Patio Furniture Makeover for Under $100

old, run-down patio furniture set, brown and grey table with matching brown and grey chairs

We’ve had this patio set for about 10 years. I’m not quite sure why we picked it, it’s soooo drab. Every year during patio season, I look at it and just shake my head. So finally after 10 years I decided I was ready to get a new one. I shopped for something bright, something fresh, something…not so $600-ish. Yikes. And that was for a “cheap” set. I forgot how much patio furniture cost. So I thought, ok I’ll just buy some new cushions to spruce it up, that should only cost about $50 right? Wrong! Cushions cost at least $30 a piece and that’s for the thinnest, cheapest ones. With 6 chairs, it was going to cost me at least $180 just for new cushions. That’s when I decided this was going to have to become a patio furniture makeover. My budget: $100.

Patio Furniture Makeover Goals

I had a list of 5 things I wanted to accomplish within my $100 budget:

  1. Repaint the framework of the table and chairs
  2. Replace the tiles on the table
  3. Create new cushion covers for the chairs
  4. Add decor to the table
  5. Add a rug underneath the table

Adding an Outdoor Rug

A rug might seem like an unlikely starting point for a patio furniture makeover, but I had my reasons for starting here first. You might be ask why I even want a rug. Well, just peruse the glossy pages of any magazine featuring high-end patio furniture and you’ll see they always have an outdoor rug.

So I decided I need a rug. There are 2 problems when it comes to an outdoor rug and the first reason is why I decided to start my patio furniture makeover with a rug. Outdoor rugs are expensive. Even the cheap ones cost at least $50 and I couldn’t spend 50% of my $100 on just the rug. So, since I knew finding a good rug was going to be the hardest part, I decided to start with that. Once I found my rug, then I could purchase a matching fabric to complement it for the patio chairs. There are so many fabric options out there, that matching a fabric to a rug would be much easier than finding a rug to match a particular fabric.

The second problem with an outdoor rug? I can barely keep the rugs inside my house clean, so how was I going to keep one outside clean? My first thought was to buy a dirt colored rug but then I remembered I was trying to get away from drab, not add to it. That’s when I had an epiphany. Who says tablecloths have to go on top of a table? Why not put it under, like a rug? Tablecloths are much cheaper than rugs and when it gets dirty I could just throw it in the washing machine!

tablecloth with a aztec design in navy and teal

I found this Threshold Aztec tablecloth at Target for $14.24 and decided to give it a shot.

Painting the Patio Table and Chairs

I decided to change the look of the table and chairs from a dull brown to the light grey in my new tableclo… um rug. I started by scrubbing the framework down with soap, water and a wire brush to remove all the dirt, grime and rust stains. Then I spray painted the framework on the table and chairs with Valspar Project Perfect Rugged Suede Fade Resistant Enamel Spray Paint. I purchased 3 cans for a total of $11.94. To glam it up a bit, I decided to spray paint the tips of the chair and table legs a metallic gold. I already had the gold spray paint leftover from my entryway table rehab project, so no additional cost there.

patio furniture table and chair legs tips painted in metallic gold

To paint just the tips, I waited for the grey paint to dry then wrapped a piece of painters tape around each leg, 1 inch from the bottom. Spray below that, then remove the tape.

Replacing the Patio Table Tiles

While painting the table framework really helped make it look new again, the dreary brown tiles were still a downer so I wanted to replace the tiles on the table top. They are literally just 12″ square tiles that sit down in the grid of the table frame. They are not glued in or anything so I can just pull them out. I found some light grey tiles at Lowes for $0.99 each. I needed 15 tiles resulting in a total of $14.85.

side by side pic of old tan tile and new light grey tile

Replacing the Chair Cushions

Next up, those drab cushions. I decided to purchase fabric and sew large body pillow-like covers that I could slide over the existing cushions and then take off and throw in the wash when needed. I purchased some navy blue fabric from Joann and with a 60% off coupon my fabric purchase came to $26.98.

To create the pillows I simply cut the padding off the cushions that wrapped around the back of chair. The wrapped part of the cushion was really not needed and it made it difficult to put my body pillow cover over the chair cushion.

After I cut them off, I created small pillowcases for them. To save money, I decided to buy fabric only for the front of the pillows (since you wouldn’t see the backside anyways). For the fabric on the back I cut up an old navy blue twin sheet that I had. The pillow fabric cost $5.59 from Joann. To hang them, I used some grey yarn that I had on hand. I created two large loops around the back of the chair and then simply slid the pillows through the front.

Last but not least…

Now for the fun part. Table décor! I wanted to add a runner to the table and I found one at Home Goods on clearance for $9.

For the center of the table, I took a lantern from our guest bedroom. It had been sitting in there for 12 years collecting dust simply because it didn’t really go anywhere else. It’s always nice to find a new, better home for a décor piece, isn’t it?

I did have a pillar candle in it, but after only a few days I found out why pillar candles don’t do well outside. Candle + sunlight = lump of wax. I really wanted a real candle that we could light, inside the lantern, not a battery powered one. That’s when I had an idea.

lantern with faux candle made out of a pool noodle that was cut to place a tea light into the top of it

I took a pool noodle and cut a larger hole into the top of it, then placed a tea light into that hole. No more melted candle. Plus, unless you get up close, it looks just like a blue pillar candle.

I purchased a pack of 4 succulents for $3.98 and created the little pots by cutting and gluing some white textured shelf liner I had, to some silver tins I had left over from a baby shower I hosted. The golden rhinoceros is something I bought on clearance from target for $3.88. I named him Ronnie. The other golden décor piece is actually 2 old ring holders that I glued together and then spray painted gold.  

The Grand Total for my Patio Furniture Makeover…

  1. Valspar spray paint rugged suede $11.94
  2. Grey 12″ tiles $14.85
  3. Dark blue fabric for cushions $26.98
  4. Chevron fabric for pillows $5.59
  5. Table cloth “rug” $14.24
  6. Table runner $9
  7. Succulents $3.98
  8. Ronnie the rhino $3.88

And the grand total comes to…drum roll please…$90.46. Mission accomplished – a patio furniture makeover for less than $100!

patio furniture makeover, new paint, table tiles and upholstery for chairs

And just in case you wanted to see that old patio furniture again (well, no one really wants to see that) here’s a before and after comparison.

Ahhh, so much better.

If you’re not quite up for sewing fabric, no worries, you would be surprised at what just a little spray paint can do to freshen up the look of your furniture.

profile picture of Nicole Bolin

Author: Nicole Bolin