Retro Metal Patio Chair and Table Makeover

See how I updated a pair of retro patio chairs using spray paint and stencils!

Loving this retro patio set refresh! Click through for tips on refinishing metal outdoor furniture and see the before and after.

I’m super excited to announce that newest issue of Merry is now available! If you’re not familiar with the super stylish DIY and lifestyle mag, then you’re in for a real treat today. Merry is an online magazine edited by my talented friend Melissa, of The Sweet Escape, and is a must read this summer. Myself, along with a ton of other talented bloggers, contributed to the summer issue. Be sure to view it today to see some great summer projects, including my retro patio furniture makeover!

Loving this online lifestyle DIY mag. It's chock full of great summer project ideas!

I’ve always adored vintage patio furniture so when I spotted this chair and table combo at a local antique store I knew it had to be mine! The price was great and it was in overall condition was good though it has some areas of rust. With a little elbow grease, and a lot of spray paint I transformed this set into a fun, statement piece for our backyard. The icing on the cake are the stenciled daisies on the side table!

These fifties shell chairs are a cute addition to any patio or porch. Click through to see how they were transformed!


metal patio furniture / spray paint (coral + white) / sandpaper / dremel with sanding bands / daisy stencil / painter’s tape / kraft or newspaper


1 hour + drying time

A Dremel is a super helpful tool for any DIYer. You can use it for sanding metal furniture and more.

Step 1: Use sandpaper or a Dremel with sanding bands to remove rust and smooth out any areas where the paint is peeling. I started with the Dremel and then sanded the areas by hand using a fine grit sanding block.

Use a nylon scrub brush to clean metal furniture without scratching the paint.

Step 2: After sanding, use soap and a nylon scrub brush to clean the furniture. Rinse well and let it dry in the sun. This took all but about 10 minutes in the Florida sun.

Step 3: Paint away! I found it best to apply multiple thin coats and allowing it to dry only about 5 minutes between coats. I used 2 cans of the coral paint per chair and 1 can for the entire side table.

Allow the spray paint to dry completely before flipping the chairs over or this will happen!

Note: You will need to flip the chairs over to paint the underside. Wait at least 72 hours before doing this. I learned the hard way and only waited 24 hours and the kraft paper I set them on stuck to the chairs! I was able to remove it with fine sandpaper and simply paint over it but it did add more work!

Use a tape measure to find the center of the table.

Step 4: Use a tape measure or large ruler to find the center of the table and mark it with a pencil.

Use kraft paper to mask off the area around a stencil when using spray paint.

Step 5: Position the large daisy stencil in the center of the table and adhere the edges with painter’s tape. Then use kraft paper or newsprint to protect the other areas from overspray.

Love this coral color of spray paint.

Love this daisy stenciled patio side table.

Step 6: Only one coat is need for each stencil. Carefully lift the stencil and the kraft/newsprint paper.

Love this modern fauna stencil design.

Step 7: Reapply the other stencils, one at a time, making sure to mask off all other areas to avoid overspray. Allow everything to dry for at least 24 hours before using.

Love this stenciled patio side table with daisies on it. Such a cure way to add a pop of color to the patio!

Love this retro patio set before and after! Click through for the how-to.

Find even more summer DIY projects, recipes and wallpapers over on my summer page!


  1. I love it. Since I was born in 1952, I’m really into that era with my decor. I hope some day I’ll run into vintage chairs such as these. GREAT JOB! Looking forward to other things you do.

  2. Those are really cute. I have a pair of those exact same chairs with the cross on the back and haven’t been able to find any other photos except this one. All the others on the internet are the shell design. I just wondered if they are vintage and the company that makes them. I found ours at an estate sale and they are cream colored. They look like they were rusted in the seat but it turned out it was just dirt. I’m thinking about stenciling them like you stencil the table it’s really cute idea. Since I don’t have the table, I may as well try it on the chairs!

    1. Unfortunately I no longer have them as I gave them to a family member. Mine were vintage but I don’t know the the company who made them. Stenciling the chairs is a fun idea!

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