July 22, 2021

What is the Best Paint for Wooden Garden Furniture?

What is the Best Paint for Wooden Garden Furniture?

From sun loungers to dining tables and chairs, garden furniture is a wonderful way to make the most of your outdoor space. If your pieces are made from wood, you might be wondering what’s the best paint for wooden garden furniture. Not only is paint a great way to brighten up your backyard, but it’s also important if you want to protect your furniture from the elements.

Need help choosing your garden furniture paint? You’re in the right place. In this blog post, we’ve put together a handy guide to the best paint for wooden garden furniture, so you can spruce up your space with ease.

Why should you paint your wooden garden furniture?

There are various reasons why you might choose to paint your wooden garden furniture. Although natural wood grain can look beautiful, it doesn’t necessarily age well in the great outdoors. Older wooden furniture can take on a grey or green tinge over time, which might give your garden a worn-out appearance and cause the surface to deteriorate.

When your garden furniture is outside in all weathers, it has to put up with a lot. By painting your furniture, you can protect the wood from bright sunlight, extreme temperature changes, and moisture damage. This can extend the lifetime of your furniture and save you from having to replace it too quickly.

Although specialist oils and varnishes claim to do a similar job, these aren’t available in a wide range of colours – and generally aren’t as durable as paint. The right wooden garden furniture paint will keep your pieces in excellent condition, all while adding a splash of colour to your garden.

On top of all that, painting wooden garden furniture gives you a lot more freedom when it comes to colour and style. Transform a traditional table with an on-trend pastel shade. Revamp your garden chairs with something bold and brave. Or brighten up your bench with a flawless white. The choice is yours.

What is the best paint for wooden garden furniture?

The best paint for wooden garden furniture is easy to apply, weatherproof, tough and durable with a great range of colours to choose from.

At Frenchic, our range of Al Fresco Inside/Outside paint has been specially formulated for outdoor use. Ideal for your garden furniture, this water-based chalk paint is highly durable, low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and EN 71-3 certified, meaning it’s child safe – perfect for painting wooden playground equipment such as swings and climbing frames.  

On top of that, our paint is self-priming, which avoids the messy, time-consuming process of priming your wooden garden furniture. Self-priming paint allows the paint to adhere better, for an even application, without the need to buy and apply separate products.

Wood Paint Vs Stain & Varnish

When comparing products to paint your wooden garden furniture, it’s important to distinguish between the three main types – paint, stain and varnish:

  • Wood paint is completely opaque, covering any grain of the wood for a solid finish. As such, it’s available in a wide range of colours.
  • Wood stain penetrates the wood which often accentuates the natural grain. It’s available in different colours, though they are also determined by the colour of the wood, making it harder to control the finished look.
  • Wood varnish is usually completely clear, added simply to protect the wood from the outside.

What colour should you paint your wooden garden furniture?

Choosing the right paint for your wooden garden furniture is a matter of personal preference. However, it can also depend on factors such as the style of your garden and the vibe you want to create. Plants, flowers, and the colour of your house and surrounding architecture will also influence the colours that work best in your garden.

From strong, on-trend colours to classic neutrals, get to know some of our most popular shades of Alfresco paint below:


A classic colour that’s ideal for interior and exterior painting projects, white is a timeless choice for your wooden garden furniture. White picket fences have long been a symbol of domestic bliss – so if you want to bring a touch of serenity to your garden, why not give your furniture a coat of Dazzle Me!?

This bright white will look beautiful against green grass, brickwork, and bold flowers. It might be classic, but it’s anything but boring!  


If you’d prefer something slightly more subtle, there are a number of neutral shades that can add a calming tone to your garden. Whether it’s the pale and lovely Cream Dream or the taupe tones of Cool Beans, these colours can easily be partnered with any style or colour scheme.


Black has become one of the chicest shades for outdoor furniture in recent years. It’s a bold and stylish choice that’s sure to add a touch of sophistication to your outside space and is a surprisingly effective backdrop for green foliage.

Blackjack is a true black shade that will stand out without overwhelming the other colours in your garden.


Are you looking for paint that’s bang on trend? Grey décor is perhaps the biggest design trend we’ve seen over the last few years. Get the look with Swanky Pants, Duckling or Greyhound. Not all greys were created equal, so we stock a spectrum of different shades that make it easy to find your perfect undertone and bring your vision to life.

Greens and blues

Moving away from the neutrals, greens and blues are always popular paint colours for wooden garden furniture. From timeless Wise Old Sage and this year’s must-have deep emerald shade, Victory Lane, to jewels like Kiss Me Sloely or pretty lavender Parma Violet – you’ll find a variety of greens and blues available online at Frenchic.

Supremely versatile, greens and blues sit so well in gardens and are incredibly easy on the eye.

Can I Paint My Wooden Garden Furniture?

We are proud to say that Frenchic fans far and wide have upcycled and refreshed their wooden garden furniture. For a great result, the key thing you need to consider about your potential project is its overall condition. The main challenges are:

  • Sun damage – This is the silvery looking surface that tends to develop on untreated exterior wood over time. Unless very severe, this can usually be dealt with as part of your prep.
  • Algae and mould or even moss – If minor, then this can be removed during prep. However, if severe, it may be best to apply an algae and moss treatment before painting.
  • Structural issues – Severe sun damage, areas of rot and gapping joints are signs that significant repairs will be needed if you want to achieve good results with paint. Slats can be replaced and you may be able to repair wobbly joints. However, there are some items that are too far gone for paint!

In addition to this, do bear in mind that wooden garden furniture that has been regularly treated with oil-based preservatives, or is new, unweathered teak, can also be challenging to paint. The oils in the wood make it tricky for paint to adhere effectively.

Preparing Your Garden Furniture For Paint

Preparation is important for any paint project – but arguably even more so for furniture that has been outside.

Here are our preparation tips before applying paint for wooden garden furniture:

  • Make sure your piece is clean. It is recommended to scrub with sugar soap and rinse down. Treat any algae, mould or moss with a proprietary product.
  • Scrape off and sand back any previous flaking or failing coatings. Sand all surfaces to remove any silvered sun damage and provide a good surface for paint to adhere to.
  • Repair any areas of rot and make sure joints are tight.
  • Always make sure the wood is completely dry before starting to apply your paint. It is worth remembering that exterior wood can take some time to dry out properly. The top surface may look dry but there could be moisture underneath, so it is good practice to leave at least 24 hours between prep (or rain) in good conditions. In damp conditions, leave longer.

Painting Your Garden Furniture – Conditions & Application

If your furniture is good to go, it’s time to get started. However, you will need to check the weather if you’re planning to paint outdoors. Needless to say, rain is a no-go when painting garden furniture. You’ll also need it to stay dry for the following 48 hours so the paint can properly cure and harden.

Believe it or not, the temperature is important too. Ideally, garden furniture should be painted at between 10°C and 32°C. As above, you’ll need temperatures to stay in this range for 48 hours so it can cure properly. Additionally, you should avoid painting in direct sunlight, as the paint will dry too quickly, which means it won’t have time to bond to the surface adequately.

Of course, smaller items can be brought inside. In this case, you’ll simply need to keep it at the right temperature and protect your floors.

When applying your paint, be thorough. Ensure you get full coverage (refer to your tin for number of coats and rate of coverage of your paint) between slats and around potential weak points, like joints, where moisture could ingress.

Pay attention to instructions on the tin for minimum time between coats as applying subsequent coats too soon can mean the paint may not adhere as effectively and can affect long term durability.

Pick the perfect paint for your wooden garden furniture

We hope this handy guide has given you all the information you need to choose the best wooden garden furniture paint. Designed specifically for wooden surfaces (although you can also use it to cover uPVC, ceramic, and metal), our Al Fresco Inside/Outside paint is the perfect choice.

Our Al Fresco chalk paint range is available in more than 20 different shades. Browse the entire collection today, then check out our official Frenchic Youtube channel for video guides about preparing and applying your paint.


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