Wrought Iron furniture can be perfect for outdoor use due to the durability and attractive look. Restaurants, bars, and cafes often furnish their outdoor patios with wrought iron because of the style and sturdiness. This material is known for its longevity, making it perfect for commercial and residential use. When not properly maintained, wrought iron can succumb to weather and begin to rust. We discuss how to keep this furniture looking and performing its best and go through refinishing those pieces that aren’t well maintained.

Why Does Wrought Iron Rust?

Some wrought iron furniture becomes exposed to the elements without proper care or finishing. This exposure can result in rusting of the finish and impact the structure of the furniture. Elements that most strongly affect this material are snow and rain.

Clean and Refinish Wrought Iron Furniture

Some wrought iron furniture becomes exposed to the elements without proper care or finishing. This exposure can result in rusting of the finish and impact the structure of the furniture. Elements that most strongly affect this material are snow and rain. While some decor or styles seek the rustic look, you might not want a rusted wrought iron set for your commercial patio. Luckily, it’s easy to clean and refinish rusted or worn wrought iron furniture.

What You’ll Need

There are several options of paint types, finishes, and colors for your wrought iron furniture. Be sure to consider if your wrought iron furniture will be used outdoors or indoors to get your supplies. Outdoor spray paint comes in hundreds of colors and even metallic finishes. It’s easy to match outdoor furniture to your patio decor with a quick coat of exterior-grade paint or spray paint. Look for these supplies for your wrought iron refinishing project:  

  • Steel wool, stiff brush, or wire brush 
  • Medium-grit sandpaper or a sandblaster  
  • Weather- or rust-resistant primer  
  • Exterior-grade, rust-resistant enamel paint

Clean off Rust

  1. Take a stiff brush or steel wool and scrub away any rust on the piece. Scrub until all of the visible rust is gone.
  2. Next, sand the entire piece to get rid of any loose paint and to prepare for the primer. Use medium-grit sandpaper for best results.
  3. Clean the furniture with a solvent to remove accumulated dirt and grime. Make sure the entire piece dries before priming. If a piece of wrought iron furniture has a lot of chipped or peeling paint, a pressure washer can be used to clean it off quickly. The powerful spray will easily strip any loose paint; however, ensure that the metal is in sturdy shape before using this tool to avoid damaging.

Paint and Finish

  1. You’ll now need to prime the entire piece. If the furniture will be outdoors, use a weather-resistant or rust-inhibiting primer.
  2. After the primer dries, lightly sand the furniture to prep for the paint.
  3. Paint using an exterior-grade enamel paint that contains rust-inhibitor.
  4. Finally, you will finish the furniture off with a sealant. This can help prevent fading from UV exposure.  
  1. There are more tips on painting wrought iron in this wikiHow article. One of the most useful tips on painting wrought iron is to try a direct-to-metal (DTM) paint that contains a rust inhibitor. Once you’ve refinished your wrought iron furniture, it’s ready for your commercial patio! It will look stylish and last for years to come with proper care.

 

Maintaining Your Wrought Iron Furniture

One of the biggest challenges with wrought iron is limiting exposure to the elements. Once this metal becomes exposed to water, it will rust. It’s essential to choose weather-resistant coating for your wrought iron furniture to keep it protected from water and other elements to prolong the life of your investment. We have listed below some tips to maintaining your outdoor furniture:

  • Regularly clean with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly. Do not use abrasive cleaners. You can also use a small scrubbing brush to clean intricate areas of your wrought iron.
  • Immediately touch up any chipped or scratched surfaces to avoid rust.
  • Cover or store your furniture indoors during winter months.

     

  • In order to avoid rust, keep the surfaces clean and free from dust and debris. Be sure to wipe down frequently with warm, soapy water and dry completely. It’s also important to touch up scratches and chips as soon as you can. You can also get your wrought iron to shine by lightly sponging with a mixture of baking soda and water, and then allowing to dry completely. 

Tip:Painted wrought iron surfaces can be periodically polished with automotive wax to protect them and maintain their luster. After the wax has dried, buff the iron with a soft cloth to create an attractive shine. Waxed surfaces are also less likely to collect dust and dirt, and less likely to rust”. – TheSpruce.com

More on Commercial Seating

Looking to upgrade your outdoor patio furniture? Check out our articles on buying restaurant and bar furniture.