If you have older lawn chairs then they are probably beginning to break down in the sun. An oxidized surface turns them gray or a powdery surface makes them unusable. There are a few ways that you can handle this. First would be the easy way.. to just buy new lawn furniture. The second way works pretty well and that would be to scuff the surface to remove the powdery surface and then paint the surface with a special plastic paint. However there is another way that isn’t too hard and may work better for furniture that is only lightly damaged.
If the chairs or items you have are starting to break down but haven’t got that powdery surface on them yet you may be able to give them a bit more life by using a heat gun and lightly melting the top surface of the plastic.
This process does take a bit of time but it is also something that you can do while you are just relaxing for a moment. I have a large bench that sits on my front porch. It doesn’t get as much sun as the patio furniture in the back of my home but it started to look pretty bad. Since its at the front of the house you want it looking nice and if a visitor comes you want them to have a place to sit if they need to.
I considered painting the surface but I really didn’t want to head to the store late on a Sunday afternoon so I got out my heat gun and made a pass on the corner of a leg. The results were quick and pretty good so while I was doing other things and needed to take a break I would do a few rails or part of the seat area. By the end of the day the bench was looking like it was about 6 months old instead of about 9 years old and it actually is 9 years old.
You have to be careful to not heat too much area at one time or you could end up with warping. This happened to me on the back rails but by going over the entire rail to heat it and then letting it cool it came back in shape really well.
If you are considering purchasing new lawn chairs and already have a heat gun this is worth the effort because the effort is pretty low.
If you find that some areas are powdery then you will need to remove that and not try to melt it back into the surface as it won’t melt very well.
Whatever you can do to improve your home is always better than it was. This goes for all the projects that I accomplish. If in the end its better than it was then I consider it a success.
Even if you have to do this again in a few months or end up painting or replacing the chair you have had that few extra months of use. Its not money out of your pocket that day and it gives you time to look for a sale.
The results I had were really good and I have painted plastic lawn furniture but I wouldn’t want to use it for something that is going to get a lot of abuse or the paint just won’t last that long. However a can of paint is less than a new set of chairs so take that as you will.