How to: Protect Painted Outdoor Furniture with Lacquer

I’m Annie Sloan, this is my studio, and I’m here to show you how to lacquer a small chair for the garden. She’s a really beautiful little one – it’s pretty old. I painted it Giverny.

I’m going to suggest you either use this brush or this. This one might be good because there’s quite a lot of texture in it. So I stir, I’m going to use a matt varnish, remember that this is the varnish that’s got UV protection in it, so this colour is going to stay its gorgeousness and it won’t fade. So a little bit into there. I could be using it directly from there but I quite like to be able to make certain that it’s all stirred and I poured that in. I don’t have to – I could do it straight from there.

So it’s just really a question of brushing. I can get in there with this brush. It’s really nice you can get into all the nooks and crannies all over. And that’s it really. It’s as simple as that There’s no secret, there’s no magic, it’s just doing this and that’s it protected.

You might want to do two coats, I wouldn’t do any more than that, two is probably because you’ll miss a bit and that’s it.

One really, really important thing to do… to know about is that I just don’t want to do just the bits I can see. Make certain that you encapsulate the whole piece. I go underneath so there are no bits that are not varnished. This is because you want to protect it all. You don’t want water getting in. If you let water get in, then it gets under and maybe then it can push out.

Probably, with a chair, best thing to do is to do it upside down first, that’s the chair not you, and then you can turn it up the right way and you’ll make certain that you’ve covered everything.

So this is a really, really bright colour. Anything bright red, bright yellow, bright blue, bright green – it will fade fairly quickly, but this has got UV protection so that’s made it fantastic. So outside, the sun won’t let it fade so it’s going to keep that beautiful gorgeousness.

So there you have it – whether you go with a matt or gloss finish, lacquering just helps extend the life of your furniture and the Chalk Paint® finish. So have a go and let us know what you create!

Discover Annie's top tips for a lasting finish on painted furniture for the garden.

Chalk Paint® isn’t only for indoors. You can also update your outdoor furniture with a lick of paint – perhaps your garden chairs or even a decorative bench – for those balmy summer days enjoyed in the garden. The trick to creating a painted finish that lasts is in choosing the right varnish. Chalk Paint® Lacquer is not only hard-wearing, but it also has built-in UV protection – so whichever paint colour you choose, you know it will stay vibrant and last longer.

Once you’ve followed this tutorial to protecting your paintwork outdoors, you’ll see just how straightforward it is to create a lasting finish. Just remember to make sure every part of your garden furniture is varnished to stop any water getting in – this will ensure complete protection from the elements and prolong the life of the paint.

Step by step guide to protecting painted garden furniture

  1. Paint your piece of outdoor furniture with Chalk Paint® and allow to dry.
  2. Give the Chalk Paint® Lacquer a good stir and either work straight from the tin or decant into a paint tray.
  3. Apply the varnish using a Flat Brush for a completely smooth finish or a Chalk Paint® Brush if you have tricky areas to reach into. Whichever brush you choose, be sure to fully cover the chair, not just the bits you can see.
  4. *Top tip*: start by varnishing the your piece of furniture upside down – this will make covering every surface easier.
  5. Once completed, allow a few hours for the first coat of Lacquer to dry. While you wait, be sure to wash your brush out in warm, soapy water.
  6. Apply a second thin coat of Lacquer.
  7. Make sure the Lacquer has had time to fully cure (up to 2 weeks) before subjecting it to the rain and elements outside. Store painted furniture indoors or under cover during the winter to prolong its life.

Working with Chalk Paint® Lacquer is a simple way to add a layer of protection to your outdoor furniture. Not only that, it will help keep your colours as strong and vibrant as the day you painted them. For more tips on working with this varnish, take a look at our Chalk Paint® Lacquer Fact Sheet.

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