How to Restore Old Metal Furniture

by | Apr 8, 2020

When you are out and about shopping for metal patio furniture, do not overlook antique shops and thrift stores. They have a ton of metal patio sets that will look lovely in your yard once they are properly restored. It will save you a ton of money to buy older furniture and restore it yourself. Here’s how.

Remove Rust

Once you find an ideal set, you will need to start by removing the rust. This may sound complicated, but it isn’t. Although you can scrape and brush it away, blasting is the fastest means of removing rust. According to Advanced Blasting, there are different kinds of blasting for removing rust from surfaces. Sandblasting uses sand to rub and “erase” rust from your project furniture. It employs fine grains of sand pumped out under pressure. Glass bead blasting uses glass beads to grind off rust, and aluminum oxide blasting will remove not only rust but also paint and finishes. The latter is a good idea if you want to repaint your furniture a different color.


If your plan is to completely repaint your rescued metal furniture, then you should remove all the paint that is presently on it. Starting with a bare surface is ideal since it will require less paint. According to Krylon, you should apply primer first for better adhesion, and be sure to use a paint that is intended for use on metal objects. You can either use spray cans or a pressure sprayer loaded with liquid paint. Most people prefer the latter for more even coating of their projects.

Retouching Spots

For the sake of argument, let’s say that you do not want to change the original color of the metal furniture. All you want to do is remove the rust and repaint the damaged areas. You can do that, but you will need to very carefully match the original color of paint to something you can find in a store. Many paint stores can perform this service for you. To achieve an even appearance, it will probably be easier to do entire sections rather than only those spots where the rust shows through. You may want to tape off the areas you don’t intend to paint, but you’ll probably accomplish a better result by feathering the paint along the edges.

Set aside at least a day or two for this project. It does take time to properly prep the surfaces and apply more than one coat of paint. Once you’re done, though, you’ll be proud of what you’ve accomplished by breathing some new life into old metal furniture.

If you’re looking for some used furniture to restore for your home, come shop all the furniture and other things we carry at ReStore!

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