How to Refinish Aluminum Patio Furniture

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Thanks to a renewed obsession with all things retro, aluminum patio furniture is more popular than ever. Throw in a modern paint color like Green Apple or Sweet Tomato, both from Rustoleum, and you will be adding a conversation piece to your garden. Dig out that old rusted aluminum patio furniture and start painting.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose with attached sprayer
  • Sand paper
  • Spray primer
  • Spray paint
  • Outdoor throw pillows
  • Thoroughly clean your aluminum patio furniture with your garden hose nozzle turned to its highest pressure setting. Dry with towels or allow the furniture to dry completely before proceeding.

  • Remove existing finish. Paint a thick layer of paint stripper onto the aluminum furniture and allow it to penetrate for 20 to 30 minutes. Use a scraper to remove as much original paint as possible. Use sand paper to remove paint from any stubborn areas.

  • Remove rust from aluminum furniture. Most rust can be sanded off the furniture with medium grit sand paper. If your furniture is extremely rusted, spray phosphoric acid on the furniture and allow it to dry, usually 20 to 30 minutes. Go over the furniture with a steel bristled brush to remove the remaining rust. Rinse the furniture with water to remove the acid and the dust from sanding.

  • Spray on primer in a back and forth motion. Slightly overlap each stroke for full coverage. Use two coats of primer, allowing each to dry completely.

  • Paint using a spray paint formulated for metal. Krylon and Rustoleum make products for this application in a number of colors. Spray paint is available in both satin and gloss finishes. Allow paint to dry for 24 hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • To add a little extra flair to your patio set, use a complimentary color of paint to add a design using a stencil. Stencils can be purchased at most craft stores. Cover the portion of the chair you don't wish to paint. Use low-tack tape to secure the stencil and spray paint your chosen design. Allow paint to dry before removing stencil.
  • Place some new pillows, made from outdoor fabric, on your chairs to complete the transformation. Outdoor fabrics are made to withstand sun exposure and normal outdoor conditions. However, you should move your cushions indoors during rain or snow storms.

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