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How To Restore Your Outdoor Metal Furniture

If your outdoor metal furniture is looking a little worse for wear, you can make it look like new again with just a few simple steps. It might seem like a huge undertaking to restore outdoor furniture that is rusty and weathered, and you may even be tempted to just throw it away and buy a new set. Before you throw in the towel, read on to find out how you can restore it back to tip-top shape.


1. Remove Rust. Rust is a common problem that occurs with metal furniture. If your lawn chairs have any traces of rust on them, it is important that you remove it before painting. Painting over it will not take care of the problem. Instead, the rust will create bubbles underneath the coat of paint. After a while, the bubbles will erupt into lesions that will destroy the metal.

Rust is formed when metal furniture is exposed to rain and sun. The iron contained in the metal will oxidize, resulting in rust. Rust is not just an unsightly problem, it can also cause structural integrity issues in your furniture. It makes the metal flake off and crumble.

Clean off as much of the rust as you can by using a large wire brush. For corners and other tight spots, use a smaller stainless steel wire brush or a small file. Do not be afraid to really scrub hard. You won’t damage the metal underneath the rust. Keep working until you remove all the rust and paint that is flaking off. You should have a nice smooth surface when you are all done. Do not worry if the paint is scratched, it will be covered with a fresh coat of paint.

There are also rust remover products on the market today that may help to loosen the rust. Keep in mind that these products are usually highly toxic, so it is important that you wear the proper safety gear like glasses and a mask.

2. Clean Furniture. It is important that the surface of the metal is clean in order for the primer and paint to adhere. Remove any dust and debris on the furniture with an old paint brush. Then clean the surface with a damp cloth. Make sure you do not get the furniture too wet. Wipe it with a clean, dry rag.
3. Prime and Protect. Prepare the metal to accept a coat of paint by priming first. Select a primer that contains rust-inhibitors. Applying primer is an important step to protecting the metal by preventing moisture from reaching the metal and causing rust to occur.

Place your furniture on drop cloths or sheets of newspapers. Shake the can of primer and begin spraying the metal by holding the can about 6 inches away from the surface. Work from top to bottom to avoid paint drips. Let your primer dry completely before going on to the next step.

4. Paint. Select a paint that is specifically made for outdoor use on metal. Apply the paint the same way you did the primer. Rather than spray one thick coat, apply several thin coats. This prevents unsightly drips and bubbles. Be sure to wait the manufacturer’s recommended time between coats.

Restoring your metal furniture can be a very satisfying job. You can take pride in the fact that you did it yourself and saved yourself the cost of replacing it.

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