Fight Metal Patio Furniture Fatigue
Even metal patio furniture with the most durable factory-applied paint can chip or show wear over time. Before reaching for your spray gun, figure out whether your furniture is steel or aluminum (it’s easy—a magnet won’t stick to the latter). Then make it look new again in five simple steps.
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1. Check for corrosion.
Look for signs of oxidation. Tackle rust spots on steel with a wire brush and 200-grit sandpaper, taking care to avoid scratching surrounding paint. Wash crusted, oxidized aluminum with a solution of 4 ounces of vinegar to 1 gallon of water.
2. Sand bare spots.
Feather chipped paint edges with 400-grit sandpaper.
3. Clean all surfaces.
Wash with dish soap and water to help paint adhere, then rinse. Dry steel immediately with a microfiber cloth to keep rust at bay.
4. Prime it.
On steel, use an alkyd, or oil-based primer, formulated for metal. For aluminum, use a special water-based acrylic primer with zinc. Read the primer directions before you start; with some, if you don’t top-coat within an hour, you have to wait 48 hours before applying a top coat.
5. Paint it.
Exterior-grade paint is available in aerosol spray and brush-on formulas. Spray-painting should be done outside. As you spray, hold the can upright, no closer than 10 inches from the surface, and keep it moving constantly. Also, shake the can often to maintain a fine, consistent mist.