05/05/14, by Megan Steenson
If you've purchased unfinished outdoor furniture, you know the perks of getting to paint (or stain) it yourself: You can choose any color you want and refresh the finish as needed. But before you tackle the paint job, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The key to a long-lasting outdoor finish lies in the prep work. Raw wood furniture is usually very smooth when you buy it, so start by roughing up the surface for better adhesion (photo 1). After wiping off the dust with a tack cloth, apply a primer designed for unfinished wood (photo 2), and let it dry thoroughly. Follow up with an exterior latex paint in the color of your choice (photo 3). Lightly sand the surface before applying a second coat. It’s a good idea to save leftover paint, so you can take care of touch-ups as the seasons pass.