Lora Bloomquist
Lora Bloomquist
  • Hometalker
  • Maple Plain, MN

How to Refresh Vintage Metal Lawn Chairs

3 Materials
$25
4 Hours
Easy

Don't spray paint over all the wonderful time-earned character of vintage metal lawn chairs! Do this simple, easy refresh instead to embrace their colorful past lives! If you like perfect, you can always buy new, but these old classics look better showing off their age.

how to refresh vintage metal lawn chairs

Using an electric palm sander and 100 grit sandpaper, sand the rusty spots till smoother. Sand around the edges and on any details to make them stand out more. Sand the body of the chair, too, to reveal any colored layers of paint. Work outside and wear protection.

how to refresh vintage metal lawn chairs

Once you've achieved your desired effect, blow off the dust and wipe down with water. Dry quickly with a cloth, so rust will not reappear. Dry thoroughly in the warm sunshine.

how to refresh vintage metal lawn chairs

Once metal is warm, brush on an outdoor, water-based polyurethane, making sure not to let drips form. Begin on the bottom side. You could also spray them, but brushing will provide a more even coverage and be thicker. Once dry, add 1 or 2 more coats. Let dry thoroughly in a warm (70 degrees plus) environment for at least a day.

how to refresh vintage metal lawn chairs

Do the same for the tops of the chairs. The poly will seal in all the rust and bring out the beautiful colors revealed from sanding!

how to refresh vintage metal lawn chairs

Whether your chairs have 1 layer of paint, or 5, it's fun to see all the years these classics have lived!

how to refresh vintage metal lawn chairs

To keep your vintage metal lawn chairs looking their best, tip them up so water doesn't settle on them. Give them a fresh coat of poly every year or two to keep everything sealed and protected.

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Lora Bloomquist

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3 of 25 comments
  • Elizabeth
    7 days ago

    Wish I had not painted mine now! Can you still sand them down?

    • GMS
      30 minutes ago

      even after you paint the paint tends to flake off it you hadn't somehow prepared it before. I have one that I just quickly painted that has flaked since but I use it as a decoration with a planted pot sitting on top of it as the bottom was starting to rust and it can't be used as a sitting chair anymore

  • Sharon
    21 hours ago

    I have an antique 3 piece set handed down to me well over 100 years old. It has the round cafe table . It moved all over eastern Canada with me and we’ve finally ended up in central Florida. it is a beautiful coral, for now!!

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