Tired of cracked, peeling paint or rust spots on your patio furniture? Painting metal outdoor furniture is easy; here’s how to remove the rust and spray paint your cast iron patio furniture to give it a brand new look in 2 hours or less!
Our patio furniture has been in pretty bad shape for a while now. There were rust spots, and lots of peeling and flaking paint, showing layers of different colors underneath. It got to the point where we didn’t even want to sit in the chairs anymore because we’d get rust spots on our clothes!
Finally I decided to fix up the patio furniture and give it a little makeover, and it turns out it was WAY easier than I thought it would be! A little prep work to remove the rust, and a few coats of spray paint, and our patio furniture looks brand spanking new now! I’m sharing my tips and tricks below so you can learn how to spray paint your patio furniture for a quick and easy outdoor makeover.
How To Spray Paint Patio Furniture
If you have cracking, peeling paint, or rust spots on your patio furniture, here’s how to fix it up and make it look brand new again!
- Prep time: 45 minutes
- Time spent doing stuff: 30 minutes
- Time spent waiting around: 45 minutes
- Total project time: 2 hours
- hand-held wire brush (or you can use a cordless drill and wire brush attachments)
- random orbit palm sander and sanding discs in a variety of grits
- drop cloth
- protective eyewear
- bucket of water, and a large sponge
Step 1: Scrape off rust and flaking paint
Use your wire brush to remove flaking paint and loose pieces of rust. You don’t need to worry about getting it completely smooth; just get any loose pieces or pieces that are about to come loose.
Step 2: Sand your furniture
Use a random orbit palm sander to remove the rest of the rust and any other small flakes of paint. Start by sanding with 60 or 80 grit paper to get the rust and paint off of the metal, then switch to 120 or 150 grit to help smooth out the transition between the existing paint and the newly sanded spots.
You can sand by hand anywhere your palm sander won’t reach, but it takes a lot longer to do it by hand, so use the palm sander where you can!
Keep sanding until the furniture feels smooth to the touch. It’s ok if you still see some rust-colored areas; just make sure any loose flakes of rust are gone and that those areas feel smooth.
Step 3: Clean your furniture
After you finish sanding, wipe down the furniture with a wet sponge to remove any dust and dirt.
Let the furniture completely air dry before painting.
Step 4: Paint your furniture
In my personal opinion, the best paint for outdoor metal furniture is Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover® spray paint. (Actually, I use that spray paint for pretty much everything!) It covers extremely well and it comes in a variety of finishes and tons of different colors. Plus it has paint and primer in it, which allows you to skip the whole separate priming step! This post isn’t sponsored by Rust-Oleum or anything, I just truly love this paint; I’ve been using it for years and it has never let me down.
Put your furniture on top of a drop cloth. You can also put the legs of tables and chairs on top of a scrap of wood to help protect the ground below them from any paint drips.
Spray each piece of furniture using a back and forth motion, following the lines of the chair or table and holding the can about 6″ to 10″ away. If you hold it too close you’ll get drips of paint, and if you hold it too far away you’ll have a lot of overspray into the surrounding areas.
If your furniture lives outdoors you need to paint all sides and even the underside. Even though you don’t see the underside of the furniture, the paint can’t protect the metal from rust if it doesn’t cover absolutely everywhere!
The 2X paint does a really good job covering, but you still want to do two full coats to get maximum coverage and rust protection. Wait 30-45 minutes for the first coat to dry, then do a second coat.
Step 5: Enjoy!
After 24 hours you can put cushions back on your chairs, set up your patio umbrella, and start using your brand-new-looking patio furniture again!
Look at the difference a coat of paint makes! I thought the patio furniture was black before, with a few rust spots and places where the black paint had peeled off. Turns out the patio furniture was DARK GREY with a few rust spots and peeling paint!
Now that I’ve removed the rust spots and spray painted the entire piece with a new coat of paint, it truly is black and it looks amazing!
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How To Spray Paint Patio Furniture
- hand-held wire brush OR
- cordless drill AND
- wire brush attachments
- sanding discs in a variety of grits
- protective eyewear
- large sponge
- Use your wire brush to remove flaking paint and loose pieces of rust.
- Use a random orbit palm sander to remove the rest of the rust and any other small flakes of paint, starting with a coarse grit like 60 or 80 to remove the large stuff, then switching to a medium grit like 120 or 150 to smooth the transition between the paint and the rust spots.
- Wipe down the furniture with a wet sponge to remove any dust and dirt.
- Let the furniture completely air dry before painting.
- Spray each piece of furniture using a back and forth motion, following the lines of the chair or table and holding the can about 6″ to 10″ away.
- Wait 30-45 minutes for the first coat to dry, then do a second coat.
- After 24 hours you can put cushions back on your chairs, set up your patio umbrella, and start using your brand-new-looking patio furniture again!
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