How to Restore Weathered Metal Furniture

Some types of metal furniture look best painted, while others are better left all natural. For lightweight aluminum furniture, such as the webbed folding chair described in <a href="" target="_top">How to Repair Chair Straps and Webbing</a>, here's how to revitalize the metal and bring out its shine. For the sturdier metal furniture often found in patio sets, you can take years off its appearance with a brand-new paint job.

Use a stiff wire brush to remove any loose rust.

Wearing rubber gloves, scrub around the frame with a nonabrasive scouring pad dipped in kerosene or a commercial aluminum brightener. Take care to keep the liquid off straps and webbing, as it could stain them.

Rinse the frame with warm water, and dry well with a cloth rag.

To help prevent corrosion and add shine, you can wipe on a very light coat of car wax with a cloth rag.

Scrub off any loose paint or rust with a stiff wire brush.

Abrade the entire surface of the piece with 180-grit aluminum-oxide sandpaper. This will provide a better surface for the paint to stick to.

Cover the area under the piece with a drop cloth. If you're planning to use a spray paint, make sure that all nearby areas-- particularly walls and plantings--are also covered.

Apply a metal primer, either the brush-on or spray variety; let dry.

Brush or spray on the new enamel paint; let dry. If you are making a drastic change in color, or if it is recommended on the label, apply a second coat.