How to Protect Metal Patio Furniture From Rust

rust prevention on metal patio furniture

Nothing brings life to your patio like classic metal furniture. Although it could be pricey, it’s strong and durable. But when left outside for a long time, rust may attack and damage it. And you don’t want to spend much money only for rust to ruin everything. So, how can you protect metal patio furniture from rust?

To prevent patio furniture from rusting, apply paste wax, grease, or coat the metal with a sealant spray. You can also keep the metal surface dry, cover it when not in use, and store it away during winter. And installing an awning will keep your patio free from water. Remember to maintain your furniture regularly, too.

In this article, we’ll cover all these ways in detail to help you protect your metal patio furniture.

1. Apply Paste Wax

Paste wax has excellent water-repelling qualities. So, applying it to your pieces will keep them free from the damaging effects of water. Before applying it, get rid of debris on the furniture, then wipe it down with a clean towel to remove dust. After that, clean the furniture with a moist towel and leave it to dry completely.

When the pieces are dry, use a paintbrush to apply the wax on the metal surfaces. You should ensure it gets to every corner, including the cracks and crevices. When you’re done, allow them to dry before use. You should consider reapplying paste wax whenever you clean the metal furniture.

2. Coat with a Sealant Spray

A sealant spray can protect your metal patio furniture against moisture. It comes in various colors. So, you don’t have to worry about whether it’ll blend with the aesthetics of your yard.

Before spraying, clean the pieces of furniture to remove dust. A light coat spray may be enough to seal them. But if you’re not satisfied, you can give them another spray. However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. After spraying, leave them to air dry for about four hours.

An alternative to sealant spray would be a bucket of paint that has rust-resistant properties. This would serve as a protective covering. And if you’ve been thinking about changing the color of your furniture, painting offers an excellent opportunity to do so.

3. Apply Grease or Oil

Grease and oil form a barrier against oxidation. So, when you apply them to metal surfaces, they protect them from rusting. You can use boiled linseed oil on your metal patio furniture. It forms a hard surface and dries quickly. Remember to clean the furniture before applying the oil.

It’s important to note that applying grease or oil isn’t a once-and-forget activity. It should become a maintenance routine. You can apply it once in three months to keep your metal pieces waterproof and weather-resistant.

4. Keep the Metal Surfaces Dry

One of the common causes of rust is excessive moisture. When water mixes with oxygen on a piece of iron, it leads to the formation of an oxide. This reaction causes rust, and if you don’t treat it immediately, it’ll expand and damage the entire structure.

Your metal patio furniture may be water-resistant, but you can’t be too careful. You should try to keep it dry because allowing water or moisture to sit on it for a long time will result in rusting. Therefore, as soon as you notice water on the furniture, wipe it off with a clean, dry towel.

5. Cover Your Patio Furniture

If you’re committed to keeping your metal patio furniture dry, you should go a step higher by covering it when not in use. It adds extra protection against water damage and offers a good alternative to storage. So, if you want a less stressful option, consider buying furniture covers.

These covers are waterproof and can keep your furniture dry and protected. And when you have guests, you can strip them off easily.

6. Store Your Metal Furniture During Winter

Truth be told, you won’t use your patio furniture all through the year, regardless of where you reside. Friends and relatives won’t come over every weekend for a barbeque and you may become too busy with work. We won’t forget to mention the winter season when all outdoor activities are grounded.

So, during this time, the wise thing to do is to move your patio furniture to a garage or store. You can bring out only what you need and then take it back afterward. But exposing your metal furniture to moisture and humidity depletes the anti-rust sealant or oil that you may have applied on it.

7. Install an Awning

Sometimes, bad weather comes without a sign, and you don’t want to get caught up in the rain. While you may catch a cold, your metal furniture will be worse hit because water is the primary agent of rust.

To protect your patio furniture from heat, wind, and rain, you should consider installing an awning or an overhead covering. You can also use a heavy-duty tarpaulin to prevent your patio from getting wet when there’s light rainfall.

8. Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is one sure way to prevent your metal patio furniture from rusting. Below are some DIY methods you can try.

Wash with a Mild Soap

A mild soap, like a dishwashing liquid, contains an alkali that can stop rust. It also contains oils that provide an invisible coating on the metal while giving it a fresh smell. So, consider washing your furniture to ward off all agents of rust.

Cleanse with Water and White Vinegar

White vinegar is an alkali solution that can get rid of tough stains. You can also use it to fight corrosion before it forms rust. To use it, mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of water, then use a brush to apply the mixture on the furniture.

You should pay more attention to areas that look stained. If the stain doesn’t come off, rub sandpaper on the affected areas.


Water can cause rust on metal furniture and even damage it. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to prevent it. You can apply rust-resistant spray, wax, or grease. These options add another layer to the metal. You can also opt for other protective measures like regular maintenance, covering the furniture, and storing it in a garage when the weather is bad.

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