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Outdoor Oasis: How to Turn a Futon into a Porch Couch

I refer to my back porch as my outdoor oasis, not because it's the most beautiful or detailed, but simply because the furniture is comfortable and the atmosphere is peaceful. It's where I go to unwind, relax and read. And now thanks to a recent project to turn a futon into a porch couch, I have the ultimate reading and napping spot.

Last year, I wrote about getting rid of my busted up outdoor furniture, updating the salvageable and buying a futon to to use as my new outdoor couch.

Shortly after I painted the $20 queen-size, solid-wood futon with outdoor white paint, I got busy getting ready for my move and never updated with the final result.

I love it.

Paint a Futon for Patio Furniture

Although it can be hard on my bad back, I enjoy brush painting and generally find it relaxing, so it was a labor of love to paint a futon for patio furniture. Spray painting a futon to weatherize it for patio furniture would have been quicker, but I wanted to use the outdoor paint I had on hand.

The only downside to using the futon was the natural dip where the seat meets the back support. To eliminate the dip, I leveled out the seat with these stiff seat cushions a friend gave us. 

Now, even if your observational skills are as bad as Inspector's Gadget's, you probably still noticed that the cushion covers went from purple-patterned to pinkish red. I did not go out and buy new covers or miraculously find an entire set fitted to my thick cushions on Craigslist. 

I did unzip and remove the outer covers to reveal these original and very faded covers underneath. After these covers got wet and gross, the original owner just put new ones over them. I bleached the yuck out of them for an updated look that is more me.

While I updated my outdoor pieces with fresh paint, the glass tabletop cracked in two.

I found my new tabletop in the long piece of wood we removed from the kitchen to better fit our fridge in the allotted space. Husband helped me saw off the extra length, and then I painted it to match.

Ikea Poang Chair as a Patio Chair

I also painted an Ikea Poang chair someone gave us for free on Craiglist and painted a cute little end table with magazine rack I picked up via Freecycle. While it doesn't match exactly, I enjoy rocking back and forth in the Ikea Poang chair as a patio chair.

We even got the blue throw pillows for free when we bought our $20 love seat

All in all, my outdoor oasis updates haven't put a single dent in my wallet. While I did pay $20 to turn a futon into a porch couch, I sold the accompanying futon mattress for $30. I already had paint and everything else was re-purposed from free items, which I picked up within 5 to 10 minutes of my location. The paper lantern lights were free, and after Shop Your Way Rewards points, I spent $1 for the string of tiny white lights along the tree. The only other thing I paid for was the flamingo from the 99 Cent Store. I just had to have it.

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  1. I love the way you revamped those futons! They turned out quite nicely. It definitely created a refreshing atmosphere in your porch. At the very least, you don’t have to purchase a new set of furniture for it. Good job!

    Ian Hawkins @ Wickerworks of Brownsburg

  2. I have a fullfuton that I put outside. should i get rid of the futon mattress? I am afraid it won't be protected from water as I live close to the looks like you used outdoor patio cushions if so how did you get the correct sizingto fit the futon thanks for your help

  3. I have a fullfuton that I put outside. should i get rid of the futon mattress? I am afraid it won't be protected from water as I live close to the looks like you used outdoor patio cushions if so how did you get the correct sizingto fit the futon thanks for your help

  4. Hi Jill, I had outdoor cushions from a previous patio sofa. If you're going to use the futon mattress, I would recommend sewing a cover with fabric made for the outdoors. Or you could check Craigslist or eBay for inexpensive patio cushions and just measure for the correct size.


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