Cast iron is a ferrous alloy that results from heating and liquefying iron, and then pouring it into moulds to make objects. Cast iron furniture is heavy and durable, so it tends to be relatively expensive when compared furniture made from other materials. Cast iron furniture often features vintage flower and lacework patterns. It is used outdoors due to its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. While cast iron lasts for a long time, any paintwork can chip and lead to rust. The restoration of cast iron furniture involves removing rust and dirt, and then repainting and protecting the piece.
Cast iron furniture with a small amount of rust may only need a simple rub down using sandpaper.. However, if there is a significant build-up of rust, users must use a wire brush or apply a chemical rust remover.. The chemicals in these products are harsh to work with, so many users prefer the manual brush method, even though it requires more effort. For large items of cast iron furniture, such as tables and benches, it is possible to enlist the help of a professional using a sandblaster, but this can damage more fragile pieces. Regardless of the method chosen, remove all of the loose and uneven rust. If the furniture is painted, then rub away any peeling paint.
Use a power wash system with a mild detergent or a bucket containing a solution of 3.8 litres of warm water to 60 millilitres of mild detergent. Either aim the power wash at the cast iron furniture and hose it down or place a sponge in the solution, squeeze out the excess water, and wipe the furniture from top to bottom. When the furniture is clean, rinse it with cool water using a second sponge to wipe away all traces of the detergent. Use a towel or cloth to dry most of the moisture. Then, leave the furniture to air dry completely.
Cast iron furniture can be left in its natural form or painted using specific metal primers and rust inhibiting metal paint. Prepare the furniture for painting by applying two coats of primer . Wait for each coat of primer to dry completely.
Use either spray paint, which goes on lightly and dries quickly, or metal oil paint, which takes up to 48 hours to dry for each coat, even in hot temperatures. Add a small amount of paint thinner to the metal oil paint to make it easier to apply. This way, the paint can flow into the hard to reach places that the brush cannot access. Apply a single coat of paint and wait for it to dry thoroughly before applying a second coat. Leave the cast iron furniture to dry completely for a few days.
Apply a Protective Finish
Finally, add a layer of wax, polish, or polyurethane spray to provide protection for the cast iron furniture. This also enhances the finish and gives the furniture a smooth look. Wax requires buffing, but lasts longer than the polyurethane spray. To keep cast iron furniture in good condition, keep it covered during severe weather, which includes rain, snow, and strong sunlight.
Some cast iron furniture has moving parts that are connected via joints, bearings, or hinges. To ensure that these parts remain in good working order, users should oil them periodically. Oiling can take place as a regular maintenance task or after a restoration. Oil should be applied after the cast iron furniture is painted; if it is done before, the paint may not adhere to the surface. Also, paint may get into the joints and cause them to seize up, so oiling the furniture when it is dry allows the moving parts to become free again.
Restoring cast iron furniture requires supplies, such as sandpaper, rust remover, primer, and metal paint. Before you start shopping, make a list of the items that are required, and then use the search field available on every eBay page to find products. Using keywords, such as " metal paint&", results in a wide range of items. Narrow down the list by adding features, such as colour, or choosing category filters. Read the item listings carefully to ensure that the products are appropriate for cast iron. If there are any outstanding questions about products, contact sellers directly via eBay.