Front Porch Refresh
About 2 years ago I started toying with the idea of painting our plastic adirondack chairs that are now sitting on our front porch. I didn’t immediately hop on the train to paint them because 1: they are plastic and 2: I don’t really like using spray paint. I know that plastic and spray paint don’t really go well together and can be super finicky. But once we bought our outdoor dining set to use on our back patio, I moved the bright green adirondack chairs towards the front of the house for everyone to see. The green was not an eyesore, but they definitely needed to be upgraded and we didn’t have a budget to buy nicer looking outdoor chairs. So the decision was made to paint them as well as refinish the wooden bench that I had been meaning to finish for the last 4 years.
Here's some quick before and after pictures of our porch.
It took a lot of research on not only colors, but also on how I would spray paint these chairs. I’ve been into a green mood lately and wanted to paint them this deep green that I have on a couple of pieces of furniture in the house. But I found out that the color I wanted to use isn’t outdoor friendly - so I considered the spray paint route. At first I was hesitant because of the reasons I mentioned before, but then I realized that hand painting them would take so much more time and I decided that risking spray painting would be worth it. Now, I don’t know if you all noticed, but there isn’t a variety of green spray paint readily available like regular paint is. I took a couple of days and went back and forth between a darker green or a lighter green. I knew I wanted something that would look like it belonged outdoors and like I had bought it that way, not painted it. I finally settled on a muted dark green called Oregano by Rustoleum.
After settling on the spray paint color, I researched how to make spray paint last on plastic outdoor chairs. I ended up prepping the chairs by mixing a small amount of bleach, some dish soap, and lots of water (I just eyeballed it all and didn't bother measuring it out) and scrubbed the entire surface of the chairs using a hard-bristled brush. I then went in with some 200 grit sandpaper and went over all the parts that would be most used. I’ll admit that I didn’t bother sanding the backs or all of the nooks and crannies. I had David “helping” me and I didn’t have the time to spare. When it came time to paint I shook the can really well and did small strokes and sprayed in short bursts and continually shook the can throughout the process. The green looked pretty on the bottle, but once I started spraying the chairs it looked lighter with more brown undertones. I honestly wasn’t sure I liked the color and stopped after spraying the sitting portion of the chair and took a couple of days to watch them on our front porch to see if I liked the color. The green instantly grew on me once I brought the chairs outside and put the pillows I have on them. It still isn’t the color I had wanted, but I don’t think any spray paint color could have been close as this one came to it. I should also mention that I did not put a clear coat of sealer on the chairs or the bench. I couldn’t find one that was readily available and didn’t want to wait for shipping.
After painting the underside of the chairs and giving them a second coat of paint overall, I started on the bench. I ended up spraying the green everywhere on the bench except for the lid. For that, I chose an antique wax (linked below) to stain it. I did that because it was way less messy and it cleans up better than an actual stain. It also lightly sealed it. I used the same wax on the wood farmhouse windows above the bench last fall and they have held up really well throughout the winter.
Once the bench was complete, I put it back in its original spot with the chairs and started decorating the space. I bought a new outdoor rug from Studio McGee’s collaboration with Target. I love how it’s really neutral and ties in the green from the chairs and bench really nicely. Then I went to Home Depot for some plants. I was originally going to go for some flowers, but I felt like I would be so sad when they die after the season and I really wanted something that would last. I bought some 'Silver Edge' Thyme, 'Godzilla' Painted Fern (I love that name), and some Vinca Vine. I picked these out because they are hardy and love lots of sun, which our front porch gets a lot. I also got three indoor plants to try out. I’ve been strictly a faux plant lady and have killed all of our indoor plants before. But we have great lighting in this home and we have been considering staying in this area so I felt comfortable buying some house plants.
When it came to repotting the plants I bought, I enlisted David to come help me and he was so excited to. We commandeered the outdoor dining table as our potting bench and soil got everywhere. It even got into my coffee, but what’s harmful about a little bit of dirt? We had lots of fun and all of the soil I massaged from the roots went into his dump truck so he could dump it all out. I have a great tip about repotting plants. I’ve seen a few people do this and I really think it helps plants to acclimate to their new pot: when you take your plant out of its original container, message the roots until they are mostly free of dirt. This will help them take in the rich nutrients from the new soil. I also think trimming the roots will help too, but I didn’t need to do that.
After repotting, I put the plants back in their designated spaces and watered them. I absolutely love how this porch refresh turned out! I think I might add more plants over time or all at once, haha, but this has turned out better than I had imagined. The green paint goes really well with the plants and it looks so much more put together than before.
I hope you have enjoyed this little porch refresh journey with me! If you would like to see some more behind the scenes, check out my blog’s Instagram account. I have some video content saved under the Front Porch highlight where I show you the process of painting the chairs and bench as well as some of our repotting fun!
Links below for the things I used:
My door wreath is unavailable, but this one is similar