How to Restore Wrought Iron Furniture

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Is your outdoor patio furniture or garden bench showing signs of age, weathering, or abuse? Have you been putting off that wrought iron restoration project because you think it's too difficult? Rather than throwing away the items, it might be time for a little wrought iron restoration. With the right materials and a bit of effort, you can remove the rust, prepare the surface, spray paint over chips, and voilà — your old cast iron metal furniture is like new again!

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Refreshing your cast iron garden furniture is easier than you think. No matter what kind of restoration project you're tackling, proper surface preparation is the key to success. This means eliminating any metal-eating rust and removing flaking paint from the surface. Decide whether to go all the way down to the bare metal or smooth the finish just enough with sandpaper to create a "tooth" for the new paint to stick to. A lot will depend on the condition of the wrought iron furniture and how much time you can devote to the project.

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Things You'll Need

How to Restore Wrought Iron Furniture

Step 1: Remove Rust and Existing Paint

To prevent rust from reappearing, it's important to remove it along with any loose paint using a wire brush, sandpaper, or a power sander. If you decide to go all the way down to the bare metal, you can speed up the process by purchasing a chemical paint remover at your local hardware store or home improvement center. As with most removers and strippers, these can be caustic, so always wear goggles, gloves, protective clothing, and a breathing mask.

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Warning

Be sure to test for lead-based paint before you begin.

Step 2: Clean the Surface

To remove excess dust or dirt that may have been left behind, wipe down everything with a tack cloth. Next, rinse the furniture with soapy water or a store-bought cleaner/degreaser. Let the items dry completely overnight.

Step 3: Apply a Primer

Apply a rust-resistance primer formulated for exterior metal. This not only helps prevent rust from coming back but also prolongs the life of your wrought iron furniture. Wait for 24 hours to allow the primer to dry completely.

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Step 4: Paint and Let Dry

Like the primer, it's essential to choose a paint that is made especially for outdoor wrought iron. Latex house paint may look fine at first but will start lifting and peeling in fairly short order. For the best coverage without brush marks, choose an exterior-grade enamel spray paint. They tend to go on fast and give good rust and moisture protection, so it stands up to intense wear and tear.

Step 5: Protect the Finish

To ensure all your hard work is protected, brush or spray on a protective clear topcoat to further help your furniture resist moisture, chipping, scratches, and future rust.

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