’s. Let dry and add another coat, make sure all surfaces are covered.

There was much more metal surface to cover than I originally thought.    Including the patio table, I used 4 cans of spray paint.  Once the metal portions of the chairs are painted, let everything dry overnight.

You need to let the spray paint dry and set overnight so that you can easily wipe off any drips you may accidentally get on the metal portion when painting the seats.  Once you’re confident the spray paint is completely dry, remove the tape and newspaper.

Paint the Fabric Portions with Chalk Paint

Mix the Chalk Paint

I suggest using an old jar with a wide mouth screw on lid for mixing your paint.   Pour the paint into the jar add equal amounts of water, place the lid on and shake.

White paint – half and half with water

Medium teal paint – half white paint plus half teal paint,  then double the volume with water.

Dark teal paint – half and half with water

Chalk Paint White Portion

The underside of the chair is the hardest portion as you must work around all the legs etc.  Starting at the top of the chair measure down as far as you like.  Mine was measured to 17 inches.  Take the tape and run it squarely across the chair.  The weave on my chair is quite visible so this was surprisingly easy to do.  If regular paint tape won’t stick you may need to use packing tape.

Refurbishing a metal patio chair with paint.


With the small artist brush paint all along the edges.  Paint the rest in with the regular paint brush.  Let dry. Do this same process on the next chair, this will give the paint time to dry.  Once dry add a second and if necessary a third coat.  For my chair, I liked the look at two coats.  Once the second coat is dry remove the tape.

Chalk Paint Medium Teal Portion

Measure from the top of your chair, on my chair there is a natural indent at 24 inches. Using the fabric as a guide tape off across the chair as squarely as possible.  Paint the edges with the artist’s brush including any awkward areas,  Paint the remaining portions with the regular paintbrush.  Let the paint dry well.  You can continue on painting the next chair to save time.  Repeat with the second coat.

Chalk Paint the Teal Portion

If you find it easier you can tape along the long edge of the medium teal painted area.  I skipped this and just carefully painted all edges using the artist brush.  Then filled in with the regular brush.  Let dry between coats.  Apply a second coat.

Chalk Paint Topside of Chair

Follow the exact same process with the top side of the chair.  Make sure that you measure and line up the sections of the front of the chair to match the sections of the back of the chair.

Sealing the Chairs

Give each chair two really good coats of spray on Polyurethan coating.  This will protect your chalk paint from the weather while it continues to dry.

This update cost just over $100 and spruced my old set up very nicely.  It does take some time to complete but is very easy to do.

If you would like to try a similar design Kim from the Reinvented K also updated her set of sling chairs.

Coordinating Captain’s Chairs

The single quarts of teal and white paint weren’t enough to finish the two captains chairs.  Instead of buying another can to use so little of it, I chose to do them all white.  That way I only had to buy one quart and I know I will use the leftover white chalk paint right away.

The captain chairs were spray painted and then chalk painted in exactly the same way as the ombre chairs were.

Outdoor patio furniture makeover using white paint on two captain chairs as part of a larger ombre patio set.

Here is how the chair set turned out.

Aqua blue patio furniture restoration, with white and turquoise accessories.

Kim at ReinventedK completed her farmhouse chair makeover before I did and it’s gorgeous.  I spoke with Kim about how hers is standing up and she said after applying the polyurethane it has been fine.  I suggest taking a look at Kim’s Outdoor Furniture Farmhouse Makeover post as well.

Before and After Collage of an turquoise, aqua set done in ombre.

The aqua blue colour of the back yard deck is also featured as part of our small sitting area on the front porch.  Its a bright cheerful colour that really lends itself to the enjoyment of our small outdoor spaces.

Small Front Porch for Summer Days

chalk paint fabric, chalk paint akeovers, refinishing furniture with chalk paint , chalk paint outside furniture.


  1. How does it feel to sit on them once it dries? I once painted a chair with chalk paint and it felt rather crusty. So, I was just wondering.

    1. I am not a huge fan of chalk paint texture either, but the chairs aren’t smooth to begin with. Try it again but thin the paint out with water like I did, its worked well, and has lasted a long time.

  2. What kind of fabric is that? I want to paint mine, but was wondering if the same application would work for mesh outdoor chairs.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Cindy. The material is the original mesh that came with the set when I bought it at Home Depot eons ago. Its the everyday mesh from sling back chairs.

  3. I love how this turned out! Such an inviting outdoor space with wonderful colors. Thanks for sharing at the Inspire My Creativity party!

  4. Love it! I love ombre anything and this was such a great idea!

  5. Such a beautiful effect Leanna! Those cool tones really make the whole space feel calm and relaxing.

  6. They look beautiful Leanna! Really fresh and perfect for summer. We’re flying to TO on Wednesday for the month of July, can’t wait and even if it’s cool or rainy, I’m so looking forward to it! Here in Spain there’s lot’s of sunshine which is great but 40 degrees C not so much right now 😉 Enjoy your patio, it looks lovely!

  7. Whoa! These are so cool- I love the color! Hope you are having a good week Leanna:)

  8. You are SO creative! I just love how these chairs turned out. I would have never thought of this… so beautiful, tho!


  9. What a great idea and tutorial. The set looks so pretty and it is definitely custom, not anything you would find in a store! So creative!

  10. The set is beautiful. Well worth the time you spent doing it. And it is a custom look you would not find at the store.

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