Pretty in plastic

Another weekend, another trip!

We headed to our family cabin on Camano Island for the weekend to hang out with my parents and eat our way through our mini vacation (eating is one of the best parts of vacation).

We hadn't seen my parents in weeks and we hadn't been to the cabin since last summer, so when we finally arrived on Friday evening after fighting through the I-5 slog, we took a collective deep breath and instantly felt relaxed. 

There is something about the cabin that just makes us feel good.

We are not that far from home (about an hour and half), but it feels like worlds away.

We spent the weekend cooking, baking (I told you its all about the food), watching movies, reading books and staying up late around the campfire.

Inevitably, we always have a project to work on while we are there. Chris and my dad focused on getting the boat put into the water and on the buoy for the summer season, while my mom and I took on a bit loftier of a project.

We decided to paint all of our plastic outdoor furniture.

I'm no stranger to painting furniture, and actually it sounded really fun.  I love the dramatic change that paint can make, and our cabin could use some pops of color.

So, we set out all the furniture we were going to tackle and decided what colors each piece would be painted. Most of the furniture at the cabin is forest green or white.  We definitely need a little pick me up so my mom and I picked out a blue/purple and a yellow color to spruce things up.

My mom had done lots of research on painting plastic and had pre-purchased specific spray paint that is specially formulated to adhere to plastic. This spray paint was NOT CHEAP (nearly $6 per can), but it was supposed to be the best.  It is Krylon Fusion for Plastic.  It didn't need a primer or sanding or anything.  Spray it and done.

Needless to say we were excited for the big reveal of taking the chairs, tables and benches from plain to awesome.

So we were very confused when we started to spray and the paint was running right off the plastic.

Clearly, this was user error, as this paint came HIGHLY recommended from two different specialty paint stores.

So, we shook the can for 5 minutes straight, thinking we hadn't mixed it properly.  Still wet and runny and it came our in splatters and drops.

There was no soft mist, it was all splatters and wet drops... this is the best pic we got.
Then we figured it was that specific can, so we tried another, then another color.  And then we realized it was NOT user error.  It was crappy paint.

Yeah, DO NOT BUY Krylon Fusion for Plastic.

We didn't even take a good picture of how badly this paint prayed or dripped or anything because we were so bewildered at the results.

Luckily, we have a True Value Hardware on the island only 15 minutes away, so we headed there to see what they had and see if they had any tips.

Luckily the staff in the painting department were great and had experience with painting plastic.  They said they never recommend Krylon products, and that they liked Rust-oleum much better.

They had an impressive selection of colors specifically formulated for plastic, and so we set out to choose our favorites.  We couldn't decide so we went with three: Green Apple, Summer squash and Aqua- my mom thought they looked like "Coastal Living" and I didn't disagree.
The paint department staff also said they recommended we do a primer.  They said that even though the paint didn't require it, that they still recommend it since it helps the paint stick and the colors pop. We were willing to take their advice, especially since we realized the forest green color of the chairs and table may be a bit hard to cover.

At just over $4 a can, we stocked our cart full of paint with the full assurance that it was returnable if it didn't work.

Before we left, the staff mentioned we may want to buy a spray nozzle to make it easier.  

This, my friends, was a life saver.  Although we both have a mild case of trigger finger, it would have been much worse without the sprayer. It takes the cans from this:

 To this:
What's great, is that it seems to fit any spray paint can.  The down side, was they only had one, so we had to switch off who got to use it.

So we headed back to the cabin with bags full of paint while discussing how my mom was going to return all the Krylon paint just as soon as she got home.

We primed everything first and then started the slow process of coat after coat of paint.
Half primed
First coat, not full coverage
Now before you all start freaking out about me spray painting while pregnant, just calm down.  We spray painted outside with the wind at our backs, and sprayed away from ourselves, so all the fumes and over-spray went away from us.  Also, my mom did the close up/high fume areas. Plus, my dad and Chris came by every few minutes reminding me to sit down, take a break and not inhale the fumes.  Needless to say, we were very cautious.

So after hours of painting, we had finished the tops/fronts and we wanted to give them overnight to cure before we flipped them and painted the legs/undersides.

We were very pleased with the coverage, and the colors were looking awesome.  So we left them to dry and we made a fabulous dinner and sat out by the fire.

We finished our painting the next day (after running back to True Value for more paint) and we stood around congratulating each other on our good work.  

We did top everything off with a good coat of clear coat to help make the paint resistant to scratching and chipping.

We learned the hard way that the paint will scratch when it's stacked and not quite dry...
Lesson learned: don't stack the tables
 Here are the final results:

So beachy!
Next time I see old beat up outdoor furniture at a garage sale, I'm going to swoop it up for our back yard.  The color options are endless with this paint and for roughly $4 a can and a couple hours of work, I think the end result is more than worth it.

Happy summer!