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Furniture is a need of every house, and metal furniture is going to be more popular due to many significant reasons. Due to humidity and other environmental factors, you can’t place the wooden furniture outside the home. Therefore, everyone tries to buy metal furniture. Undoubtedly, metal furniture is durable and sturdy, but it still needs maintenance. Yes, I’m talking about painting metal furniture. If you have furniture and planning to paint it, you must know how to paint metal furniture in the right way.

After months or years, the metal furniture rusts badly, and painting becomes necessary. Painting metal furniture has many options, such as a brush or sprayer. Using a brush is a time-consuming task and requires more effort. However, the sprayer is an easier way to paint.

If you are stuck and waiting to know how to spray paint metal, this guide is for you. I will address the main topics here, such as how to repaint metal furniture, how to paint metal furniture legs, metal patio furniture, and much more. Let’s get started!

How To Paint Metal Furniture With Spray Paints

how to paint metal outdoor furniture( Before and after paint)
Paint metal outdoor furniture (Before and after paint results)

Are you ready to paint outdoor metal furniture? Oh yes you are. I assure you that a new coating of metal paint will make the furniture look wonderful and new again.

You can also paint the indoor furniture using the same method. Follow the simple steps mentioned below about how to spray paint metal furniture properly.

Check List of The Tools for Painting Metal Furniture

Here are the necessary supplies you must have before painting any metal chair, table, or other stuff.

  • Damp rags
  • Drop cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint sprayer, paint brush or Spray paint (Krylon Or Rustoleum)
  • Paint tray
  • Roller with cover (optional)
  • Sanding sponge
  • Primer (optional)
  • Warm soapy water

Step 1: Inspect The Metal Furniture

This is the first and most important step for assessing the metal furniture. Check all the sides, corners, and condition of the metal as you have to arrange the equipment according to the present state. Don’t forget to check the metal type, such as ferrous metal, non-ferrous metal, aluminum, copper, or more. After the assessment, determine the tools, paint type, and other necessary things for painting.

Helpful tip: If you are a beginner and unable to inspect the type of metal, let’s share a tip with you. If the furniture is lightweight, it might be of aluminum or non-ferrous metal. On the other hand, if the furniture is heavier, it is crafted from ferrous metal such as iron.

Step 2: Clean and Sand (Make It Ready for Painting)

If the metal is rusted, it requires preparation before painting. Eliminate all the loose rust, dirt, grease, and oil. Use sandpaper or any other tool if needed, and you must get a clean metal at the end. Here’s an in-depth look at the sanding process of metal.

First, place the drop cloth all around the furniture. Degreaser can help you at this point and don’t forget to give a power watch after degreasing. A wire brush is beneficial to remove the stubborn dirt sticking with the metal.

When the metal is non-ferrous, don’t go with a wire brush to prevent scratches or damage. Suppose you want to eliminate the old paint, sandpaper might be your primary choice. Inspect the metal again and check how much rusted the metal is. If it is extremely rusted, use a primer before painting to get a long-lasting performance.

Step 3: Organize The Overall Painting Job

Next, you have to make an overall plan. Prepare the space and organize all the tools to tackle the job easily. Choosing the right type of paint is necessary; usually, people like to use oil-based coatings for metal because of their better results. You can also go for water-based paints to get lower odor, long-lasting performance, and fast drying.

Helpful tip: If you want the paint to dry, acrylic paint might be a vital choice. Otherwise, go for alkyd paints for extreme durability.

Step 4: Use Primer

When the metal is rusted, I always recommend you use the primer to prevent further rusting and a good paint finish. The reason is that the primer acts as a sealer and saves the metal from further damage.

Step 5: Paint The Whole Metal Furniture

paint metal furniture (garden chair)

Make sure you have selected the tool for painting. You can use the sprayer or spray paint if you want the job to be done quickly; otherwise, go for a paint brush or roller. The selection also depends on the furniture type, so choose carefully. After that, paint the metal furniture with legs entirely. Make sure to cover all the corners and surfaces with the paint.

Useful Resource: If you’re considering a furniture painting project, you’ll want to take a look at our Furniture Painting Cost List.

Step 6: Let The Paint Dry

Wait for some time to let the paint dry properly. It takes about 24 hours for the paint to dry according to my experience. If you don’t want to wait longer, check the recoating time of your purchased paint.

Step 7: Apply The Second Coat

In the end, apply the second coat on the metal furniture thoroughly. If you have used the paintbrush, you can now use the sprayer or the brush according to your availability and convenience. Again wait for the complete cure of the paint. Congrats! You have done painting metal furniture.

How To Paint Metal Patio Furniture

paint metal patio furniture

Step 1: Prep the surface

Last week, I painted metal patio chairs. All that’s required is a simple cleaning and sanding. My project preparation took about two hours to clean, sand and then 2.5 to 3 hours to paint. After that, I used a paint sprayer to spray metal pieces, which is much faster than the brush or roller.

Now, you should place metal patio chairs in a well-ventilated area.

Whenever I work on plastic folding tables, I find them to be cheap, portable, and useful for many things. So, you should place each painting piece on these folding plastic tables. As a result, you are able to work comfortably at a comfortable height off the ground.

Step 2: Clean The Metal Patio Furniture

Before painting, you should thoroughly clean the surface with TSP and warm water to remove a layer of dirt hidden in all corners. Once all areas are clean, take a scrubbing brush and clean all the hard to reach corners, gaps, and cracks. You don’t need to rinse off TSP after applying it, so allow your furniture to dry before continuing.

Step 3: Sanding

After you have cleaned your patio furniture, it is time to sand it and remove all the previous paint. You can sand with grit paper.

Step 4: Paint The First Coat

You can use oil-based paint or Rustoleum spray paint when painting. Spray cans produce a better looking final finish than oil-based paint, which is easier to apply for DIY painters without spraying experience.

You can spray the first coat of Rustoleum spray paint and allow it to dry completely.

Step 5: Paint The Second Coat

If your furniture needs sanding after the first coat of paint has dried, use an extra fine grit sanding pad. Now you can apply the second paint layer.

Step 6: Finishing Time

You should not use painted patio furniture outdoors until it has fully cured. In many cases, it takes weeks for paint to fully cure so it can reach 100% durability.

Finally, it’s time to enjoy those upcoming summer nights on your newly painted patio set.

Update: As a professional painter, I recently finished restoring a worn-out patio set. The metal had rusted, and the original wooden slats were deteriorating. Check out these pictures I took before beginning a project.

before painting metal patio set
before painting rusted metal chair & table

I upgraded the slats with 1×4 bed slats, stained them with a lovely golden honey finish, and added brackets for stability and ease of storage. It was a rewarding project that showcased my expertise in giving new life to outdoor metal furniture. Pictures after painting Metal patio set:

After painting outdoor metal patio set
After painting metal chair

How To Paint Metal Bed Frame?

Paint Metal Bed Frame

Are you planning to paint the metal bed frame but don’t know how to paint it? Check out the necessary steps below.

Step 1: First, disassemble the bad frame accurately. In this way, you will get a thoroughly painted finish.

Step 2: Find a perfect spot for painting the bed frame. Make sure the place has ventilation and sunlight access.

Step 3: Choose a painting method according to your requirements, such as a brush, roller, or sprayer.

Step 4: After that, the metal frame to get the rust off. Apply a quality primer as a sealant to get a good paint finish.

Step 5: It’s time to paint the bed frame all around. Apply it with care and in every corner of the metal surface.

How To Paint Metal File Cabinet?

paint metal filing cabinet

Painting a metal file cabinet is pretty easy if you are on the right track. For your ease, we have listed the basic steps to paint a metal file cabinet as a DIY task.

Step 1: First and most important step is to prepare the space for painting a metal file cabinet. Make sure you can place all the tools in the selected place and have enough space to work easily.

Step 2: Prepare the cabinet before painting. Pick up the sandpaper and clean the cabinet carefully. It’s a necessary step so that the new coating sticks with the metal with a great adhesive force.

Step 3: After cleaning the cabinet, apply a high-quality primer. Use a paint brush or sprayer as you want.

Step 4: Apply the right paint to the metal file cabinet. I always recommend you buy specialized cabinet paint from top brands. You can read the details on the paint box while choosing.

Step 5: Start painting the metal file cabinet with the right technique. Shake and mix the paint well before starting. Correctly use the brush and apply paint to get an even finish.

Furthermore, if you want to repaint metal furniture then here is the informative video for you.

FAQs On How To Spray Paint Metal Furniture

What kind of paint will stick to metal?

You can use oil based or water-based paints for painting any metal. However, oil-based paints are highly suitable for metals. Such paints cover the metal adequately and give a long-lasting performance against harsh environmental conditions.

Can I paint over metal furniture?

Yes, you can paint metal furniture easily. If the metal is already painted, clean it before put in the paint. Inspect the condition of the metal and apply the primer before painting.

Do I need to Prime metal before painting?

It typically depends on the type of metal your furniture is made of. If you feel the metal is extremely rusted, I recommend applying the primer. It will seal the metal, providing a smooth surface to apply the paint.

Do you have to sand metal before painting?

Yes, sanding is necessary to get the paintable metal surface. You will feel easier while painting. Plus, it also put a stop on peeling off.  If the metal is already painted, don’t skip this step.

Can you spray paint directly on metal?

It depends on the current metal condition. Spray painting requires a smooth surface to even finish. It’s also necessary to choose the right sprayer according to the metal type and paint job. If you choose everything in the right way, you will get a smooth paint finish at the end.

Is it easy to spray paint metal furniture?

Regardless of the simple or complex furniture design, spray paint is a good choice. A sprayer is a handy device to paint on complete metal chairs, tables, or any other metal hardware product. Your time will also be saved.

Final Words On How To Paint Metal Furniture!

In conclusion, following the right steps on how to paint the metal furniture decently is mandatory. Don’t paint in a hurry, and give plenty of curing time to the paint. When you give enough time to cure the paint properly, you will definitely get 100% durability and hardness.

Rosalie Sanchez-Holapaints writer and owner

Rosalie Sanchez

DIY enthusiast with years of experience in home decor and home improvement. With a passion for educating consumers about DIY projects. Every time, I work with our painting professionals to provide you with the best painting product reviews and how-to advice. You can follow me on Facebook.

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