How to restore weathered metal garden furniture

Maybe you have some rusted, pitted or worn metal garden furniture you want to preserve and repaint? We know aluminium and we know how to restore cast aluminium garden furniture! So instead of chucking it in the bin or just painting over the problem, why not bring it back to life…

We would always recommend you buy new (ahem, for obvious reasons), but we can also appreciate that in these times of ‘make do and mend’, a little TLC can save you some money and bring your metal garden furniture back to life.

Ivy 2 Seater Bistro Garden Table

Cast Aluminium Metal Garden Furniture

If you’ve got some weathered painted aluminium furniture, then you can simply tackle it just like any other painted metal surface. Clean it with a little washing up liquid and plenty of warm water, rinse it down, and then you can give it a little extra protection from the elements with a little car wax.

If on the other hand your aluminum garden furniture is unfinished, whilst it won’t rust like iron, it can oxidize in our climate. Especially if you live near the coast like me. even though this is still a type of corrosion, its much easier to deal with than rust.

You can rectify it by using an aluminium polishing paste such as Simichrome, which contains a fine abrasive that will remove the oxidation and protect against future tarnish.

Start by taking a soft bristle brush, remove any loose surface material. The pitting is almost chalky, so much of it comes of without too much effort. Then with rubber gloves on, scrub around the framework with the polishing paste.

Be careful not to get it on any straps or fabric (cushions should be completely removed if possible) as it could stain them. Rinse off with water, and leave it to dry.

Cast Iron Metal Garden Furniture

Cast iron metal garden furniture is beautiful. But it rusts. There is no getting away from it. Look after it, and it will continue to look beautiful for many years to come… Simple!

Wash it regularly with warm water and a little washing up liquid. Dirt and dust on the surface of iron can trap moisture against the paintwork, causing it to deteriorate. To keep your iron furniture in good condition, always keep it clean.

Also be on the look out for any paint damage as this is where rust can take hold. Prevention is much better than the cure. Start by sanding the damaged paint off. Take it right down to bare metal, then apply a metal primer, leave that to fully dry, then apply a rust resistant metal paint. 

As with the aluminium, apply a little car wax, as this helps the moisture easily run off the surface. This can be tricky with some of the more intricate ironwork, but places like Halfords offer an extensive range of spray on waxes such as Turtle Wax’s Ice Spray that get into those hard to reach spots.

If you do need to re-paint wrought-iron garden furniture, then start by taking a wire brush and cleaning all surfaces of the wrought iron to remove all rust, dirt and flakey paint.

Then hose them down to remove the dust you’ll have created from wire brushing them. Run your hand over all the surfaces to make sure they are smooth. Let them fully dry before you start painting.

The best way to achieve a nice even finish is to spray paint them. Eastwood Paints have a great range of paints specifically for cast and wrought iron. Just make sure you work in a well ventilated area and that you were a mask.

Spray the sections of furniture in slow sweeping motion from left to right. Straight and even strokes. And keep it moving at a steady speed or you’ll create runs in the paint. Let the furniture dry, doing one side at a time. You may need to apply a few coats and touch up any areas that you’ve missed. But always leave it to dry between coats!

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