…how to paint outdoor metal furniture

I bet many of you out there are experimenting with painting your outdoor furniture. And you should! Got old wicker and metal dining sets where the color no longer works for you? Instead of buying expensive, new pieces painting is always a good and inexpensive option. Why not try it before you make any decisions about opening your wallet?

I refinished two side tables for a client a few weeks ago. The yellow no longer worked and I painted them Duck Egg. Here is the before:


Here is the after in Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint.





There are a few important things to know before you paint your outdoor pieces.

1. Go slowly. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

2. Feather on your paint in thin coats. You will need several coats for coverage.

3. Let paint dry between coats of paint.

4. You will not be able to sand like you can wood because you will see metal or the original undercoat color. You can sand the paint if you need to clean it up, but then you will want to do touch-ups.

5. Go over your piece and do touch ups. You will find with thin metals bars like this that there are many touch-ups to do.

5. Be sure to paint the underside. Many times there are cut outs of designs on your outdoor pieces. You will want to paint the underside to make sure that the original color does not show.

6. Clear wax. Technically you do not want to put clear wax on your outdoor pieces because the wax will melt. If pieces are not in direct sun I will sometimes use a very LIGHT coat.

Here is a set for the same client that I am working on. I have done a Video Tutorial to show you all the steps I outlined. I will post it this week.



  1. Sharon Bradshaw says:

    Hi Christen,

    I have just finished painting a cast iron flower urn in Old Ochre but after it dried some rust spots have come through. I did scrape off some rust prior to painting. Should I shellac over the rust and then repaint or just repaint?

  2. Tammy Van Pamel says:

    Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas. I see that you do not recommend wax. Do you recommend poly (spray or paint brush) or is it ok to leave the piece with nothing over the paint?

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