Painting Iron Garden Benches

1 Strip off the finish

The highly decorative ends of iron garden benches have often suffered from neglect: the visible parts may have been painted while the ‘inside’ edges have been forgotten. Dismantle the bench before you work on it to help you reach the less accessible areas. Strip off the paint using a chemical stripper.

2 Neutralize

When all the stripper and old paint has been removed, the metal surface should be neutralized with clean water. Use a household brush to scrub the metal, making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies.

3 Apply rust inhibitor

Carefully check the bare metal for spots of rust and apply a rust converter or inhibitor and leave it to penetrate the surface for at least half an hour before removing with fine-grade wire wool.

4 Finish

Intricate shapes and surfaces are best repainted using a spray or aerosol applicator. Choose an appropriate metal paint – they are available in finishes such as ‘shiny’ or a ‘hammered’ finish. When dry, reassemble the bench seat.

Useful Tips – Spray Painting

  • Applying paint with a spray gun or aerosol is the quickest and most efficient way to paint large areas and 3-dimensional objects. Keep the aerosol or spray gun about 225mm (9in) from the object and pull or depress the trigger.
  • Keep the gun or can moving using even parallel movements and overlap each line of spray by about 100mm (4in).
  • Clean the nozzle of the spray gun or aerosol between coats otherwise it will clog up as the paint dries.
  • Spray paint will go everywhere, so, where possible, work outdoors or carefully mask off surrounding areas.
  • Always follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines regarding storage, use breathing masks and dispose of empty aerosols carefully: never puncture the cans and don’t attempt to incinerate them.
  • Contact your local authority for advice on the disposal of low-grade chemical waste, such as paints and solvents. Don’t ever discharge them into the water course.
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