In my last two house tour posts, I alluded to the fact that we’d already started a couple outdoor projects. Now that we’re finally finished, I can finally post about them! Both projects featured one of my new favorite DIY tools: Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint in Oil-Rubbed Bronze.
Inspired by Young House Love, I decided that our deck furniture had potential. It was a brave call – the metal was covered in chipping paint and rust.
The first step was to get rid of all of that. I used my handy-dandy coarse sanding block to start scrubbing. I could have used a wire brush attachment for our drill, but it didn’t seem necessary. The paint came off really easily. It didn’t require much physical effort – just a lot of time. In the next photo, the chair on the right is sanded, and the chair on the left is not.
As you can see, I didn’t sand off all the paint. Just enough to get a smooth surface. I probably could have sanded a lot less, but I knew that if I could see uneven spots, they’d bother me. So I sanded, and sanded, and sanded,and sanded some more. Carpal tunnel be damned!
Finally, it was time to move the furniture to a drop cloth, where I wiped it down with a damp rag to get rid of all the sanding dust.
My next step was to spray the rusty spots with Rust-oleum Rust Reformer. It’s really cool: it bonds with the rust and turns it into a paintable surface, while also preventing future rust. I sound like a Rust-oleum commercial right now, I know – so in the interest of full disclosure, Krylon makes a similar product.
I’ve found that when you’re spray-painting furniture that has to be coated on the top and bottom, it’s best to start with the bottom. That way, when you flip it over, only the feet touch the ground, and if they’re not dry and get smudged, it doesn’t really matter, because it’s not going to show.
I let the Rust Reformer dry for 24 hours, then got going with the spray paint. Unfortunately, this part of the process took almost a whole week, because a) I kept running out of spray paint and b) I kept running out of daylight after work. FYI: This project ended up using four cans. Yikes!
But when it was finally done, it was all worth it. Look how much better everything looks!
There are a few uneven spots from the paint underneath, but you can only see them if you look closely.
We even found some cushions for the chairs in a plastic storage unit on the deck! They don’t fit perfectly, but I think they look pretty nice with the umbrella, and they’re definitely comfy.
When you factor in the cost of the spray paint and Rust Reformer, this project cost about $35. Not bad, considering how much a brand-new metal furniture set would have cost!
While I was toiling away in the backyard, Brad was in the front fixing up our mailbox and mailbox post. They looked icky.
The wood was dirty, the main mailbox was banged up, a newspaper mailbox was taking up unnecessary space, and several house numbers were missing. His first step was to take the mailboxes off the post.
He used another can of ORB spray paint to cover the main mailbox, and we decided to ditch the newspaper mailbox. We also decided we wanted the mailbox post white, but it was in rough shape, so we figured we’d just use spray primer and white spray paint. In retrospect, we should have just replaced the whole thing, but we didn’t realize how tough it’d be to cover such beat-up wood. The spray paint, unfortunately, didn’t do the trick. After Brad put the mailbox back on, I went back over the post with some white latex paint I found in the garage, and that looked a little better.
You can’t tell from the pictures, but Brad also cut new wood pieces to screw the mailbox into. The ones on the original post were all rotted. Yuck.
We bought brand new oil-rubbed bronze house numbers from Lowes, but I only photographed the “1.” I’m sure you can imagine how pretty the rest are!
Like the deck furniture, it’s not perfect. But it looks a lot better than it did before, and it’ll hold us over until we can afford to replace the whole she-bang.
I still need to go over the post with some spar varnish. Interior latex, clearly, isn’t meant to be outside, and the post will probably start looking pretty rough if I don’t coat it soon. Here’s hoping I can find time this weekend!
What do you use YOUR spray paint for?