I found these chairs behind my parents' shed. Not only are they too beautiful to lay rusting away, but they also belonged to my grandparents. Once my patio was complete, I brought these out to try and bring them back to life.
They were not in very good shape, covered in rust and peeling paint. Before painting, they needed to be sanded to get as much of the rust off as possible and to smooth out the surface. This process can be done with most metal outdoor furniture.
(Please note: Anything painted before 1978 could contain lead. Please take precaution, as sanding lead paint is not recommended.)
On one chair, I was able to use the wire brushes and sand by hand. It wasn't perfectly smooth, but it still came out well. The other chair was so rusty that I had to use a palm sander.
Once smoothed, I used Rust-Oleum primer to prime the chairs. You can get a spray primer, but I wanted a heavier coating than what you can achieve with the spray. If you are working with furniture that has less rust, the spray should be sufficient.
I used this spray paint. The chairs needed two coats. I found it easiest to do both coats on the top first and then turn the chairs over to do the bottom. Once dry, I used an outdoor spray lacquer to help protect them.
Finished! They are not perfectly smooth, but compared to what they looked like before, I think they look great.