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How to Repair Rusted Patio Furniture

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metal patio chair
Two patio chair frames. One has been restored with automotive paint. One has rust on the arms.

Many people prefer to repair their patio furniture instead of buying a brand-new set. Patio furniture can be quite expensive especially if you’re throwing away rusted furniture every few years.

Thankfully there are many ways to repair your rusted patio furniture. Repairing rusted patio furniture is a simple DIY project to update your patio.

Repairing patio furniture is a beginner-level project that will only require a few products from your local hardware store.  In this article, you will learn the different methods you can safely use to remove rust from your patio furniture or resell run-down pieces. 

Can You Simply Paint Over Rust?

While you can technically paint over rust on a metal chair it will create a rough surface. The rough surface will not allow the paint to adhere correctly to the metal furniture. The bumpy surface left behind after painting over rust can also lead to paint chipping away again quickly.

To repair the rusted patio future, you will need to remove any visible rust and loose paint. Wear protective gear to limit inhaling particles. After removing the rust and paint you will be able to paint the patio furniture any color you would like to make it look new.

If you smooth down the rusted area you can paint over the furniture without removing the rust. There are paints made particularly for metal chairs that will cover and contain the rust. Spray paint is a simple way to coat rust in an even layer and it is also a cost-effective way to quickly cover rusted furniture. 

How to Repair Rusted Metal Outdoor Furniture

When you are planning to repair rusted patio furniture correctly you will first need to remove all of the rust or loose paint. Creating a smooth surface is ideal to allow the paint to adhere to the patio furniture without peeling off. 

When you are repairing metal patio furniture you will need to:

  1. Clean the chair of any dirt or debris. A simple solution of dish detergent and water will remove the dirt and grime.
  2. Put on protective gear (safety glasses, gloves, and a mask). After everything is clean, PPE is important if you plan on scraping, sanding or grinding off loose paint and rust.
  3. Scrape off any loose paint from the furniture. You can start with a wire brush to get off anything loose and may have to step up to a wire wheel that attaches to a drill to get off stubborn paint flakes.
  4. Sand any remaining rough edges or rust down to a smooth finish. You can hand sand or use a rotary sander for harder to remove areas.
  5. Use rust removing product to take off any remaining rust. If there is still rust present after scraping and sanding the furniture, the rust removal product should take the furniture down to good metal.
  6. After the furniture is fully dry you are ready for paint. Most people choose simple metal spray paint due to its ability to smoothly coat the furniture. Spray paint also comes in every color under the rainbow and in dozens of finishes. 

Use a Homemade Rust Remover to Repair Metal Furniture 

The most cost-effective way to remove rust from your patio furniture is an ingredient found in almost every home. You may be surprised to know that you can use baking soda to remove rust from metal. To use this method, you will need to:

  • Make sure all loose paint is removed before applying paste.
  • Mix baking soda and water for simple rust spots
  • Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide for harder rust spots
  • The mixture will create a paste
  • Rub the paste on the area and let it sit for around twenty minutes

Rinse the paste off of the area and let it dry thoroughly before you apply paint. If all of the rust was not removed, you can try it again or move on to a stronger rust remover. Make sure the furniture is fully dry before you start to paint.

Evapo-Rust The Original Super Safe Rust Remover

There are some cases where the rust may be so bad that you need something stronger than the products found in your home. If that is the case Evapo-Rust can remove the hardest rust spots.

You will simply need to soak the furniture with the mixture, allow it to sit, and rinse it with water. Depending on how large an area your furniture is rusted, you may have to soak an old rag in the evapo-rust, wrap the rag around the rusty area and then use cling wrap over the rag to keep it moist long enough to remove the rust.

It is safe enough to be used on cookware so I’m sure it should be safe for any outdoor patio furniture. It does cost more than baking soda but still far less than a set of patio furniture for those very hard-to-remove rust spots.

Using WD-40 Specialist as a Rust Remover Soak

The same company that has a commonly known spray for squeaky door hinges also has a product to remove rust from patio furniture. WD-40 Specialist will penetrate the rust on your furniture to quickly remove it.

Easily Repair and Repaint Your Patio Furniture

Removing the rust off of your metal patio chairs is simple and won’t cost a lot. The cost of repairing rusted patio furniture is nothing compared to the cost of a new set of patio furniture. You will be able to easily repair your patio furniture with items found at any hardware store or big box store in your area.

If you also have a rusty fire pit, we show step by step how to clean it as well.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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