Asked on Feb 23, 2015

Painting metal patio furniture

by Opal
I have had to redo my vintage metal patio furniture every year because it chips off, what am I doing wrong? There's what I did/do: remove excess paint by first scraping where it is chipping, grind down and sand to bare metal removing any rust, clean & wipe down to make sure it is dry with no particles, wait a day in a dry area, primer two thin coats a day apart, paint with finish color. Let it set in a dry area for 2 days before moving to the patio. I have used various different brands of primer and paint all for outdoor metal, sprayed on method. Darn it, every time it chips it it gets bumped into and it is driving me nuts. What am I doing wrong, what can I do differently? Any thoughts/suggestions? Thank you.
  14 answers
  • Sharon F Sharon F on Feb 23, 2015
    I did the same things you have done, and I used rustoleum spray paint, it has lasted 3 years, I think I might do a little touch up this summer, but it is still looking o.k. ( I used two coats of the spray paint)
  • Sandy Sandy on Feb 24, 2015
    I have a friend who took the chairs to a a person who paints cars and had them to paint them. They are still beautiful after years.
  • Julie Julie on Feb 24, 2015
    Do you need 2 coats of primer? Maybe only 1 primer and 2 coats of the finished paint.
  • KathrynElizabeth Etier KathrynElizabeth Etier on Feb 25, 2015
    I didn't think this was going to last, but...several years ago I painted our metal table and chairs with exterior house paint. They still look good even though we leave them outside year-round.
  • Linda Fraser Linda Fraser on Feb 25, 2015
    Make sure you're using outside paint. If you are and it's still peeling I would do a primer first then I would put a sealer on top of the paint job
  • Opal Opal on Feb 25, 2015
    OOPS, I did mean to state that I used 2 coats of the finished color paint applied in the same way as the primer. I did look into having them done by an auto body place and they want $50-$100 per piece with a 4 minimum and some pieces would have to be taken apart creating more pieces (legs and backs from chairs creating 6 total for a price of $300 per chair x 4 ($1200), the table top would be 1 at $100 and the base would be 5 x $50 ($350), the 2 loveseats would be 2 legs units x $50 and the seat backs at $100 each for a total of $300 each ($600), a separate chair ($250), bakers rack with 4 shelves ($350) for a scary total of $2750 plus tax. It would be so much cheaper to buy new at that rate, but I do love it, so there is that. Maybe this year I will experiment with the house paint, do one pieces again using a top coat (all of which I already have) and try the info from the site listed below that says to use alkyd based paint rather than latex (water) based, has anyone ever used this? Any thoughts on this?
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jan 14, 2017

    I have two gliders that the paint is chipping and am wanting to redo. But after reading these comments I'm a little intimidated. The chairs are aluminum with vynal strapping. Help!

  • Libby Libby on Jan 20, 2017

    POWDER COATING is what you want. Google Powder coating for a place near you, not an auto body paint shop.

    • Opal Opal on Jan 20, 2017

      Thanks for that info Elizabeth, I will look into that. I have to admit that I thought auto painting and powder coating were the same thing , oops. Thanks


    These ladies have all given you excellent options, Opal, but I would just like to offer up the following suggesion: shop around for quotes from other auto painting facilities because the place that gave you your quote is trying to take you to the cleaners! While not super cheap, having an auto shop spray paint your set shouldn't be anywhere near what these people quoted you. Good luck with whatever method you choose . I hope the final results are long lasting this time.

  • Chorr4475 Chorr4475 on Feb 03, 2017

    Need to use metal paint. Like for ext. doors. Your paint isn't adhering to metal. Tell them at hardware store if wrought iron or what. Metal paint wks on heavy metal. If lightweight metal/ tubular steel, powder coat is best. I've painted webbed metal chair rails, trim on glass top table w/ hammered finish spray paint. Got items at yd sale, not that old, but rust forming in grooves from being out year round. Gonna start covering w/ tarp if can't find room in bsmt.

  • Claude Claude on Feb 03, 2017

    I have a wrought iron set that I wired brushed, used a sander, down to metal and then rusto paint....two coats. If I see spots during the year I spot sand and paint with foam brushes...maybe you have aluminum? Furniture? Not heavy wrought iron? Powder coating also uses an electrical charge to set the coating. See if they will let you do the clean up and just paint?

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Apr 08, 2021

    Hi Opal, before you start clean furniture first. If there is any rust, remove with a stiff wire brush. Once the prep work is done and everything is clean and dry, you are ready to paint. I would suggest using Rustoleum. They have loads of colors to choose from and built in rust protection. You might want to go with 3 coats of paint. Remember light handed spraying is the secret to success.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Apr 30, 2021

    Here are some ideas[]=Painting%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=metal%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=patio%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=furniture%7Ctyped