How To Transform Rusty Metal Patio Furniture the Easy Way!

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This Rusty Metal Patio Chair Makeover was part of the porch nook sprucing up that I showed you last week. I wanted to share some tips for how to paint rusty metal patio furniture. It’s easy if you have the right tools!
How To Transform Rusty Metal Furniture in just minutes!Several years ago we picked up some metal patio furniture at a yard sale. I had great plans to sew new cushions and give it a new coat of paint. But life got busy, and it sat under our deck. For two years. Please tell me I’m not the only one with a room full of projects just waiting to be done.
How to transform a rusty metal chair.The chair was in pretty good shape when we bought it, just a few rust spots. But after two years of neglect, those rust spots took over everything. When I pulled it out, my white chair was no longer white. . .
Don't toss out your rusty patio furniture! I'll show you how to make it beautiful again!A pretty sad state of affairs. But then I used a magic wand. A magic wand in the form of a can of spray paint. Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer. Have you ever heard of it? It’s the bees knees. For reals. It covers up rust, and blocks it from spreading. Then you can use any color of spray paint that you want. I told you it was magical!
Rusty Metal PrimerHere’s a close up of my chair after I sprayed it with the primer. It also comes in a rust color, but I like the grey because it’s easier to tell where you’ve sprayed.

Spray paint for rusty metal Amazing, isn’t it?
I covered the entire chair. You want to make sure you get in all the nooks and crannies. Which is a much easier job with spray paint than it is with brushes! I sprayed the front of mine, then let it dry for a few minutes and flipped it over so I could get the back sides and legs.

Here it is all primed and ready to go. No sign of rust anywhere.
Patio Chair Makeover with Rusty Metal Primer from RustoleumAfter the primer dried, I sprayed the whole chair with Rustoleum Aqua spray paint in a satin finish. Isn’t she lovely now?
Metal Patio Chair Makeover with Rustoleum Spray PaintNext up I sewed a new cover for the cushion. I simply used a seam ripper to remove the fabric from the foam pad,  then I traced it onto my new fabric.
New patio chair cushionI just sewed the two pieces together right sides together, leaving the back open. Then I flipped it right side out, shoved in the foam pad, and hand stitched the back closed.
Patio Chair Cushion CoverTo make the cushion more weather proof, I sprayed both sides liberally with Thompson’s Water Seal for Fabric.  It makes any water just bead up and roll right off. So cool!
Patio Furniture MakeoverThen I just added my newly covered cushion, and she’s all ready to go. No hint of her former rusty old self in sight. 🙂
Don't toss out your rusty patio furniture! I'll show you how to make it beautiful again.

If you have rusty metal patio furniture, don’t toss it- just give it a new look with some primer and spray paint!!

Here are the supplies I used. I usually get the spray paint at Home Depot or Walmart, but the rusty metal primer is really hard to find in grey, at least in my area.


  1. Very cool, I did not know what could be done that way. Really are good tips to save and leave beautiful antique furniture. Thank you


  2. Anyone tell me please about wooden primer.

    • If you are going to be spray painting or using an oil based paint, you can use a spray paint primer on the wood. If you will be using latex paint, you need a water based primer. I like Zinsser primer. If you will be using chalk paint, you don’t need a primer. Hope that helps.

    • Thanks Kara. Yeah, This helped us a lot. we are very greatful to you.

  3. Akshay Thakur says

    Hi Kara,
    I have couple of chairs which are getting rusty and I am going to throw in dustbin But after I read your blog and thinking to restore it.

  4. Well, I really liked the idea.

  5. Great tips, I really appreciate that you used pictures along with your “how to’s” as well. I just bought a wrought iron patio set that needs painting and have been looking around for techniques and products others have used. Yours has been the most informative so far, I feel like I can do this now. Thanks again!

  6. I also have several of these, which are rusty thanks for the tips

  7. I have many such stuffs which are rusted a lot and need to be renewed and painted. This post helped me a lot!

  8. Wow! What a makeover! These metal chairs turned out great. That shade of blue is so pretty.

  9. Great tips to save and leave beautiful antique furniture. Kara =)

  10. Very good I had rusty iron table and did not know what to do now with these tips to make a good one and not have to spend money buying a new one. Thank you!

  11. Looks great! Covering up all the rust with that paint was a great idea rather than trying to scrape it all off! Thanks for sharing your project!

  12. How would i turn a white metal sconces into a gold accent rust look ? With this product ? Which color? I’m beginner and I like your simplicity method. Thank you

    • You could use the primer, and then you could spray paint it any color you want. They do have some metallic spray paints. I’ve never tried the gold, but I have used the silver with good results!

  13. Lovely seat. Sometimes when i walk in the park i love the type of benches they have. I wanna put them in my garden.

  14. Love how it turned out! I was given a whole patio set of metal furniture by a coworker! Two gliders, two chairs, and two side tables! I’m definitely going to follow your tutorial and update mine!

  15. I have an old mobile game in my backyard was thinking of throwing out, but I think reform will be good too. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Awesome job saving that chair. I imagine this method is only going to work if you catch the rust before it progresses too far. At some point the metal will just lose strength and have to be tossed out unfortunately.

  17. Very cool, I did not know what could be done that way. Really are good tips to save and leave beautiful antique furniture. Thank you

  18. Lovely outdoor furniture. And really cool to look at. Lovely article.

  19. very good I had a rusty iron chairs and did not know what to do now with these tips to make a good retirement and not have to spend money buying a Anova. Thank you!

  20. I have a metal bench where the paint is peeling off in chunks in spots and then just flaking in others. Do I have to scrape it or sand it all off first? It has all these flowery patterns, so it’s hard. But it’s a pretty bench for my patio, and I think it can be saved with your spraying. How do you suggest I get the old black paint off? Thanks, Joan

  21. Ashley | Free Wills Studio says

    Thanks so much for this! I was given a great little patio set with some rust and was unsure if it could still be used. Now I can stop putting off the makeover (bc yes I’ve got a whole list of waiting-to-DIYs, too). 🙂

    • I know what you meant about a list of waiting projects- mine’s about a mile long! Luckily this one is fairly quick and really easy!

  22. Love the new look! I’d love it if you shared this at Worthwhile Wednesdays.

  23. This is awesome. I have actually passed up cute pieces of metal furniture because I was afraid of a little rust. It’s nice to know there is a cure. And you aren’t alone. I have more projects than I have time for and sometimes you just have to wait for the right idea to hit you before you pull it out to transform it. 🙂

    • I was always scared of rust before. It’s nice knowing how to fix it. Opens up a lot more possibilities at the thrift store!

  24. Nice. I have an old iron bed that I’ve been wanting to paint and wasn’t sure how to proceed. I think this will do it. Thank you.

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