white metal garden table and chairs

How to restore metal garden furniture

Although metal garden furniture is known for its durability, it can still become damaged due to weathering and pollution. However, before you decide to throw anything out, there’s usually something that can be done to restore metal garden furniture.

With the right products and know-how, restoring your furniture can be surprisingly simple.

blue metal patio furniture

One of the most common problems metal garden furniture will face is rust. This is because the furniture will most likely be left outside all year round and so be subjected to the two main ingredients needed for rust to thrive; moisture and oxygen.

What is rust and what causes it?

Rust is an iron oxide that occurs when the iron is exposed to oxygen and water (or air moisture). It is a type of corrosion that over time will convert any iron object into rust and disintegrate.

However, it should be noted that even though your garden furniture has become rusty, it is not unusable nor need to be replaced right away!

How to remove rust from metal garden furniture

There are a wide variety of ways you can remove rust, some easier and cheaper and than others, which you can read more about in our previous blog post, ‘How to remove rust from metal‘.

Another way to remove light/medium rust is by using a scouring pad, steel wool or wire brush and then an application of Owatrol Oil (remembering to wipe away the rust dust beforehand). Be careful not to get carried away and brush back to bright steel though.

Owatrol Oil is our highly saturating rust inhibiting oil that pushes out excess moisture and air from within metal surfaces, displacing it from rusted metal and so stopping rust dead in its tracks.

Further information as to the application of Owatrol Oil can be found here.

Once the rust has been removed and the metal has been protected with Owatrol Oil, you can then apply a paint finish if you so choose.

Apply rust inhibiting primers and finishes

Once you have removed the rust, you can think about how to protect your garden furniture, or spruce it up with a new colour. There are a few options in the Owatrol range for rust inhibiting finishes.

  • Owatrol Deco – our multi-surface paint with a high gloss finish available in 10 RAL colours
  • RA.85 Aluminium Paint – our high gloss aluminium look finish suitable for all surfaces
  • C.I.P – (Corrosive Inhibiting Primer) is a rust-inhibiting primer suitable for finishing with both single and 2-pack paints and finishes

Or, you could simply add Owatrol Oil to any oil-based paint to offer corrosive protection that way.

How to prevent rust from returning

Apart from the use of rust inhibitors such as Owatrol Oil, the next best thing you can do is keep your furniture clean and dry and away from the sun and rain (especially during the wet Winter months).

If possible, when the furniture is not in use, we recommend keeping everything inside such as in a shed, garage or Summer house. This will drastically reduce the amount of moisture and humidity and as such, the rate of rusting.

If this is not possible, you could consider purchasing covers to keep as much moisture off your furniture as possible. This are quite readily available at most garden centres or online.

Rust on patio tiles

A common problem caused by rusting garden furniture is rust on patio tiles. The run off from rust can drip down onto your tiles and cause ugly brown marks.

If you have found this happen to you, we recommend trying Net-Trol. Although originally intended for use as a wood cleaner, we have had many customers use Net-Trol on their patio tiles to remove rust and grime with great success.

Take a look at these before and after photos!

As this is not something Net-Trol was specifically created for, we would recommend purchasing a 100ml sample pot and testing it out on a small inconspicuous area first.


We hope you have learned a few ways to restore metal garden furniture!

If you have any other handy tips or advice, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

If you share your project on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest please feel free to tag us @OwatrolUK or use #OwatrolUK so we can see and share your hard work!

how to restore metal garden furniture - Pinterest

About Owatrol Team

Our team are ready and willing to support you with your requirements whether it is protecting your newly laid deck or renovating a luxury yacht, whatever the application Owatrol has the solution you are looking for.

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