How to Restore Metal Garden Furniture

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How to Restore Metal Garden Furniture

Metal garden furniture is functional, sturdy, and always in style. Unfortunately, the elements usually take their toll on outdoor furniture, making maintenance necessary to restore it to an attractive state. The good news is that restoring metal garden furniture is simple. Owners need only to learn a little about the metal and then follow steps like cleaning, removing paint, removing rust, fixing holes, and painting. Tools and materials for restoration projects are available at hardware stores and online, through reputable sites like eBay. eBay is also an excellent source of high-quality new and used metal garden furniture.

Garden Furniture Metals

Aluminium and iron are two common metals for garden furniture. Aluminium does not rust but it corrodes over time, causing a pitted surface and other stains and blemishes. Furniture manufacturers treat cast aluminium with a special coating to prevent corrosion for longer, but the metal still needs cleaning periodically. Wrought iron is maintenance-free as long as a coat of paint protects it. Many products are available to seal and protect iron so that it lasts for many years.

Cleaning Metal Garden Furniture

The first step is to clean the furniture completely. Using water and a mild acid like vinegar or lemon juice on aluminium removes light stains. Water and a mild detergent should be enough for iron, but the key is to allow it to dry completely after washing. Commercial cleaners are available for aluminium but are not essential for outdoor furniture applications.

Removing Paint from Metal Garden Furniture

Adding new paint over old paint causes problems like bubbling, chipping, and unevenness in the new paint. All layers of old paint need to come off completely before repainting. Users can do this with sandpaper, power washers, or paint removers.

Removing Rust from Metal Garden Furniture

The only way to deal with rust, and the best way to deal with aluminium corrosion, is sanding. Complete sanding is necessary to remove every trace of rusted metal from a piece of furniture before applying a new coat of paint. Ornate furniture pieces require steel wool to get into all the nooks and crannies. A drill with a wire brush may be useful in covering large areas. In humid areas, furniture requires painting immediately after sanding and cleaning. If not, the entire exposed surface is likely to start rusting in a matter of days.

Repairing Holes in Metal Furniture

If rust has already created a hole in the chair or table, all is not lost. Products like Quiksteel epoxy putty patch holes in metal with a putty-like material that hardens as it dries. Users should mix and knead the epoxy putty and then apply it to the hole, creating an even surface. The putty needs sanding before it dries completely, and then users can paint it along with the rest of the furniture.

Painting Metal Garden Furniture

Before painting, wiping down all surfaces removes dust and grit from sanding. A primer for metal surfaces adds an extra layer of protection against rust and helps the paint bind to the surface of the metal. The primer should dry completely before painting with an aerosol for use on metal. Users should apply two or three even coats for the best finish. After the paint dries, applying car wax adds shine and protects the paint. The table below shows the necessary materials for every step of the restoration.






Mild detergent

Vinegar or lemon juice

Aluminium cleaners

Removing paint


Power washer or liquid paint stripper

Removing rust


Steel wool

Drill and wire brush

Repairing holes

Epoxy putty



Aerosol primer for metal

Spray paint for metal

Car wax

Clean cloth

Depending on furniture design, sanding all corners may take a little creativity. For example, it may be necessary to reach corners or small spaces with sandpaper wrapped around a screwdriver. To protect the floor from paint, old newspapers are very useful.

How to Buy Metal Furniture Repair Supplies on eBay

All the necessary supplies to restore metal garden furniture, from sandpaper to car wax, are easily available on eBay. Finding what you need is as simple as entering a term like 'metal paint' in the search box on any eBay page. Then refine the search by type, price, or other criteria. Look for eBay's Top-rated sellers who have award icons on their listings and be sure to ask the seller any questions you might have before purchase. Restoring garden furniture instead of replacing it saves quite a bit of money and eBay saves you even more with a wide selection, low prices, and the ability to shop from the comfort of your home.

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