How To Paint Patio Furniture: Upcycle with Rethunk Junk Paint

How To Paint Patio Furniture: Upcycle with Rethunk Junk Paint

If you own - or recently found - some tired-looking patio furniture - it’s time to give it a little DIY makeover. Give it some new life and you’ll glow up your entire outdoor furniture game. And if you’ve checked the price tag of new patio furniture lately - this is a low-budget option that will look like an expensive new purchase!

No time to read now? Pin this project for later.

No time to read now? Pin this project for later.

Before you scroll down for all the directions, you might want to take a minute and watch my short video tutorial. I like to combine the written and the visual, how ‘bout you? But keep scrolling if you’d rather read how to do this project.


Rethunk Junk Paint Prep

Rethunk Junk Paint in Midnight

Rethunk Junk Resin Metal in Pewter

Measurex Calibrated Container w/lid

Wooster 2” paintbrush

Miracle paintbrush ⅝”

Clean cloths

BYO Patio Table

Want to see some other DIY projects that you can use the same supplies for? Check out how to use Rethunk Junk Paint to create your own bling on your smartphone case.


Hint: I like to put my project up on a work table to get it just about eye level. For painting - or any project - it’s going to be easier on your back as you go through each of these steps.

I start out by cleaning off seasons and seasons of dirt and grime using Rethunk Junk Paint PREP. Do a section of your furniture at a time - and in the case of my bamboo/rattan patio table, I cleaned one side at a time. With Rethunk Junk, there’s no sanding, no priming, and no waxing.

And, the Prep gives it UV resistance - perfect for outdoor furniture. You don’t need to use Rethunk Junk Paint Tuff Top sealer when you’re done - because the resin in the Rethunk Junk is all you need for outdoor use.

The Prep comes in a spray bottle, or you can get a large container of it to refill the spray bottle (and you only need to buy the spray bottle one time.) I made sure the Prep covered the entire side really well. There are a lot of curved surfaces, edges, and rims in my piece - so I took my time.

To remove the Prep, you can use a wide bristle paintbrush, or grab a clean soft cloth. As you rub the Prep off - you’ll see it’s removing all that dirty “outdoor essence” and leaving a clean slate for the next step.

Rethunk Junk Paint Prep before painting


Once the side is prepped, it’s time to apply the paint. I use the Measurex container to pour some of the Midnight Rethunk Junk Paint into so that it’s easy for me to dip my paintbrush and load it up.

PRO TIP: Soak your Wooster brush in water while you prep your piece. This helps the paint move more smoothly when you brush it on the piece. Tap off the excess water and dip your brush into the paint.

As I apply the paint, I tamp it into the grooves in my bamboo piece, then I go back and smooth out the paint with long brush strokes. On the top part of the piece, I use upward brush strokes to minimize any dripping or paint gooping into the crevices at the edge of the braiding. 

Your piece may not have this design element, or it may have something different. But this is a great technique to adapt to your own project surface. 

No matter how carefully I paint, I always have to check as I go for drips and gooping. (yes - that’s a technical term in my book!) 

Painting Patio furniture with Rethunk Junk Paint in Midnight


Before I move on to the next section of my project, I want to check the status of the paint drying - and for drips and goops. I use the back of my hand for this - not my fingertips! Fingertips leave a mark.

If the paint is at the tacky stage of drying - I don’t recommend just dragging a dry brush through the Rethunk Junk paint to smooth out drips. But - I do caution you to make sure you correct them before the paint dries - because that’s a whole ‘nother process!

PRO TIP: Dampen a smaller paintbrush in water, but don’t saturate the brush. Then, place it on the spot where you see the drip (or goop/pooled paint) and give the brush a slight squeeze to release a little water. Now pull the brush down through the paint and let it smooth the drip/goop out.

Technique for smoothing out drips of paint


As you get ready to apply the Prep to the other side of the table project, be super careful you don’t spray it in a way that it can get on the painted portion. Hold the bottle away from the painted area, and spray it on in the other direction.

Repeat all the steps exactly as you did on the first side of the table. Two coats of Midnight Rethunk Junk Paint will be enough to cover my project completely. And then I let it dry.

Next, I’ll go back over the entire piece with my Miracle Brush to get all the nooks and crannies. My piece is very architectural and there are curved surfaces and overlapping ridges. You may not need this step on your piece.

If you want to create a distressed look on your piece, spray the Prep onto another clean cloth and gently wipe off areas of the project surface. And Voila - distressed makeover!


Using the Rethunk Junk Resin Metal in Pewter with some of the Midnight paint, I used the Miracle brush to paint highlights across the braid in my piece. It was exactly the subtle touch of bling I was looking for in my piece!

Patio table makeover with Rethunk Junk Paint

I would love to show you the completely finished set - but I had a small disaster. While painting the base of the table, the beveled glass top was outside in the lovely (HOT) South Carolina sun. That 110 degrees actually caused the glass to break! Now I’m on the hunt for a new piece of glass…

What are you going to makeover to give your outdoor area a glow up? You know I want to see all the pictures, right?

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