How To Paint Rusty Iron Patio Furniture
Living in Florida, we tend to do more outdoor projects in the cooler fall weather so painting rusty iron patio furniture, planting a garden or installing a paver walkway is our way to get out of the house and enjoy the nice breezes while checking off projects on our DIY home improvement list.
These antique and rusty iron ice cream parlor chairs were passed down to me by mom and her mom passed them down to her. Nowadays, many people are actually trying to faux finish a rusty look on furniture or home decor to get the vintage vibe and trust me when I say I thought about just leaving them the way they were.
They actually don’t look too bad in this photo. I wish I took a close up view of the rust to give you a better idea. Picking out the color to paint them was the most difficult decision of this process. Over 80 years ago chairs like these were actually used in ice cream parlors and soda shops. They were mass produced in slightly different styles. So, when you imagine back to the good ol’ days, you might think bright and cheery colors with little children sitting around the table on these chairs licking ice cream cones. Beautiful hues of aqua, mint green or corals for pops of color would be my first choice, however I went for a more rustic industrial vibe, plus it is was a color I already had in stock. Here’s the thing, it’s just paint and you can always re paint it when you want a change.
The process of painting iron patio furniture, that is also rusty, isn’t as difficult as you might think. If it is a vintage piece such as these chairs it depends how much of the original aspect of the furniture you want to keep in tact. For example, you may want to dissemble the entire piece of furniture if you want to restore the bolts that hold it together. You could also place painter tape over the hardware if they are large enough pieces.
For my project and because I am too lazy and have no desire to dissemble the chairs, the plan was to simply paint and stain to make them look nice and to also be able to use.
STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL FOR PAINTING RUSTY IRON PATIO FURNITURE
STEP 1: The first thing I did was to cover the wooden seats that I planned to stain later. How do you find something to cover a circle? I just took a sheet of 8 x 10 printer paper and placed it in the center of the seat then took two more sheets (stacked) and traced around the curves of the seat and cut. Using painters tape to hold in place I didn’t need to worry a gust of wind was going to blow it all away in the middle of spray painting.
The supplies I used plus Olympic Maximum Wood Stain and Rust-oleum Hammered Metal Spray Paint
I had all these supplies already so I consider myself lucky that I didn’t have to make a trip to the store.
Olympic Maximum Wood Stain + Sealant in Canyon Brown
4 sheets of 8 x 10 paper to cover wood
Painter Tape or masking tape
STEP 2: Using the wire brush, brush over the rust on the furniture to remove any loose pieces of old paint or rust and brush off any debris accumulated in the cracks and crevices in small areas around the bolts. There were a lot of tiny crevices to go over on these chairs because of the twisted metal on the legs and the back of the chair. Wipe clean with a dry rag.
STEP 3: Spray the Rust Primer over the entire chairs or piece of furniture. This coating will help prevent rust occurring again.
STEP 4: Letting this completely dry for about an hour, I then spray painted both chairs with my color of choice which was the brown hammered rust-oleum spray paint. The “hammered” gives a more rustic industrial look.
Let the first coat completely dry then do a second coat for extra protection. I listed both the brown hammered and the metal hammered spray paints because I used the metal hammered spray paint for my second coat. (the two are very similar, it is just that I ran out of the brown hammered and luckily had the metal hammered on hand).
STEP 5: Now, it is time to stain the wooden seats. These were stained before but since it has been several years ago it was time to freshen it up. The stain not only gives the wood a rich deep color that accents the wood, it also helps preserve the wood.
Sanding before staining wasn’t necessary for these chairs. It was a pretty smooth surface. Normally, I would use a sanding sponge or electric sander if needed.
For the stain, I used what we had on hand which was the Canyon Brown Olympic Maximum stain + sealant. If you can’t find this color and brand at your local Home Depot or Lowes, here is a comparable brand and color (Similar-Dark Walnut). I chose to use a special flat brush paintbrush (used mostly for crafts) instead of a cloth to apply the stain because I had more control around the edges between the iron and the wood. The first coat of stain absorbed rather quickly into the wood so took less time to dry. My second and third coat of stain was tacky for a day or two. I believe it was because it needed more time to completely dry in between my applications. If you plan to apply multiple coats, I would advise to wait 24 hrs. in between applications or whenever it is not tacky to the touch.
If you are not using a stain plus sealant in one then I would recommend applying a clear polyurethane top coat.
This will help prevent water damage and graying.
After painting one coat (on the left)
Two coats of stain
Once everything is dry, your’e finished! Yay! In the photos, it doesn’t look like a drastic difference but they really do have more of an industrial feel which goes with much of our home decor style.
Now the problem is where to put them! I’m sure they will get moved around from the front porch…
to the back deck…
CAN YOU PLEASE PIN THE IMAGE BELOW IF YOU FOUND THIS HELPFUL?