Give new life to old lawn furniture, revitalize an old plant stand to fill with colorful geraniums, or recycle a weather-beaten, wrought-iron table and chairs with a quick, spray-painted face-lift.
You can complete this weekend project easily and inexpensively, even if youre a first-time do-it-yourselfer, by cleaning and deglossing the metal surface, priming any rusty spots, and spraying on the topcoat.
Youll need these tools and materials: a drop cloth, rags, sandpaper, wire brush, and scrap wood or a board. Buy three paint products: a liquid deglosser to clean and dull the old finish to help the new topcoat bond to the old surface, a metal primer to cover rusty areas to prevent chipping, and a topcoat of tough high-gloss enamel spray paint. This winning combination protects and preserves metal surfaces for years to come.
Work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Set the furniture on scrap wood on top of a drop cloth so it raises the piece slightly, allowing spray paint to completely cover the bottom of the furniture. Plan the project so you can follow the recommended drying time noted on the can. Spray paint dries quickly, so plan to do more than one application in an afternoon. Youll get the best results by applying several light applications of paint instead of one heavy coat that tends to cause drip marks.
First, use a wire brush to remove loose and flaking paint. Scrape the brush back and forth over all areas where the paint finish is loose. Use sandpaper to lightly sand the rusty rough areas where the paint has peeled or blistered. Wash off any caked dirt or grease with soap and water and let dry.
Next, apply a liquid deglosser (about $5 a quart), which cleans and dulls old surfaces. Moisten a soft rag and wipe over the surface no larger than a 2-foot square at a time. Apply sparingly, keep cloth moistened, and change the wiping rag frequently.
Then spray rust or bare metal spots with a rust-inhibiting metal primer (about $3.50 a can).
Finally, apply the topcoat of protective enamel (about $3.50 a can). Shake the can for one minute after the mixing ball begins to rattle and frequently shake during use. Hold the can upright about 12 to 16 inches from the surface and spray. Move the can in a steady back-and-forth motion parallel to the surface you are painting and overlap each stroke. For professional results, keep the can the same distance from the surface and in motion while spraying.