The Q&A Archives: Painting Patio Furniture

Question: I have a cast aluminum table and chairs that are blue verdi in color. I would like to paint it black. Are there any dos and don'ts with regard to painting cast aluminum? The set sits in the outdoor sun all year.

Answer: Sounds like a good springtime project! Here's how: Remove all cushions, plastic parts and accessories before you decide to start painting. Take the furniture to a safe area where paint spills will not damage the surroundings. If this is not possible, cover the ground with a large piece of plastic and place the furniture on top of it. Wash the aluminum carefully using a metal sponge and mild detergent. This will remove debris, loosen paint and overcoating and make the surface smooth enough to accept the paint without bubbling. Remove any rust using a brush or a commercial rust remover. You may need to go through this process several times if the areas covered in rust are large or deep. Wash the furniture again with detergent and use a brush to remove any lose rust or paint parts. Paint the aluminum furniture with either a brush or spray paint. For small pieces of furniture, spray paint makes more sense, as it will get into creases and corners evenly, without bubbling up and missing any areas. Large pieces, including tabletops and chairs, can be painted with brushes and rustproof paint. Let the paint dry before applying a second coat. This is especially important if you removed a lot of paint or rust or if the base color is too dark and there is a chance it will show through the new paint. Dry the furniture in an area that is protected from rain and strong winds. Such conditions can make flying debris stick to the wet paint. Best wishes with your project!

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