Monday, June 11, 2012

How to Clean and Paint Vintage Metal Patio Furniture

Greetings! Back in April, I sent a request out, asking for tips on how to clean the vintage patio furniture that I got from my Nannie's house. I had enough time over the weekend to work some makeover magic on one of the chairs. There were some great cleaning tips from comments in my older post, and with the help of a new spray paint from Krylon, the first chair has a beautiful and refreshed look!
How to Clean and Paint Vintage Patio Furniture Serenity Now blog

Before and After Close-ups:

Here's what you'll need for your own transformation:

-Krylon's Rust Protector Spray Paint
-Dish Soap
-Rust Remover and Wire Brush (optional)
-Heavy Duty Sponge

My patio furniture is made of aluminum, which doesn't rust. It was in great condition after spending years and years on various covered porches. However, somewhere along the line, someone replaced a few bolts and screws and they had rusted a bit. The entire set was also very dirty after a couple of years of neglect.

Step 1:

Fill a bucket about 2/3 with lukewarm water and some dish soap. Using a heavy duty sponge, scrub the piece to remove dirt. Hose down. Repeat with a bucket of lukewarm water and a dash of bleach. Hose down again.

This was remarkably better, but you could still see where the paint had scratched off the aluminum.

Step 2:

If you have rusty screws, use a sponge brush to apply a few heavy layers of rust remover (be sure to follow the instructions). After the solution has done its job, hose the piece down again and let thoroughly dry.

Step 3:


I set up my spray paint station (also known as a mattress plastic bag held down by some old bricks and a flower pot) and got to work. I chose to work with the Krylon in flat white. A fun color would have been neat, but I can't afford to have the cushions redone yet, and white seemed more classic.

Even though aluminum furniture doesn't really rust, the replacement screws and bolts can, so I wanted some extra protection...which is why I went with the Rust Protector!

Obviously, I started with the bottom of the chair, let it dry, and finished with the top.

Things I liked about Krylon's new Rust Protector spray paint:

-It dries in 8 minutes or less.
Because I am extra cautious, I waited 1 hour before I started carting my chair around the deck. I also gave it a full 24 hours before placing the cushions on.
-Nice, smooth coverage.
No splatters or drips! It took me two cans to do the entire chair.
-No paint bubbling.

I am so, sooo pleased with the new look. Yes, the cushion fabric reminds me of Blanche's sun room on Golden Girls, but you have to work with what you've got, right?

I know the paint color is the same, but the fresh new look to the piece really brightens the deck up. When the other two pieces are finished, I can't imagine how fabulous it will look. With the Rust Protector spray paint, I won't have to worry about leaving my vintage furniture outside for a few summer rain storms. And with the affordability of a can of spray paint, I can easily touch up when the time comes.

Until then, we'll just be sipping lemonade and enjoying the great outdoors!

Thanks, Krylon, from one of your biggest fans!

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button or maybe a +1 for Google+. 

Linking to Home Stories A to ZPositively SplendidSo You Think You're Crafty

*Krylon provided me with the spray paint to complete this project, but I was not financially compensated. As always, all opinions are my own!


  1. I keep trying to Pin this since I have old (but not antique) metal outdoor furniture that needs a lift. Great instructions!
    I've added to my old timey bookmarks:) since my "Pin It" button keeps bringing me right back to your blog...I'll try again later!

  2. It turned out beautifully!! And your photos are fabulous!

  3. Sweet! The lines on that chair are so pretty, they look so delicate but sturdy too. Can't wait to see the rest made up! :-)

  4. Great project! Looks beautiful now! (especially with the beautiful model and the cute dog!) :)

    Great job!


  5. Good article. Your furniture looks great after your restoration. One suggestion I would add is to make sure your furniture isn't powder coated. If it is, the paint may not adhere unless it's been sanded off. Also, I think Krylon now offers a line of paint specifically for outdoor use...I think it's called Outdoor Spaces and it has a rust inhibitor mixed in. Thanks again for the good advice!

  6. Looks great! (Love your little model too.) ;)

  7. It looks great and I love that your cushions look like they belong in Blanch's sunroom. I would be tempted to leave them the way they are.

  8. Your chair looks great and I know you are very happy to have this high quality furniture to use. I doubt that you could find anything this sturdy and attractive that would be affordable. The cushions look fine to me. I think the print is cheerful. Enjoy your outdoor time!

  9. Your furniture looks great, Amanda! White IS classic and so versatile. It'll work even if you decide to change the cushions. I'm so glad for you to have this furniture to enjoy!

  10. Great job, Amanda! Looks great. And the cushions are pretty. Although I loved the Golden Girls reference! Oh, and the model is soo cute. ; )

    ~ Catie

  11. Wow! Great job! I would be so intimidated to try this. Thanks for showing us how it's done!

  12. This looks great. And there's nothing wrong with the Golden Girls. Classic! Looks like a comfy place to kick back with a magazine and a drink.

  13. Painting the furniture gives it a fresh and awesome look and steps are well defined about painting the vintage furniture a lot, keep it up.
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