Painting Projects

Spring Swing Revival Tutorial

My sister Julie and I love it when we get free stuff with loads of makeover potential, so you can understand our excitement when she was given this amazing swing for her patio.

Yes it was green and yes it was old, but it was in great shape and just needed a coat of paint and some cute cushions, so off we went (she isn’t a great spray painter though so she just watched and cheered me on). The timing of this project was perfect because she had just finished her patio renovation (ah-mazing by the way). For this project we used:

Step 1 – Remove cushions and prep swing. Take off the cushions and cover any areas of the swing that don’t need to be painted (i.e. fabric platform that holds the cushions) using tape, dropcloths or even garbage bags. Put swing outside on flat surface or grass. Use a drop cloth under the swing if you don’t want to ruin the ground you are working on.

Step 2 – Prime and paint! Use a spray paint primer first to ensure excellent adhesion of the paint. Because this swing was going to be stored outside and face lots of elements, we thought this was important. Once dry, spray paint the swing black (or a colour of your choice). We decided to use Tremclad Rust Paint because we wanted to prevent it from rusting or chipping as much as possible. Get in all the nooks and crannies and make sure everything is painted. Let dry according to directions.

Step 3 – Remove canopy and paint it! Yes, fabric can be painted but this step can be optional because truthfully it was a total pain in the ass. But we didn’t want the canopy to clash with the rest of the swing so we went for it. We chose a neutral colour we had on hand and thinned it out using water. Mix 2 parts water with 1 part paint to thin it out. This will ensure the paint is thin enough so it won’t crack on the fabric. You can also buy fabric medium to paint fabric but we were painting a huge canopy and didn’t want to spend lots of money. It took a couple trys to get this right but in the end it worked out and has surprisingly held up pretty good with a few minor cracks (thankfully they are on the top and you can’t see them) Looking back we probably should have used a darker colour so it would have covered better and required less coats (reducing the chance of cracking). 

After 1 or 2 coats… coverage wasn’t great.
After a few more coats it was looking good!

Step 4 – Put it all together! Once everything is dry, you can put the canopy and cushions back on the swing and enjoy! The super thrifty option would be to reuse the swing cushions, especially if they are in good shape and have a cute pattern. However, in this case we decided to buy new ones because we felt there was no way to make forest green look fancy. You could also recover the cushions with a fabric of your choice and sewing machine. After a long, painful search, we finally came across the perfect cushions at our local Home Hardware. Although they were $30 each (a little steep for our liking because we needed three – $90 total) we decided it was worth it. In the end we spent about $150 on the swing – a small price to keep this beauty out of the landfill and way less than a new swing. It is one of the best things about this patio! My sister falls asleep on it almost every night after work in the summer, so splurging on the cushions was worth it!

It’s my favourite spot when we hang out around the fire table.
So gorgeous! Who wouldn’t want to fall asleep out here!

The spray paint job has held up great and I think priming really helped. The swing is also stored under a tarp in the winter.

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