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

Shop Related Products

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Refresh a Rattan Peacock Chair

Add a pop of color to a woven rattan chair with a fun ombre paint treatment and a vibrant ribbon trim.

How to Maintain and Repair Your Outdoor Furniture

Keep your outdoor furniture in top shape with these tips. Already dealing with worn wood, crusty cushions or rust-marred metal? No worries — we’ve got pointers for repairing not-so-pristine pieces, too.

How to Build an Outdoor Bench With Storage

Add extra seating to your patio or deck with this DIY outdoor bench featuring beautiful fretwork panels and hidden storage under the seat. Using minimal tools and a few supplies from the home improvement store, you can build this stunning storage bench in one weekend.

How to Refinish a Midcentury Modern Metal Bar Cart

Hanging on to a piece of rusty or chipped metal furniture? Give it a fresh, colorful update with these simple steps.

How to Make an Easy DIY Outdoor Movie Screen

Transform your backyard into an open-air movie theater with this easy DIY screen made from PVC pipes and a white sheet.

How to Add a Colorful, Geometric Pattern to a Basic Outdoor Rug

Give a drab gray rug the color treatment with paint samples and tape. With a few colors or a lot of colors, this pattern offers infinite ways to add a punch to your patio.

String Light Solution: Hang Patio Lights Using Planters and Wood Posts

Café lights add a gorgeous glow to an outdoor living space, but they can be tricky to hang if you don’t have trees or other tall objects to string them from. Here’s a freestanding solution for hanging lights that uses planters and wood posts. It’s totally temporary, so it’s perfect for renters.

How to Paint Mod Black and White Dots on a Basic Rug

For the modern patio, take a basic outdoor rug and give it your personal spin with simple painted dots. Choose any colors that complement your other outdoor decor.

Upcycle a Hutch Into an Outdoor Bar and Buffet

Have an old hutch or cabinet at home that’s just collecting dust? Turn it into a beverage and food station for your outdoor entertaining area. Add a mini fridge and wine glass racks, and you’ll have yourself a multifunctional piece of furniture for serving and storage in no time.

8 Budget-Friendly DIYs for Your Deck or Patio

Tackle these projects and spend more time outside this season.
More from:

Outside, In Reach

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.