A few weeks ago on my Instagram I shared the before, during, and after of this vintage glider bench, so I thought I would share a bit more of the process here on the blog. When I initially decided to revamp this rusted bench from the 1950’s, I thought it would be a fairly grueling task, but the reality was that with a little bit of determination and a lot of steel wool and paint I was able to give new life to this classic piece.
1 very old and very rusty bench, chair, or other metal patio furniture
Spray paint primer in white or gray.
Spray paint (I used Sun Yellow, Marigold, and Orange)
This bench previously belonged to my step-dad’s grandmother in the 1950’s. I wanted a bench to place in my garden so I had a place to rest, have a beer, and enjoy the space I had created and I knew this piece would be perfect, not to mention a nice way to incorporate some family history.
Step 1: Remove the rust. I suggest wearing a pair of gloves or your fingers will be stained with rust. Dip a handful sized chunk of steel wool in some water and get to scrubbing. Wipe away rust periodically with a damp rag. I spread this process out over a few days so my arms and fingers weren’t exhausted.
Step 2: After majority of the rust is removed give it a final wipe down with a damp rag. Once dry, coat it with a thick layer of primer in a well-ventilated area. Allow primer to dry completely (about 30 to 45 minutes).
Step 3: To create the ombre effect, start at the bottom. Give it 1 to 2 coats of paint and then move on with the next color. When blending in the next shade, hold the can a bit further away and lightly spray over your first color where the two will meet. It creates a nice fade rather than an abrupt line and color change. I also lightly sprayed the tops of the arm rest bars to fade those down as well.
Finish off with your third color and allow the whole piece to dry for 1 to 2 hours.
There’s a few areas on my bench that I plan on touching up so the color is more opaque, but all in all I’m very happy with the end result! You can use a clear topcoat to preserve your paint job and prevent it from rusting again so quickly, but I’m actually going to let mine get a little weathered before I seal it.
An easy and cheap way to restore a great piece of patio furniture that will hopefully hold up another 60 to 70 years!
Questions? Comments? Have you restored an old piece of metal furniture for your home too? Leave your comments below and stay tuned for more garden progress updates!