Preparing Old or Rusted Metal for Repainting

3 Materials
3 Hours

I found this old metal table and chairs on someone's trash pile and rescued it! With just a little TLC, it looks lovely on my patio!

I started by using a pressure washer on the tables and chairs to remove as much dirt and loose paint as possible. If you don't have a pressure washer, don't worry! Just spray generously with a hose and move on to the next step.

Use some steel wool and dish detergent (I like to use Dawn) to scrub off even more of the dirt and loose paint, rinse it down again, and let dry.

The key ingredient for removing rust is NAVAL JELLY! Spread it liberally on the rusty spots, and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

CAUTION: Loctite Naval Jelly is very caustic and will burn your skin, so be sure to wear some gloves. It also has a very strong scent, so if you are using it indoors, be sure to have good ventilation.

Rinse the Naval Jelly off. NOTE: you might need to repeat this process if the rust is pervasive.

Let the furniture dry, and then sand using medium or fine grit sandpaper BY HAND to scuff it up. Using a powered sander may actually polish the metal, rather than scuff it, so be sure to do this step by hand.

Rinse down one more to remove all the sanding dust, and let dry.

Do not skip the primer! Primer is essential for good adhesion of the paint layer. Spray at least one coat of primer over the entire surface.

Follow the directions on the primer for drying time before applying the first coat of your top coat.

Spray at least two coats of your top coat, and allow for the appropriate dry time based on your paint.

And voila! You are finished!

View the full video of this project on YouTube!

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