Patio furniture – What was once old…


What was once old will become new again with a little elbow grease.

While shopping at Pier 1 Imports my wife saw some umbrellas for patio furniture, but she didn’t want to get one for the furniture we already owned. Our patio furniture had seen better days. The black paint had faded, there were bits of rust peeking through some chipped paint, the plastic feet on the legs had all but disappeared and, worse of all, the birds have decided to use it as a restroom. They weren’t used because of their poor shape. One thing led to another at the store and we started looking at new furniture but held off until we shopped at other places.

I then saw a YouTube video on repainting an old patio chair made by Home Repair Tutor (aka Jeff Patterson). I was inspired and decided that day that I would transform the way our furniture looked and they would be used again.

Follow me on my journey of making them look new again. 

The first order of business was to go to Home Depot to buy an inexpensive hand sander, some sandpaper (60 grit and 120 grit was what we used most) and a metal brush.

Black faded patio furniture

I followed the instructions in the video by starting with the metal brush to remove the dirt and rust that accumulated on the metal furniture. The table legs had to be disassembled and I found that removing the wing nuts by hand were a bit of a challenge but a hammer loosened it pretty quickly.

The next step was to use the hand sander with 60 grit sandpaper and go over the chair/table/table legs. The sanding process was the most time consuming out of the project and ended up negating the need to have used a metal brush since the paint was being removed. After the paint was removed with 60 grit sandpaper I switched to 120 to smooth out the rough edges for painting.

Each of the four chairs took 2 hours to sand the paint off. As you can see the chair is bare metal and actually looked quite nice.

NathanTWong_14679Anxious to begin working on the table itself I started with the bottom then did the top. Since the broad top didn’t have any ribbing the bottom contained it made for a relatively easy job. The side of the table was also done.NathanTWong_14650 NathanTWong_14648 The legs turned out to be a lot of work. More so than both the table and the chairs. I found that one part that attached to the table was bent out of shape so I had to also fix that. The table and legs took a couple days to do. I also couldn’t get every speck of paint off because of some corners the electric sander was too large.NathanTWong_14653 NathanTWong_14652


It never rains where we’re located and of course it rained in the middle of this project. Oxidation developed on the bare metal areas because of the moisture so I had to go over the metal with the sander to remove it.

The amount of sandpaper I used filled the plastic bag.

We decided on painting the furniture green. We laid down plastic on the fence and on the ground and started painting. That was pretty straightforward and we just had to be careful not to spray so much that the paint started dripping. We had to be careful not to sweat on the metal since the paint had trouble adhering to the surface.  NathanTWong_14683-2NathanTWong_14674 NathanTWong_14678
NathanTWong_14684We ended up using 7 cans of Rust-oleum 2x coverage paint.

Of course it never fails that an alternative way of doing a task had come to mind just before the project was almost done. I began thinking that perhaps using paint remover might have been a better option to sanding. Jeff Patterson indicated that though it’s an alternative that it was also a messy process. If you’re thinking of tackling this project yourself using paint remover might be a route you’d like to use instead of sanding.

The paint on the chairs and table were completely dry within 24 hours. Some touch-up was needed on areas we missed. I attached the legs to the table with new wing nuts and washers. I installed new plastic glides on the bottom of the chairs and table legs and now it looks as good as new. NathanTWong_14745To complete our “new” patio set we purchased a new umbrella.

NathanTWong_14890Our first dinner.NathanTWong_14902


I hope you enjoyed reading about this project. Remember, the hilarious part of this entire exercise began when we decided we wanted to buy a new umbrella.


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