How to Upcycle Vintage Outdoor Patio Furniture to be Modern & on Trend again

Before & After Vintage Metal Chair upcycling DIY project to try this weekend
Upcycling old furniture is huge at the moment, you would have seen the trend become huge among Tik Tok Home Decorators and Furniture Flipping influencers. In this post, I will show you my latest wrought iron chair upcycling project and how you can do the same to your old outdoor metal patio furniture to restore it to be modern and on-trend.

VINTAGE WROUGHT IRON CHAIR UPCYCLED DIY

I have had this retro metal patio rocking chair for about 15 years and have let it sit in the sun and slowly rust. This chair was my grandparents and I always loved it, so when my Pop passed away, I was happy to place it in my garden and continue to adore it.
Before & After Vintage Metal outdoor rocking Chair upcycling DIY project to try this weekend
Over the last 6 months, I have been slowly renovating and redoing my backyard garden deck and decided to restore this retro beauty to its former glory and have it be a highlight on my deck.

Below are the simple steps and products I used and the before and after of my restored vintage wrought iron chair. This is a super easy furniture upcycle project for beginners and those who love vintage furniture styles.

HOW TO UPCYCLE & PAINT OLD METAL OUTDOOR PATIO FURNITURE TO NEW

DIY UPCYCLE METAL CHAIR SUPPLIES
  1. Vintage Retro piece of outdoor patio furniture
  2. Metal brush
  3. Basic tools (screwdriver, saw etc depending on your piece)
  4. Sandpaper, steel wool
  5. Liquid Soap, cloth & water
  6. Plastic sheet
  7. Rust Proof Spray Paint
The paint I used was 
Rust-Oleum Gloss Ultra Cover 2X Spray Paint from Bunnings. 

I choose Gloss because it was originally high gloss and it's easier to keep clean outdoors. I also used white as my outdoor living area is very coastal, fresh and modern.

You can find a huge variety of spray paints that are suitable for outdoor use and also for rust, so have a look in your local hardware store for what is available to you.
vintage outdochair upcycle tik tok diy to modern on trend outdoor living furniture

EASY STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO PAINT AN OUTDOOR METAL CHAIR

This furniture upcycle tutorial can be used on most outdoor furniture, from chairs, tables, lounges, coffee tables, dining tables, plant stands and planters. 
vintage outdochair upcycle tik tok diy to modern on trend outdoor living furniture
STEP 1
Find your vintage furniture piece if you do not already have one. You can look on local Facebook marketplace ads, Gumtree for fellow Australians or Craigslist for U.S etc

The best and FREE place to find vintage furniture is on the side of the road when people put out their furniture for the council rubbish removal programs. Save furniture from landfill and make it usable again. 
vintage outdoor furniture upcycle to modern on trend living furniture
STEP 2
Place your furniture piece on an area that can get dirty or you can clean easily. I placed my rocking chair on a plastic paint sheet over the grass.

Loose Rust can stain white concrete or even decks so be careful where you place your piece to do your DIY as after you have sanded the rust it can go everywhere.
Get rid of old rust and recycle metal outdoor patio furniture upcycling DIY project tutorialGet rid of old rust and recycle metal outdoor patio furniture upcycling DIY project tutorial
STEP 3
Rip off any old cushions and unscrew the base if needed. The original cushion on my vintage chair was a burgundy vinyl and glued down to a board that was screwed into the base of the under chair
Vintage metal outdoor patio furniture upcycling DIY project tutorial
STEP 4
If the rust is thick, use a metal brush to scrape off the rust. Use a back and forward motion and work on every section. Start from one side to the other. If your rust is light, you can just use some steel wool.

Use normal sandpaper to go over all the arms, legs etc to smooth off any metal sections where the rust was prominent. 

STEP 5
Clean off any dirt, loose rust and sanded metal. Use some dishwasher liquid or sugar soap in some warm water and clean all over with a cloth, ensuring you get into every crack and hole.

Leave to dry fully in the sun.

STEP 6
Place down a plastic drop sheet in a well-ventilated area to paint. I paint in the middle of my yard on the grass.

Using slow motions, spray a thin coat over all the metal sections.  Leave to dry. Check your spray brands tin instructions for how long the required drying time is. 

Turn the wrought iron piece upside down and spray again, this will get the under sections you would have missed if the retro design has a pattern or a lot of curves in its metal design like mine does.

Paint the whole chair again another few times, drying in between coats. The more paint the better. Do not do thick coats, instead, do more thin coats as you may get paint runs and it will take a long time to dry.

Re-painting metal furniture is an easy method to use and will continue to keep your outdoor furniture "like new" again for years to come.
Retro metal outdoor patio furniture upcycling DIY project tutorialRetro wrought iron outdoor furniture restore DIY project tutorial
STEP 7
My husband drew a template with some old cardboard for the seat section because of its unique shape and cut out some wood we had in the garage. The edges were sanded and then both were screwed onto the base
Retro wrought iron outdoor furniture upcycling DIY project tutorial
STEP 8
The final step was to add a seat cushion. I choose not to glue it down or do a moulded cushion like the original vintage design because I want the versatility to change the look whenever I change the rest of my outdoor furniture decor. This way I can take the chair with me to future homes and upcycle again to match future trends.

This outdoor furniture upcycling is the perfect weekend project for beginners and to revamp an old piece of retro furniture you love.

I hope you love this retro upcycle as much as I do, even though it is not what I normally share I think it's a great easy project and might inspire to save metal furniture from landfill. Once I finish doing my outdoor living area, I might share a post and feature this chair again. 

Before & After Vintage Metal Chair upcycling DIY project to try this weekend
Do you have a Vintage Furniture piece you would like to upcycle?
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Before & After Vintage Metal outdoor rocking Chair upcycling DIY project to try this weekend




2 comments

  1. It looks great and I am sure you will get many more years from it. Laura

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, I hope so too. rock away my years drinking tea lol

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