Asked on May 1, 2015

How do I help this rusty vintage birdcage?

Shawn Van HornEileen B.Beth Clements


My aunt gave me this old metal birdcage, and I'm hoping to turn it into a plant stand for my patio. What's the best method to gently remove some of this rust? And if I want to paint it, should I use a primer first?
15 answers
  • Kate
    on May 1, 2015

    chalk paint in pastel, pink, maybe or blue, stuff with moss and succulents.

  • Donnaleedesigns52
    on May 1, 2015

    spray paint with rust resistant outdoor paint any colour you like

  • Carol Paulus-Kalis
    Carol Paulus-Kalis
    on May 2, 2015

    I love Kate's idea. Clean it up paint it and I think it would be perfect with succulents planted in it. Carol P-K

  • Libby, What an adorable bird cage - it would make a great plant stand! You should use a wire brush to gently scrub off the rust -definitely use a spray primer to seal afterwards and prevent the rust from "growing" back. By all means spray paint not brush on, in whatever glorious color you love!

    • Gladys
      on May 2, 2015

      @Debbie Dickman - The Magpie's Cottage Debbie, I'm glad someone finally gave Libby the help she was asking for - "how to get rid of the rust" - since that's what she was trying to find out, and all I was reading were ideas of what to turn it into. I read in her question that she wanted to turn it into a plant stand. I came to this page to find out how to get rid of rust as I have some old metal chairs with the same problem. Thanks for answering her question, and mine also. Have a great day! It's nice that others can get/give ideas of what to use it for, for themselves though.

  • Gale O'Neal
    Gale O'Neal
    on May 2, 2015

    Sand, paint it at set it up with different level glass jars or plain glassware and place candles in it. would make a lovely outdoor light fixture.

  • Marge
    on May 2, 2015

    Thanks for the ideas. I have a small bird cage that I will try these on.

  • Beth Clements
    Beth Clements
    on May 2, 2015

    To remove the rust ... 1st lightly sand any rough raised areas. Then spray with Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer. It instantly coverts rust to a protected, paintable surface, Then spray paint your color of choice. Awesome birdcage, by the way!! :D

  • Tina
    on May 2, 2015

    I recently repainted this rusty cage that was in my mothers back yard. She also had a small chandelier I hung inside. I did very little sanding I just used Rustoleum paint and primer. I have it in my sunroom I love it!

    q how do i help this rusty vintage birdcage, crafts, repurposing upcycling
  • Gladys Those wonderful old metal chairs are a bit more tricky! HomeTalk had a post by DaisyMaeBell some months ago that was very detailed and really covered everything. You can find it on Pinterest by searching "painting vintage metal chairs".

  • Linda Santo
    Linda Santo
    on May 2, 2015

    Naval jelly. Use as directed. Then prime and paint.

  • Rosemary Hesse
    Rosemary Hesse
    on May 2, 2015

    I think you have gotten all the ideas I was thinking. I strongly advise Rust-Oleum Paint. It has never failed me. Most important part is to remove as much rust as possible.

  • Libby Walker
    Libby Walker
    on May 4, 2015

    Thanks, everyone, for all the solid info! Can't wait to get going on this project.

  • Beth Clements
    Beth Clements
    on May 5, 2015

    Look forward to your finished project!! :D

  • Eileen B.
    Eileen B.
    on Feb 26, 2016

    I would clean and paint it then add solar flower lights,

  • Shawn Van Horn
    Shawn Van Horn
    on May 21, 2018

    How about cleaning it up and putting birds in it? What a unique idea! LOL! But seriously, what you have there is a Hendryx bird cage made around the 1920's… probably through the thirties. It is so sad to see people tare these apart for crafts. Because new bird cages are no where near the quality of these, made from cheap plastic and wire that looks like it was once a hanger. Those odd holes on the sides, those were for glass feeders and water containers… you can still find today if your do some searching, because once again, stuff made then was made to last… not fall apart like this new stuff. I guess it is sad, because once these are all torn apart for crafts projects, there will never be anything like these made again.

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