Cast iron furniture is strong, durable, and easy to clean and look after. It can also look great in your garden and on your patio! But can cast iron furniture be left outside? Or would the notoriously hit-and-miss British weather shorten its lifespan?
Here at Lazy Susan, we’ll be taking a look at whether or not cast iron furniture can be left outside, as well as how you can get the most out of it.
Can cast iron furniture be left outside?
Let’s cut to the chase: Cast iron furniture can be left outside — but only in the right weather conditions.
Because it’s made of iron (one of the strongest and most durable materials on the planet) cast iron furniture will stand firm against strong winds.
In fact, cast iron furniture is one of the strongest types of outdoor furniture that money can buy.
On the flip side, cast iron furniture is also more resistant to rusting than most types of outdoor furniture, too. So it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.
If you leave your cast iron furniture outside in the rain, sleet, snow, and ice unprotected, it will rust — and you’ll see its lifespan decrease.
At Lazy Susan, we would strongly advise against leaving your furniture outdoors in bad weather.
Fortunately, there are ways around this.
How to protect your cast iron furniture
Whenever cast iron furniture is not in use, the safest option is to take it indoors in order to protect it from the elements.
However, due to its heaviness, that might not always be possible. Here are some other ways to take care of your cast iron furniture:
Invest in protective covers
The easiest way to leave your cast iron furniture outdoors without it accruing damage is to invest in protective covers.
You can go for plastic furniture covers or plastic wraps depending on your budget. Essentially, they perform the same job — offering a layer of protection for your tables and chairs from bad weather.
Whichever type of cover you opt for, it’s smart to look for ones that come with breathable fabric. This is because water may get trapped beneath the covers otherwise, which is a classic starting point for mould.
Clean your furniture regularly
Cast iron furniture looks great in any garden — but it can require a lot of maintenance if it’s to continue looking good outside.
The simplest way to clean your cast iron furniture is to mix some soap and water in a bowl. Then, use a nylon/soft-bristle scrubbing brush to clean your tables and chairs.
Get rid of the rust
If you’ve noticed that your cast iron furniture has already started to rust, it isn’t too late to save it!
Use a mixture of white vinegar and water (equal amounts of each) to eliminate any rust that’s set on the tables and chairs.
You’ll want to leave the mixture on your furniture for around 8 hours before washing it off and then drying it.
Prime and paint your furniture
Once you’ve gotten rid of the rust, you will still need to apply some primer and paint.
We advise picking up a weather-resistant primer made specifically for metals if you’re planning to leave it outside for as long as you can.
Once you’ve applied the primer and left it to dry, sand the tables and chairs very lightly. Then, use oil-based paint to paint the frames.
To sum up, cast iron furniture can be left outside — but it’s really not advisable that you do this. A protective cover will help but it’s worth noting that this type of furniture is the most rust-susceptible.
We understand, of course, that it’s also extremely heavy, which means it can be a pain to keep taking it indoors. But when it’s not in use during the winter, it’s definitely worth finding space in your home or garage/shed.
As an alternative, you could opt for aluminium furniture, which is lighter than cast iron furniture but also rust-resistant and easier to maintain.