Metal Outdoor Furniture: Sand, Primer and Paint

outdoor patio set with umbrella
  • 2-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Small Grinder Tool (Dremmel, etc)
Sandpaper (60/120/320 grit)
Safety Glasses
Work Gloves
Auto Primer
Auto Glazing Compound
Liquid Metal Filler
Paint Remover
Clear Coat Finishing Spray

Rather than spend money replacing metal outdoor furniture, gather up a few tools to create a masterpiece out of your existing furniture. Refinishing outdoor metal furniture is easy to complete over a weekend with a little elbow grease and the right tools.

Step 1 - Remove Existing Paint

Remove any existing paint with paint remover according to the manufacturer instructions.

Step 2 - Smooth Rough Spots

Wearing safety glasses and heavy work gloves, use your grinder tool to smooth over any rough spots, rust, or pits in the metal. Be careful not to stop at any one spot because you will eat away at the metal and create a weak spot or break.

Step 3 - Sand Off Remaining Paint

Use 60 grit sandpaper to smooth any remaining rough edges, sanding below any rust spots until you reach clean bare metal. If you did not need to use a grinding tool, then simply use the 60 grit sandpaper to smooth out rough metal spots and then use the 120 grit sandpaper for a smoother finish.

Step 4 - Fill in Holes

black metal patio furniture with gourds on top

Use the liquid metal filler to fill in any holes or indentations resulting from rust. Do not worry if the filler is not flush with the surface of the metal, since you will be sanding it smooth.

Step 5 - Apply Glaze

Use your glazing compound to fill in small spots and imperfections. Keep in mind that glazing compound is intended to only be used in a very thin layer and not built up.

Step 6 - Let Liquid Metal and Glaze Dry

After applying the liquid metal and glazing compounds, let your furniture dry. Glazing compounds usually only take about half an hour to dry; liquid metal often takes several hours.

Step 7 - Smooth Out Edges

Use your 60 grit or 120 grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges of raised areas resulting from using the liquid metal or glazing compound.

Step 8 - Apply Auto Primer

spray coming from a spray can

Spray the auto primer on your metal furniture, applying at least two to three coats and letting each coat dry between coats. You can use a hair dryer to speed up this process.

Step 9 - Sand for a Smooth Finish

After you have reexamined your furniture and made any further repairs, do one more final light sanding of the entire piece with 320 grit sandpaper to create a smooth fine finish.

Step 10 - Apply Paint and Top Coat

Apply your paint and then a finish clear coat.

With a bit of effort, you can turn your rusting vintage metal outdoor furniture into a backyard masterpiece.