DIY: How to Paint a Vintage Wrought Iron Chair
My favorite deck chairs needed new paint:
My four wrought iron chairs used to be an ivory white when I got them for Mother's Day sometime in the last century. I wish I could put a date on them, but I cannot--it was that long ago. All I can remember is that my girls were still in grade school and they are now in their young thirties. If they could be sold on Etsy, they would definitely be classified as "vintage". The chair you see to the right is just one of the four chairs. The other three look just as good; in fact, they look almost young again!
About ten years ago, I gave my oldest daughter the chairs when she and her husband moved into their first home. Of course she did not like the ivory color (white really shows environmental dirt and mildew!) so she spray painted them black. Not knowing any better, she did not rough up the original paint before she applied the new. You can guess what happened--the black paint flaked off! After repainting the wrought iron chairs many times over many years with various shades of black and gray spray paint, she gave them back to me. She was tired of having to repaint them year after year.
Luckily, there was not much rust and what was there, could be sanded off with ease. These were well made chairs!
With good weather right around the corner, I decided to paint my chairs the right way!
A perfect DIY Project!
All images belong to me, Mickie_G - all rights reserved. Get permission to use.
Here is how I refurbished my 4 vintage wrought iron chairs:
Time required: Several days
- 4 wrought iron chairs
- 1 quart Rust-o-leum oil based flat black paint
- 2 cans Rust-o-leum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover spray paint
- Sanding block or sandpaper
- Hand held sander (optional)
- Wire brush
- Paint scraper
- Drop cloth if painting in doors
- Paint roller 3 inches wide
- Refills for roller
- Paint roller pan and a liner
1. Prepare the chair for new paint. Use a paint scraper or wire brush to remove paint that is loose. Also, scrape or sand off any rust that you can see.
I found that I could quickly get the loose old paint off the chairs by using a pressure washer. If you do not have one, get out the hose and adjust the nozzle to the thin "jet" spray. Turn your water tap on full blast. Allow the chairs to dry throughly.
2. Use sander, sandpaper or sanding block (see mine on the seat of the chair) to rough up the surface of any original paint that can not be removed.
NOTE: you do not have to get every bit of paint off of the chairs. Just make sure you get all the paint off that is flaking. The a paint scraper worked nicely for getting those loose bits off.
3. Put down a drop cloth and begin painting the wrought iron chair with the canned oil based, rust preventative paint. (I used a flat black paint by Rust-oleum) Spray paint is too expensive to use on the mesh of the chairs. I also think that most of the spray paint just goes into the air and not on the wrought iron. Give a hoot and don't pollute!
I used a roller with a cheap refill that I could just throw away. The 3 inch sized roller worked best for me. I also found that a thick nap on the rollers was great at getting in the nooks and crannies. I started to use a one inch brush to get the parts that the roller could not cover, but that did not work well. I easily painted the 4 chairs in one day. Oil paint takes a while to dry (8 hours between coats for me). I probably gave each chair 2 coats of the canned paint. I kept seeing the old paint colors peeking through and attacked each spot with more paint.
4. The next day, finish up by using spray paint. It is not possible to get all the nooks and crannies with a paint roller and it takes too long using a small brush. The Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Flat Black Spray Paint by Rust-oleum works very well and dries fast. That product is a primer plus paint.
Highly Recommended Spray Paint for your outdoor wrought iron:
This Ultra Cover Rust-oleum paint has proven to be a winner! It covers very well and survived the harsh summer sun and a wet, cold winter.
I highly recommend it.