How To Paint Metal Furniture And Give Them A Second Life

how to paint metal furniture

Paint is the easiest and most charming way to upcycle your metal furniture. The old rusty chains in the backyard and old patio table should not be considered waste. Because by merely some spray paint bottles, they change the way your patio looks.

Metal furniture adds style and comfort to your outdoor space. They are recyclable and just by repainting, you can increase their life and save yourself from buying furniture from time to time. Just a coat of paint refreshes their outlook and improves the overall look of the room or outdoor space. 

According to Allied Market Research, the global metal furniture market is expected to garner $191.73 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 3.9% from 2021 to 2028. The surge in the number of offices, the rapid growth of online retail platforms, and the increase in consumer interest in home decor have boosted the market growth.

Whether you are renovating your indoor or outdoor furniture, the overall process of painting metal furniture is the same. However, some products would differ. There are times when only the use of primes and paints is enough for the old metal furniture.

However, a thicker and bit more costly paint is worth its dime to increase the shine and life because either the metal is old and rusty or the construction of the furniture has many holes or slats, where spray paint is wasted. In this case, the use of high-performance protective enamel can do wonders.

Here is the short step-by-step process on how you should paint metal furniture and give them a new, classy look:

  1. Clean the metal furniture and let it dry completely
  2. Use sandpaper to grit the rough surface and remove any rust. If the surface is very rusty, a wire brush and sandling will help. Then wipe all particles off and clean the furniture.
  3. When the surface is completely clean, give a cost of rust-blocking, adhesive primer.
  4. Use sandpaper to smoothen the primer coating.
  5. Use brush-on or spray paint of any color you want. The furniture would need two or three coats to have a shiny outlook.
  6. Use brush-on or spray topcoats. The type of topcoat would depend on whether the furniture is outdoor or indoor.

While these simple steps would help you renovate your old metal furniture, there are some details that you must know before painting.

Know the type of metal:

There are two main types of metal used for furniture-ferrous metal that contains iron and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum or copper. Before you prep your furniture or even pick the type of paint, you must know and assess the metal type and its condition. Ferrous metal furniture is thick and heavy and non-ferrous metal is more lightweight. You must look for signs of rust or corrosion which helps you determine the kind of paint you need to use.

Clean the furniture and prep for painting:

Depending on how much the furniture is rusted, you need to take extra effort to clean it properly. You must remove any loose rust or grease and oil before prepping it for painting. You may need to use a wire brush for ferrous metal furniture to remove every bit of loose rust.

If the metal furniture is slightly rusted, sanding is enough to prep it for painting. However, if it is heavily rusted, you must prime it after cleaning and sanding it to seal the surface completely.

Fill holes with Bondo:

When you take care of loose rust on the metal furniture, do not leave any empty holes behind. Fill them with Bondo body filler. It hardens the strength of the metal and it is non-shrinking, which is perfect for rust repairs. Before applying Bondo, sand the area with sandpaper and give it something to stick to.

Pick the products for painting:

Once the furniture is prepped for painting, you can invest in types of paint products. There are two major types of paint products for metal furniture–alkyd and acrylic coatings. Alkyd coatings are oil-based and are best for preventing rust. Moreover, they are scratch- and abrasion-resistant coatings and offer higher gloss levels. On the other hand, acrylic coatings are lower in odor, dry faster, and last longer with better gloss and color retention.

Use primer for metal furniture:

If the metal furniture is completely clean and free from loose rust, you won’t need priming and can paint it directly. However, if there are signs of excessive corrosion, you must use a primer. Let the primer dry and then use a paint sprayer or paintbrush for painting.

Paint the furniture with suitable color:

For most, metal furniture, spraying is the most effective way to paint, especially if it is patio furniture with mesh. You can buy a sprayer or rent it from local stores.

Apply second coat:

Check the label of the paint to know its recoat period. Once the paint is completed dry, apply a second coat of paint just like you painted the first time. Let the furniture cure completely and then it is ready to use.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects give instant gratification and satisfaction of creating something all by yourself. It boosts your confidence, helps you increase concentration, and encourages you to challenge yourself. While some jobs are difficult and demand heavy labor, they offer the biggest rewards also. Moreover, if you have old metal furniture sitting and rusting in the backyard, they are ideal for DIY projects.

Metal furniture has inherently a long life. They might lose their color but never strength. Thus, instead of falling for consumerism, you can upcycle them, give them a new look and decorate your house or outdoors.

There are plenty of videos available about how to select colors and how to decorate your house all by yourself. With the help of such videos and this article, you can recreate something beautiful in no time.