Friday, June 18, 2010

How To Paint Cast Iron Furniture

I ran across this old cast iron chair and love seat at a garage sale. Talk about heavy! Wow! It was all I could do to load it up. I wasn't sure how old these pieces were when I bought them, but when I examined the bottoms I saw the makers name. They were made by the Atlanta Stove Works, which went out of business in 1930. They both had some rust, especially the chair, so I bought them pretty reasonably. The chair was $5 and the love seat was a little more.




Here is the bottom of the chair. You can see here how the paint was badly chipping and rust was setting in. I decided to use some elbow grease and a wire brush to knock off the loose stuff. I could have taken the set to a professional sand blaster, but I didn't want to pit the antique iron by doing that. I also could have treated it chemically, but rust removal chemicals can be really harsh to work with.



After brushing like crazy for a while it was time to paint. I wanted a painted finish that I was not going to have to be repainted constantly, so I went with oil based Rust-oleum Rusty Metal Primer and oil based Rust-oleum Semi-Gloss White. I started with 2 coats of primer. I used a very inexpensive "chip brush" that I had lying around.





It was really hot outside the day I started this project. It was around 90 outside. I did that on purpose. Oil based paint typically takes a long time to dry and I wanted a few good hot days to complete this project. I allowed 24 hours between each coat of paint that I applied. So, this was about a 5 day project. Even after 24 hours at 90 degrees the paint is still not what I would call totally cured. Total curing will take several days.






Above is how the furniture looked after the primer coat was applied. Another reason to apply the paint in hot weather is that the paint is a not as thick going on. The thinner paint enables it to seep into all the tiny paint cracks and rusty spots that I couldn't get off with a wire brush.




Here is the chair on top an old table during the painting process. By the way, if you have never used oil-based paint, it is a runny mess at times. I recommend dipping your brush into the can no more than about 1/4" at a time. Less paint on the brush means less runs and drips. You should also keep a rag and some mineral spirits handy to wipe your hands on and for touch ups. Wear clothes you are not afraid to throw away. Oil based paint will not wash out of your good jeans.




Here is the love seat.




My outdoor vignette.



The birdhouse is one I made. I did a post on it a few days ago. Here is the link in case you missed the post.

Birdhouse

60 comments:

Jamee said...

amazing find! they turned out beautiful!!

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

Fantastic makeover! Thanks for the great tips.

simplydesigning.blogspot.com said...

Wow!! Great find and a fab make over!

Thanks so much for linking up!

Sally J said...

You sure can tell the difference between the old pieces and the new ones. Not only are they really heavy, they just have a more substantial look about them too. These were a great find, and the restoration turned out beautifully.
www.divinedistractions.blogspot.com

The Autocrat: Haley said...

oooo I love them white!! Looks good!

Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

That is a great find and the chair was only 5 bucks! They both turned out great. Thanks for sharing...Julian

Kimberly said...

What a beautiful vignette. You found and saved two absolutely beautiful pieces of iron work! You do have much more patience than I would. I think I would see that rust and just give up. But your work has been rewarded with some beautiful furniture. :)

Found you through Frugal Friday!

xoxo,
Kimberly

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

You got those at a YARD SALE??? wow. They looks so pretty painted white~you can really tell that these aren't reproductions.

Katie said...

Wow, looks awesome!

Susan said...

OOh how gorgeous!! You made them look so good.

Cat said...

Love it!! I'm working on something similar from a craigslist find. Wire brushes were a huge help for me too! Love your finished product!
xoxo,
Cat @ BudgetBlonde

Pat Harris said...

How beautiful. What a great find. I would have toted it home too. You did a really nice job painting it. Looks super.

Debbie said...

This is a fabulous makeover....I love your outdoor vignette...looks like it could be in a mag!

Lori S. said...

Simply gorgeous!

~Lori@live,laugh,love,create :)

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Another great job. We need you working with us!

Proper Prim said...

What an amazing find and makeover. They look absolutely gorgeous now. You really scored on those two. Great job.

Hugs, Deb

Katie @ Chirp in the Forest said...

I love those old Victorian patio sets - but they do always seem to be rusted out don't they? You really brought them back to life - they are beautiful and perfect complements to your bird house. Do you have a garden? It would be fun if you did a tour sometime in a post :)

CIELO said...

Perfect! Don't you just love refurbishing things that others would normally throw or give away... is like giving another life to things, and all done by you! Amazing... and so rewarding.

Thanks for participating inour "SOYCM"!

cielo

Sheila @ Dodging Raindrops said...

Beautiful! What a great find.

Stephanie Cameron said...

Beautiful! Thanks for the tips on oil paint!!

Life in Rehab said...

That turned out just gorgeous!

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

Lucky find!!! And the end result is fabulicious!!!

Atelier de Charo said...

Fantastic transformation! Looks great.

Hugs
Charo

Sarah @ The Pumpkin Patch said...

Wow! These look like a completely different set. You can't even tell they are the same ones.

Thanks for linking to Messy Monday!

Chris said...

Great job! I love them in white, and appreciate that you took the time to do it right.

Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming said...

Simply amazing transformation! The white looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing these great tips - I would love to find a set like that. Fantastic job! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase! I greatly appreciate it. Hope you have a wonderful week. ~ Stephanie Lynn

Jami said...

Thank you for this tut. I recently painted a wrought iron table and was unhappy with the chipping. I think I was not curing it long enough after the primer. I may go at it again. :)

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Jami,

You are quite welcome. I am glad it was helpful to you. That's why I am here.

Please let me know if you have questions when you tackle it again.

Make sure you use oil based paint..

Have a terrifiv day!

Rory

Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming said...

Hi Rory, Just wanted to let you know I'll be featuring your cast iron set today! Stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase Party! ~ Stephanie Lynn

MessyMissy said...

What a nice find!! How lucky!! They came out beautifully. I love the bridhouse with it as well.

★All Thingz Related★ said...

You cleaned that right up now didn't you! Looks great! Always love a how to! Thanks for joining us for Anything Related #12! ~Bridgette

Julie @ Frugal and Fabulous Design said...

What a transformation! You gotta love the power of elbow grease and paint.

Thanks for linking up to Fab Friday -

Cheers!

Leanne said...

Beautiful! Thanks for linking to We're Organized Wednesday.

Sarah @ Hennessey House said...

holy CRAP, you got those for a STEAL! aaaaand you made them beautiful. very well done!! i am impressed :)

Tara Beaulieu said...

$5?! I'll say you got them for a reasonable price! And amazing what a ton of elbow grease and some paint will do, isn't it? They look awesome, great job!

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Tara,

It really pays to hit those garage sales early in the day sometimes. It was dark and they were not finished setting up when I arrived at this particular garage sale.
Glad you stopped by.

Rory

Dawn said...

Wow! Thanks for the painting tips and now I hope I can find something as gorgeous at a garage sale so I can put the tips to use!

Coloradolady said...

Great price!! I love how these turned out, I need to repaint some vintage lawn chairs too, just have not had a chance! Have a great VTT!

Postcardy said...

Those are beautiful chairs. They don't look very comfortable, however.

Grannys Attic said...

They turned out beautiful. Blessings, Vicky

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

I am so glad you saved these lovely pieces. They look lovely in your yard.

Elizabeth said...

Fabulous find - they look wonderful now!

Rene @ cottage and vine said...

I love old iron furniture! Looks great you lucky girl :)

-Rene

Kaysi said...

WOW, it doesn't even look like the same furniture! I LOVE the white!

Anna Matthews said...

Gorgeous chairs and what great finds. Thank you so much for sharing your process with us.

LV said...

It is amazing what you can do with a little time and effort. You did a marvelous job on these chairs.

La Maison Reid said...

Thanks for the tutorial. Pick a bench up for FREE in front of someone's house (yes...it said FREE right on it!) so this summer I'll have to redo it. Yours turned out great.

creativejewishmom.com said...

Hi Rory, Great to have you again on Craft Schooling Sunday, thanks for sharing all of your great info!
all the best!

Terry @ La Bella Vie said...

Oh this is so wonderful! I love the vintage pieces and they all turned out so wonderful...can you come help me too?
I am now following and would like to extend the invitation to come follow along with my and my little blog if you would like. I can't wait to see the next project!
Terry

Cheryl said...

Wow - a lot of work & it paid off! These are lovely!

My Magic Mom said...

You were more diligent than I would have been with scraping off the rust. I would have just slapped some paint on top of them and called it a day!

Those came out great.

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

Those turned out GORGEOUS! Great tutorial too.

RecycleCindy said...

Wow what an absolutely beautiful restore you did on those cast iron pieces. I love your outdoor vignette and only wish I could be so lucky to find something like that at a garage sale.

Sally Lee by the Sea said...

What a great deal!! The finished set looks fabulous...great job!

Have a beachy day...

Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea
http://nauticalcottageblog.com

Its So Very Cheri said...

Wow what a find.

Another fav.

Cheri

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Wow Rory, you did a great job and thanks for the tutorial. I have been looking for a set of fancy iron with a table. Yard sales are my best bet. Wish me luck on my finding a set.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Paula said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I just scored a wrought iron headboard and footboard that I intend to paint soon. Your tips really came in handy!

Denise said...

Great job. Those pieces are wonderful - you really got an amazing deal!

I hope you don't mind. I linked your post to my Porch and Garden Party at firstadream.blogspot.com.

Carolyn said...

That was a steal of a deal! I love how it looks now.

Carolyn

FineArtPainting said...

wow, this is very well done!

so, I am inviting you:
come link up your tutorial on our site so our readers can find you too:
http://www.finecraftguild.com/diy-tutorial-linky-party-15/

new party opens each Wednesday so be sure to post your future DIY tutorials also. the party page will be posted on the home page.

see you soon!
have a happy decorating day