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How Can Rusty Metal Patio Furniture Be Saved?

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Just because your metal patio furniture has begun to rust doesn't mean it can't be made to look beautiful again. To save your patio furniture, you'll simply need to remove the rust and paint it properly. These tips will help. 

Gather Your Materials, Set Up Your Work Area

Before you can begin to repair your metal patio furniture, you'll need to set up a work area. The best place is somewhere outdoors or in a very well-ventilated indoor space, like a garage with the door open. Do this project in a shaded area because direct sunlight can affect the finish of the paint as it dries. To get started, you'll need:

  • Tarp
  • Sand paper
  • Orbital sander
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Liquid soap
  • Dry rag

Lay down your tarp and put the patio furniture on top. 

Prep the Patio Furniture for Painting

Sand away all the rusty areas on the patio furniture using the orbital sander. Start with coarse sand paper and switch to medium grit sand paper as the rust begins to wear away. Sand down all the rusty parts until all you can see is bare metal beneath. When the patio furniture shows bare metal, switch to fine grit sandpaper to give the metal a smoother surface. 

You can do this by hand instead of with an electric sander, but it will take you a much longer time. After the rust has been removed, go over the entire piece of furniture with fine grit sandpaper to rough up the non-rusty parts. This will give the piece of furniture a surface that paint can adhere to easily. 

Once the patio furniture has been sanded and the rust removed, clean the entire piece with warm water mixed with liquid soap. Don't forget to flip the piece over and clean the underside. Get rid of any spider webs. When you're done, use the rag to dry the piece.

Paint the Furniture

Coat the patio furniture with spray-on rust-inhibiting metal primer. Wait for the primer to dry, then apply a coat of exterior grade enamel topcoat. When possible, use paint from a spray can to make the process faster and more convenient.

Prevent Rust in the Future

You can keep your patio furniture looking beautiful for a longer period of time if you put the furniture away when winter comes. Leaving your metal patio furniture outside during the wet, cold parts of the year is not only bad for the furniture, but it's usually unnecessary. Many people stop using their metal patio furniture when the weather is harsh and temperatures are low. 

Sometimes a piece of furniture will be beyond saving, especially if you are low on time. In that case, try stores like Think Outside... The Outdoor Great Room Store for a replacement.