We have wooden porch chairs that were supposed to be painted with outdoor paint but they have succumbed to some sort of mold. To repaint these would I have to sand/strip all of the existing paint & mold off? Is there a way to just prime the chairs and then paint over it all without fear of bleeding?

Images of chairs: https://i.stack.imgur.com/geDxU.jpg

Note: I've tried removing the mold with every means I could think of (cleaners, bleaches, etc). It only comes off with severe abrasion to the point where the paint is coming off with it

  • Could that be discoloration from acid rain?
    – chris
    Feb 5, 2011 at 23:58

4 Answers 4


When I've had to re-stain decks or chairs etc with a little mold on them I've always used a bleach solution. Mix a little bleach with some water and apply it to the mold (spray bottle, or brush). The bleach will kill the mold quickly (just let it sit there). Then lightly sand the mold off (just to get rid of the moldy texture) and re-paint.

Good luck


If there are any mould spots remaining then they will eventually regrow and mar the paintwork. It won't necessarily happen straight away.

The only real solution is to completely remove it with sandpaper, then paint the bare wood with primer and finally repaint the whole chair with outdoor paint.


Before you go through the pain of completely stripping and refinishing, try this little tip. Use some pigmented shellac, like "Bullseye" primer. I use this product to seal and cover a variety of stains and to prime bare wood to seal knots etc. This product dries in less than an hour, so it would be very easy to test an area on your chairs to be sure there is no bleed through. I have not yet found a stain that can't be permanently covered with two coats of this primer. If you want a real nice finish coat of paint, I'd suggest a very light sanding of the primer after it has completely dried with some 220 grit paper or some 000 or 0000 steel wool. Bullseye primer will sand as smooth as silk. Be aware that shellac primers are alcohol based, so you will need some denatured alcohol to clean tools etc.


A faster method of cleaning would be to use a power washer. I've noticed it is superior when cleaning wood, especially when nooks and crannies will be a problem. Wash,dry, then prime and paint.

You must clean completely before repainting it, otherwise the mold will degrade the chair over time. Power washing should take 5 min tops.

  • You have to be careful with power washers on wood -- if you're too close for the power used, you'll really gouge up the wood
    – Joe
    Feb 8, 2011 at 0:51

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