Give a Tired Outdoor Wood Chair a Tropical Update

This wooden chaise longue was a little worse for wear after a year exposed to the elements. See how we gave it a fresh new look by sanding it, staining it and adding a tropical-inspired design.

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover

This wooden chaise longue had seen better days, but we revived it by sanding it, staining it and adding a fun, tropical-inspired design with oil-based paint pens. Now, it’s the perfect place to relax poolside.

From: Samantha Pattillo

By: Samantha Pattillo

Materials Needed

  • dish soap/scrub brush
  • electric hand sander
  • 80- and 120-grit sanding pads for sander
  • stain
  • old T-shirt or rag
  • latex gloves
  • construction paper
  • oil-based paint
  • small paint brush
  • oil-based paint pens
  • water-based outdoor sealant

Before

Bringing wooden furniture back to life after a year or two outdoors can seem daunting, but it’s actually very easy and oh-so-satisfying when you’re done. This wooden chaise longue had seen better days after laying out under the sun and rain for a year. It was sun-bleached and a bit grimy, but overall still in great structural shape.

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Before

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Before

Bringing wood furniture back to life after a year or two outdoors can seem daunting, but it’s actually very easy and oh-so-satisfying when you’re done. This wooden chaise longue had seen better days after laying out under the sun and rain for a year. It was sun-bleached and a bit grimy, but overall still in great structural shape.

From: Samantha Pattillo

Clean It

If your item has significant mildew buildup, just grab a bucket and fill it with a 50/50 mixture of dish soap and water. Scrub the wood to clean it up, and let it fully dry for a few hours before sanding.

Sand It

Start with a 120-grit pad on your sander; if it doesn’t get through the grayed surface of the wood immediately, change to 80. 80 grit will sand off a lot of material, so err on the safer side and start with 120. Make sure to sand with the grain as best you can. Once you have finished sanding all surfaces, wipe the piece clean with a damp cloth to get all of the dust off.

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Sand the Furniture

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Sand the Furniture

Start with a 120-grit pad on your sander; if it doesn’t get through the grayed surface of the wood immediately, change to 80. 80 grit will sand off a lot of material, so err on the safer side and start with 120. Make sure to sand with the grain as best you can. Once you have finished sanding all surfaces, wipe the piece clean with a damp cloth to get all of the dust off.

From: Samantha Pattillo

Stain It

To be safe, test your stain on an area that isn’t visible on the furniture to make sure it’s the color you really want. Then apply the stain all over with an old (but clean) T-shirt or cloth. Wear latex gloves so you don’t stain your skin. Be generous with the stain, just whipping away the excess when you’ve covered the whole area. Depending on how long the item has been outside, it may drink up that stain and require a second coat. Let it dry for an hour or so before deciding on a second coat.

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Stain the Furniture

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Stain the Furniture

To be safe, test your stain on an area that isn’t visible on the furniture to make sure it’s the color you really want. Then apply the stain all over with an old (but clean) T-shirt or cloth. Wear latex gloves so you don’t stain your skin. Be generous with the stain, just whipping away the excess when you’ve covered the whole area. Depending on how long the item has been outside, it may drink up that stain and require a second coat. Let it dry for an hour or so before deciding on a second coat.

From: Samantha Pattillo

Embellish It

If you’re giving your furniture a makeover anyway, why not kick it up a notch? Instead of stopping at a fresh coat of stain, we wanted to add a fun tropical pattern to give the basic design more personality.  

Use thick construction paper to cut out your leaf shapes. Do a few slightly different sizes and shapes so they look more natural when you layer them on top of each other.

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Cut Leaf Shapes

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Cut Leaf Shapes

Use thick construction paper to cut out your leaf shapes. Do a few slightly different sizes and shapes so they look more natural when you layer them on top of each other. Since the wood stain is dark, it can be hard to see pencil marks as you outline. Instead, use an oil-based paint pen to lay out your design. (You can get these at any craft store in some really fun colors.)

From: Samantha Pattillo

Since the wood stain is dark, it can be hard to see pencil marks as you outline. Instead, use an oil-based paint pen to lay out your design. (You can get these at any craft store in some really fun colors.)

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Trace Leaves on Furniture

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Trace Leaves on Furniture

Use thick construction paper to cut out your leaf shapes. Do a few slightly different sizes and shapes so they look more natural when you layer them on top of each other. Since the wood stain is dark, it can be hard to see pencil marks as you outline. Instead, use an oil-based paint pen to lay out your design. (You can get these at any craft store in some really fun colors.)

From: Samantha Pattillo

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Trace Leaves on Furniture

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Trace Leaves on Furniture

Use thick construction paper to cut out your leaf shapes. Do a few slightly different sizes and shapes so they look more natural when you layer them on top of each other. Since the wood stain is dark, it can be hard to see pencil marks as you outline. Instead, use an oil-based paint pen to lay out your design. (You can get these at any craft store in some really fun colors.)

From: Samantha Pattillo

Paint It

We chose a beautiful green paint color for the leaves. Using your small paint brush, fill in the leaves, exposing just enough of your outline so you can go back over it for the details. It will probably take two coats to fully cover the wood.  

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Fill in Leaves With Paint

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Fill in Leaves With Paint

We chose a beautiful green paint color for the leaves. Using your small paint brush, fill in the leaves, exposing just enough of your outline so you can go back over it for the details. It will probably take two coats to fully cover the wood.

From: Samantha Pattillo

Once the paint has dried (after about 2-3 hours) you can go back over the pattern with your paint pens. Have fun with this part: the paint pens make it super easy to draw patterns and small details in your design. And the best part: if you don’t like a color you used, you can go right over it with another color. So easy!

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Add Detail

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Add Detail

Once the paint has dried (after about 2-3 hours) you can go back over the pattern with your paint pens. Have fun with this part: the paint pens make it super easy to draw patterns and small details in your design. And the best part: if you don’t like a color you used, you can go right over it with another color. So easy!

From: Samantha Pattillo

Seal It

Once you have finished your painted design, go over the whole chaise with an outdoor sealant. This will ensure the wood and your work of art will be protected from the elements. Two coats will be enough. Follow the instructions on the can for wait times between coats.

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Seal the Furniture

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Seal the Furniture

Once you have finished your painted design, go over the whole chaise with an outdoor sealant. This will ensure the wood and your work of art will be protected from the elements. Two coats will be enough. Follow the instructions on the can for wait times between coats.

From: Samantha Pattillo

Enjoy It!

Now it’s time to kick your feet up and enjoy your hard work. Add a few toss pillows and a great magazine and get your chill on.

Before

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Before

After

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover: Before

Bringing wood furniture back to life after a year or two outdoors can seem daunting, but it’s actually very easy and oh-so-satisfying when you’re done. This wooden chaise longue had seen better days after laying out under the sun and rain for a year. It was sun-bleached and a bit grimy, but overall still in great structural shape.

From: Samantha Pattillo

Outdoor Wood Chaise Longue Makeover

This wooden chaise longue had seen better days, but we revived it by sanding it, staining it and adding a fun, tropical-inspired design with oil-based paint pens. Now, it’s the perfect place to relax poolside.

From: Samantha Pattillo

3 Outdoor Furniture Flips

See All Photos

These three outdoor furniture pieces had seen better days before we got our hands on them. See the before-and-after photos and get step-by-step instructions for the projects.

From: Samantha Pattillo

Wooden Chaise Longue: Before

Bringing wood furniture back to life after a year or two outdoors can seem daunting, but it’s actually very easy and oh-so-satisfying when you’re done. This wooden chaise was sun-bleached and a bit grimy after laying out under the sun and rain, but overall it was still in great structural shape.

From: Samantha Pattillo

Wooden Chaise Longue: The Makeover

A good cleaning, sanding and staining will work wonders on a tired piece of wood furniture. But if you want to take your makeover up a notch, consider adding a fun, tropical-inspired design like we did here. Oil-based paint pens make it super easy to add intricate details. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>

From: Samantha Pattillo

Wooden Chaise Longue: After

This tropical-inspired lounge chair is now the perfect place to relax poolside. Add a few toss pillows and a great magazine and get your chill on. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>

From: Samantha Pattillo

Metal Bar Cart: Before

Vintage and antique items, like this midcentury modern bar cart, can be great alternatives to buying new. They offer one-of-a-kind style and are often more affordable, but sometimes they need a little TLC.

From: Samantha Pattillo
Tags: 
  1. bar cart

Metal Bar Cart: The Makeover

You can follow the same steps to clean up any outdoor item made of wrought iron. If the piece is rusty, you’ll want to tackle that first with trisodium phosphate (or TSP) and a wire brush. Luckily, this bar cart didn’t have any rust spots, so we skipped straight to sanding and spray painting. Apply multiple light coats of paint (rather than one or two heavy coats) for a smooth finish. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>

From: Samantha Pattillo
Tags: 
  1. bar cart

Metal Bar Cart: After

After a little elbow grease and a fresh coat of paint, this bar cart looks as good as new. We stored extra glasses and mixers on the bottom shelf and designated the top for drink prep and snacks. Now let’s party! Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>

From: Samantha Pattillo

Rattan Peacock Chair: Before

Intricately hand woven out of rattan, peacock chairs made their way from England in the 19th century and took their place in gardens across the US. Now, they’re coming back in a big way as part of the new boho style trend. This miniature peacock chair just needed a little love and a punch of color to get back on the style bandwagon.

From: Samantha Pattillo
Tags: 
  1. peacock chair

Rattan Peacock Chair: The Makeover

After a thorough cleaning, we gave this chair a fun ombre paint treatment using a chip brush to really get into the crevasses. Next, we wrapped the outer frame with bright teal ribbon. This allowed us to cover the existing black wrapping that was cracked and fading. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>

From: Samantha Pattillo
Tags: 
  1. peacock chair

Rattan Peacock Chair: After

Bring the whole look together with a fun toss pillow that pulls in the colors of the paint, ribbon and (in this case) the front door. Rattan, while great for outdoor use, needs to be taken care of. Keeping it under a covered porch or entry (as seen here) is a great way to protect it from hard rain and sun. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>

From: Samantha Pattillo
Tags: 
  1. peacock chair

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