5 Ways to Revive Plastic Garden Furniture and Make it Look Like New

By   | Last Updated :   August 16, 2021 | Filed In :   DIY & How To

Does your plastic garden furniture look worn-out and faded?

It’s the fate of many plastic chairs, sunloungers, and tables. But you don’t have to hide them or throw them away. Instead, you can revive them.  You don’t even need tonnes of supplies for the task. Some vinegar, baking soda, spray paint, automotive paste wax, and a few other handy items will do the trick just fine.

From cleaning vicious greens to renovating, repainting, and restoring faded plastic, here’s everything you need to revive plastic garden furniture.

How to clean green off plastic garden furniture

Green algae and moss often attack plastic furniture and make it look like you don’t want to use it anymore.

clean green algae off plastic chairs

Getting green off plastic chairs truly revives them; Credit: Kaybrooks

But they’re easy to deal with.

You’ll need:

Step 1 – Prepare your furniture

Remove all cushions and covers from your furniture. Get rid of dust and debris on the surface of the plastic. A wet cloth is often all you’ll need for this step.

Step 2 – Brush off the green

With a brush, loosen the hold of algae and moss on your furniture. You can also use a stiff-bristled brush if the green is stubborn.

Step 3 – Wipe with vinegar

Use vinegar to clean algae stains and spots. Pour some on a soft cloth and gently scrub your furniture.

Good to know: Vinegar is antibacterial and readily available. It will prevent the vicious greens from coming back as often.

Step 4 – Clean with water

Once all green is removed, rinse your furniture well with water. You can wipe it or just leave it outside to dry.

More on this: 7 Steps To Green-Free Rattan Garden Furniture

How to renovate plastic garden furniture

Shabby-looking garden furniture can be an eyesore, no matter how well-maintained your other garden features are. But don’t worry.

faded plastic chairs on lawn

Don’t let worn-out plastic furniture ruin your style. Credit: Shutterstock

Here’s a quick and easy renovation guide for you.

You’ll need:

Step 1 – Clean the dirt

Begin by cleaning all surface dirt off your furniture. Wipe it with a rag or brush.  Make sure to clean the underside as well.

Step 2 – Scrub with baking soda

If your plastic furniture has discoloured over the years, it will need a good scrubbing.  Sprinkle some baking soda on a nylon scrub and gently rub your furniture. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.

Step 3 – Sand the surface

If the discolouration is embedded in the plastic, you may need to lightly sand your furniture. This will remove thin layers of plastic and may leave the surface a bit rough.  You’ll have to smooth the surface after with a fine-grit sanding block.

Step 4 – Restore the shine

Once your furniture is smooth again, it’s time for the wax treatment.  Apply a coat of automotive paste wax with a soft piece of cloth. You can use petroleum jelly or Vaseline as an alternative.  Let it sit for a few minutes before you wipe off the excess wax.

How to restore colour to plastic garden furniture

Are your bright and cheery plastic chairs and tables losing colour? Rather than replacing them, you can give them a fresh coat of paint.

Renewd plastic chair before and after

Give your old plastic chairs a new look; credit: ThePaperMama

You’ll need:

Step 1 – Prepare your furniture

Remove all surface dirt and clean all algae or moss stains. Let the furniture fully dry before continuing.

Step 2 – Sand if needed

Sand the older layers of paint before applying fresh paint. This will lead to better results.

Step 3 – Cover non-plastic parts

Cover any non-plastic parts of your furniture with a plastic sheet or painter’s tape.

Step 4 – Prime the surface

You can use any outdoor primer for plastic. Apply it evenly all over your furniture.  Let the primer dry completely to achieve greater adherence for the paint.

Step 5 – Paint your furniture

Apply a thin coat of paint to your furniture. Let the first layer dry before applying the subsequent layers.  If you’re using spray paint, remember to wear safety glasses for protection from paint mist.

Important: Let your furniture dry for 24 hours before using it.

How to restore faded plastic garden furniture

Direct sunlight can fade your plastic garden furniture over time. You may even note chalky patches on its surface.  But don’t worry. A heat gun will restore your faded furniture and make it look as good as new.

renew plastic chair

Some elbow grease and a heat gun will give you a new chair! Credit: Instructables

You’ll need:

Step 1 – Wash with soap

Make a soapy solution and gently clean your furniture with it. Get rid of all dirt and residue on the surface.  Now rinse the soap water and dry your furniture well.

Step 2 – Cover any non-plastic surfaces

The heat from your gun can damage the non-plastic parts of your furniture. It can even blemish the painted areas.  Cover all non-plastic areas with masking tape before you move on to the next step.

Step 3 – Heat the furniture

Set the heat gun to low or medium. Hold it 6 to 10 inches away from the plastic surface. Move the gun over your furniture in small sections.  You should see the faded bits improving in texture and appearance. Make sure to not overheat the plastic, or it could damage it.

How to restore plastic garden furniture the easy way

If you don’t have a heat gun and don’t feel like buying or borrowing one, we have an easy way out for you.  You can also restore your sun-faded plastic garden furniture with just some baking soda and wax.

You’ll need:

Step 1 – Clean the surface

Brush off any loose dirt from the surface of your furniture. You may even need to scrub them with a sponge or wash them with a garden hose.

Step 2 – Rub with baking soda

Pour some baking soda onto a damp rag. Now gently rub the surface of your faded plastic chairs and tables with it.  You can also use a toothbrush to reach more inaccessible grooves. Let the baking soda sit for some time before washing it.

Step 3 – Wax it down or spray paint it

Once your furniture is dry, it’s ready for waxing or spray-painting.  You can apply a coat of automotive paste wax with a soft rag. Wait for the wax to dry up. Then buff out the extra wax from the surface.

You can also give your furniture a fresh coat of paint. You can restore it to the same colour or give it a brand new hue.  But don’t wax the furniture if you’ll eventually paint it as well. The wax will prevent the paint from adhering well.

Revive don’t replace

Replacing old and faded plastic garden furniture with a brand new one can be tempting. Especially if you’re tired of looking at the same old plastic chairs, tables, and loungers every day.

Reviving your furniture, on the other hand, takes time and effort. But it’s definitely worth it.  It’s an eco-friendly approach and will help you reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, you can use non-toxic and inexpensive cleaners like vinegar and baking soda to restore your furniture.

white vinegar water homemade cleaner

White vinegar and water can work wonders; Credit: Shutterstock

The cost of reviving your old plastic furniture will be a fraction of the cost of replacing it. That means you save money that you can put to better use.

Your restored and repainted furniture will also have a nice DIY feel to it. It will feel more special to you than before, and you’ll be proud to own it.

You might also like: The best plastic outdoor furniture for worry-free relaxation.


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1 Comment
  1. Douglas Anderson
    November 6, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    I’m using last years old Piz Buin Sun Oil Spray factor 30spf. Not only refurbishes but protects plastic furniture against UV light too. Being sun tan oil, any excess oil washes off clothes in washing machine. Seems to do the job short term….time will show.


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