Restoring Rusty Outdoor Furniture

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  May 9, 2013 — 4 Comments

Nick and I bought this patio set from craigslist the first summer we were in this house. At $75 it was a steal, but I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve used it. It was so grimy and rusty that I never wanted to sit, much less eat.

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It wasn’t this bad when we got it, but three years of exposure to the elements had really taken their toll.

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I finally got inspired to try to fix it up this year! I gave the whole set a quick pass with a wire brush (at least a month ago), sprayed it down with the hose(last week), and then dragged the chairs around to the front yard (this weekend). I created a handy painting station with the concrete walkway and some protective paper that I got in a big roll at Home Depot for $11 and use for everything from painting to gift wrap. I have been thinking about doing this for two months so it was so great to finally make it happen.

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This can of black enamel spray paint was about $3 if memory serves. I picked it up kind of on a whim and wasn’t sure whether it would work so I just bought one. I ended up going back for another can to finish the project, so if you’re trying this at home you may want to invest in two cans from the get-go.

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After only one coat the chairs were looking great! I guess because I was painting black-on-black I didn’t have to worry too much about getting perfect coverage. I was just trying to cover the rust and get a more even appearance. I don’t even mind a little character-building grime on the areas that don’t come in contact with skin or clothing. I did go back a little bit later to touch up some thin spots, but I really didn’t stress about perfection.

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I let the chairs cure out front for a day or two before having Nick switch them out for the table. It was looking better after the wire brush treatment, but still had a long way to go.

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And voila. Like new again!

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When Nick got home from work yesterday I had him move the table back to the deck and I put it all back together. I can’t get over how much better it looks now! I really wasn’t sure whether the spray paint would work well at all but I’m so happy with it!

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So. Much. Better. Now this is a table I can eat off of!

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I was also excited to set up this umbrella I bought (again, impulsively) on sale at Lowe’s a few weeks ago! One of the things that has held us back from hanging out back here is that the sun is relentless. The umbrella is perfect for providing a little shade in the summer months. I wish I’d held out for one with black hardware instead of white, but it’s not a huge deal. It was only $35. If I’d known big umbrellas were that inexpensive I would have gotten one years ago! For some reason I always thought it would be like $100.

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I’m itching now to set up our grill and have a meal out here (note to self: google how to grill). Maybe Nick and I can have a little at-home date night with dinner on the deck after Jack’s in bed. Or I can sit outside and sip a mojito with all the free time my stay-at-home-mom lifestyle affords (LOLOLOLOL). We still have a lot to do to make our backyard a more pleasant place to be (um, like maybe mow it more often?), but this is progress. One small step for spraypaint, one giant leap for outdoor living!

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


4 responses to Restoring Rusty Outdoor Furniture

  1. Ahhh, huge improvement!! I’ll bet you’ll be spending a lot of time outside now. I bought a wicker patio set off of Craigslist when we first moved in to our house. I figured since we had a screened-in porch it would be safe from the elements. Nope, it got all dirty and dull within the first two years. To restore it I had to brush it all down, power wash it, then apply linseed oil all over it. Then I bought chair covers to protect it during the winter, which cost more than the patio set itself cost! Arrrrg!

    Are you thinking chair cushions for the seats? That would be really pretty and with that beautiful striped umbrella you could get any color in the rainbow!

  2. It looks great, Charlotte. Why don’t you take some of your spray paint and just spray the umbrella pole black? Just a thought. I like the idea of the colorful cushions too.

  3. That table and chairs are looking SNAZZY!

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  1. The Hunt for a Silver Platter | Living Well on the Cheap - March 24, 2014

    […] is how I like it. We ate lunch and dinner on the back deck on Saturday–I am really loving the patio umbrella I bought rather impulsively last year. I got a few things done, too. Nothing lifechanging, but I will have a few things to […]

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