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How To: Refinish Your Rusty Old Patio Furniture
Outdoor furniture getting rusty is a common occurrence and can be fixed quite easily. Although buying new furniture to replace older patio furniture is fun, it’s not always in the budget. If that’s the direction you choose to go, check out our selection of wrought iron patio furniture. Alternatively, if you don’t want your furniture to rust no matter how long it’s kept outside, take a look at our outdoor aluminum furniture. Cast aluminum is lightweight and never rusts. If you’re looking for low maintenance furniture, that’s the direction to go! But maybe you’d rather refinish your current furniture, rather than buy new stuff.
Buying new patio furniture isn’t cheap, we get that. Luckily, removing rust and refinishing patio furniture is actually a pretty simple task! It’s also much cheaper than buying new. We’re going to give you some general steps and recommendations to make sure your patio furniture refinishing experience is a breeze.
Before you get started:
It’s always a good idea to utilize protective equipment. We recommend goggles, gloves, and a respirator mask. Better safe than sorry!
The first step is to remove the rust from your patio furniture. The easiest way to go about this is by using a wire brush to remove the big pieces of rust. These should come off fairly easily. If you’re trying to remove rust from some hard to reach or curved places, sanding off rust by hand is a great option. We usually recommend 80-100 grit sandpaper. If you got some heavy rust that doesn’t want to leave the chair, a commercial rust remover is your final option. The two best options are a naval jelly or rust converter. After you’ve removed the majority of the rust, it’s best to sand the entire piece with 150 grit sandpaper until it feels smooth. This is in preparation for the primer.
Pro Tip: Once you start the rust removal process, it’s important to continue to remove it all and then prime immediately after. If you don’t, your furniture is susceptible to “flash rusting”.
The next task is to make sure the chair is completely clean. The best bet here is to use a solvent like acetone to properly remove all the dirt and grime that has accumulated from normal use. It’s important that the chair is clean for priming. Once the cleaning process is finished, make sure your furniture is completely dry to prevent future rusting.
This is one of the more important steps, priming your furniture! We highly recommend using a high quality rust prevention spray primer. What was the point of all that work to remove the rust if you’re not going to take measures to prevent future rusting? You’ll want to use 2-3 very thin layers of primer before the paint. It’s best to use a spray based primer because patio furniture is often intricate and difficult to get into all the crevices with your standard paint brush.
Pro Tip: Use a white primer under lighter paint colors and a dark primer under darker paint colors!
After you’re done letting the primer dry, you’re ready for the paint. Be sure to use a high-quality oil based paint that is recommended for outdoor use. As with the primer, spray on paint is your best bet in this situation. 2-3 thin coats should do the trick! Keep in mind, the best way to get even coats is to maintain a consistent distance from spray can to furniture for every coat.
Now that your furniture is free of rust and your desired color, it’s time for the sealer. The best practice is to use a sealer that has UV protection to prevent fading. Look for a clear oil based urethane that’s meant for outdoor use.
Let your furniture dry in a well-ventilated area and admire your handiwork! Congrats, you’ve refinished your patio furniture. Now you’re ready for another summer season of lounging outside.
This video is a solid tutorial on painting and cleaning your rust furniture, just don’t forget to prime!