Asked on May 23, 2015

Help -- We need to repaint powder coated aluminum patio furniture

by Susan
We are fortunate to have some old (30+ years) originally very high quality powder coated aluminum patio sling chairs that need to be repainted. I priced having them professionally done and at $125 each that is NOT happening. I have searched the internet and found a bunch of sometimes conflicting advice. I know how to take the chairs apart and lightly sand but then what? What kind (type and brand please) of spray metal primer? How many coats? What kind of color coat (type and brand) paint. Will a poly top coat help or cause problems over time? Advice from anyone who has done this will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance, Susan
  14 answers
  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on May 24, 2015
    after looking into sanding, priming and painting we went with powder coating ourselves. you might contact and auto place and see if they can do might be cheaper.
  • Laura Martin-La Fontsee Laura Martin-La Fontsee on May 24, 2015
    We used Rustoleums line. They have paint that will dry and look like a satin or a hammered metal look. Or just their usual colors.
  • Susan Susan on May 24, 2015
    Thanks Wanda - that's what I was afraid of but we simply can't afford to do it. I have to find another way. Susan
  • Susan Susan on May 24, 2015
    Laura - Did you use a metal primer? If so, what kind? And, how has your repainted furniture lasted?
    • See 1 previous
    • Susan Susan on May 25, 2015
      @Laura Martin-La Fontsee Thanks! This project much more doable than I feared.
  • 241755 241755 on May 24, 2015
    I also have power coated patio furniture and thanks to the grand kids it is chipped bad. How do I go about painting it and getting past the chips. I have used the hammered metal look and I like it really well. The areas that are chipped are rather large all over the table and now starting on the chairs. Can I use a wire brush on a drill on them?
  • Debbie Debbie on May 24, 2015
    We painted our old patio furniture using Rustoleum Universal paint and it looks fantastic! We just washed and dried it and prayed...Perfect.
  • Gail Whaley Gail Whaley on May 24, 2015
    I have had extremely good luck with repainting powder coated patio furniture and as with most projects preparation is key! I sand and grind all loose paint off the project and then clean the entire piece with 91% isopropyl alcohol using lint free cloth. Next I prime the entire piece with a primer made for aluminum (my husband picked it up for me at an auto parts place). I wait a couple of days and then give my piece at least two coats and I only use Rustoleum products and generally add a third coat to the parts that will get the most wear! It is work but well worth it, my pieces are still in great shape!
    • See 1 previous
    • Robin Peterson Dougherty Robin Peterson Dougherty on May 19, 2023

      Gail- do you do a light sanding between each spray paint application???


  • Susan Susan on May 24, 2015
    Gail - thank you. I am off to the the auto parts store to talk about aluminum primer. We will power wash the disassembled parts with TSP solution, lightly sand all surfaces, grind out any deeper chips, then finish the prep with your suggested isopropyl alcohol wipe. I am a lot better at talking about projects than I am at getting them completed but this is one project I am determined to start and finish.
    • Gail Whaley Gail Whaley on May 26, 2015
      @Susan Good luck and have some fun, the finished product is well worth it!
  • Trender2 Trender2 on May 26, 2015
    I have used rustoleum stone finish on outdoor furniture that I picked up for free I prepped the same way as Gail minus the alcohol (which I will be using next time!) the stone finish is very forgiving for easy to use and had held up extremely well over the last 4 summers in central PA (and I leave 2 chairs and a small table out in the harsh winter as well - still looking great!
  • Susan Susan on May 26, 2015
    Thanks everyone for all the helpful comments. I am new to this site and I am bowled over with all the thoughtful support.
  • YJB YJB on Sep 02, 2019

    Thanks for all the helpful information

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jun 30, 2021

    Did you use a metal primer? If so, what kind? And, how has your repainted furniture lasted

  • Mogie Mogie on May 19, 2023

    There are two main ways to refinish powder-coated furniture--strip it and start over, or apply paint over the existing powder. If the original job was properly prepared, it will be difficult to remove a powder-coated finish. One coat of powder is roughly equivalent to three or four coats of paint. Some commercially purchased furniture will only have one light coat of powder, but those powder coated by a reputable shop may have two or three coats of powder.