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Prevent Wrought Iron Patio Furniture From Rusting

In the world of outdoor patio furniture, certain materials are far more popular than others. While some, such as rattan, have come in and out of style for decades, others remain popular in spaces and are considered a classic material. Wrought iron is one of those finishes. Initially coming on the scene at the beginning of the 20th century, wrought iron patio furniture has evolved in both style and composition since it’s initial popularity.

Still, whether you’re shopping new or vintage, one common problem remains- rust. Rust has plagued metal patio furniture lovers for decades. Figuring out how to solve the problem can be frustrating. Here’s five things you can do to keep your wrought iron furniture set looking like new.

1. Clean Wrought Iron Patio Furniture Regularly

In a perfect world, setting up furniture on your deck would be the end of the legwork required to keep your outdoor space looking great. Unfortunately in the case of wrought iron, ongoing upkeep is needed. Avoiding rust is easiest if you take the time and care to regularly clean your pieces.

Rust forms more easily when the surface of your iron becomes worn. Clearing and cleaning dirt, sand, and other particulates from the surface of the furniture will help keep wear and tear from occurring. Simply wipe your furniture monthly with warm water and non-intrusive soap. Allow to dry completely, and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.

2. Epoxy or Enamel 

The best offense is a good defense. This is true when it comes to keeping wrought iron looking great. Because of the prevalence of rusting metal furniture, many companies now sell metal protectants. These protectants create an effective barrier between your furniture and the outdoor elements.

There are many options on the market. Some of the most popular include primers, epoxy enamels, and silicon coatings. To use, coat your furniture in a thin, even layer of the protectant and allow it to dry in a protected space. Exposure to rain or dust during the drying process can cause unevenness in the protection, and create a poor finish to the furniture.

When done correctly, regular sealing of your wrought iron will greatly extend its lifespan as a central fixture in your outdoor space.

3. Lift, Don’t Drag

Even the best of us get lazy sometimes. If you’ve ever found yourself dragging your furniture from one end of the patio to another, we understand. But what you may not know is that this innocent behavior can do significant damage.

When you drag your furniture across a rough surface such as stone or concrete, you are creating rough scratches and marks on the surface of the wrought iron. As discussed, these scratches allow a perfect place for future rust to form. The more damaged the surface of your furniture is, the greater the opportunity for rust.

Fortunately, preventing this damage is easy. If you have to move your furniture, plan ahead. Get a family member or friend to help you rearrange the space if need be. Simply lifting and setting furniture gently down will prevent the common damage done by dragging a chair or table across rough, uneven hardscaping.

4. Avoid Moisture

They say everyone has a weakness. Wrought iron’s weakness is moisture. Anyone who has been around metal for extended periods of time knows that water and metal don’t mix. And when they do mix, rust can quickly form. For those of us living in wetter or more seasonal climates, this means a little extra legwork is required to extend the life of your furniture.

If you experience rainy springs or snowy winters, covering your wrought iron pieces is imperative to extending their life. If you have the storage space, consider bringing them inside to avoid the elements altogether. At the end of the day, if you don't want to be outside in the weather, your wrought iron furniture probably doesn’t want to be sitting outside in it either.

5. Catch Rust Early

At the end of the day, it’s hard to permanently prevent all signs of rust, especially on outdoor wrought iron furniture. However, you can prevent large amounts of damaging rust by catches signs of it early.

If you check your pieces often, you are more likely to catch the first few specks and address the problem before it spreads. To fix small spots of rust, sand them away with a material such as steel wool or sandpaper. From there, seal with an aforementioned epoxy and continue with regular maintenance.

When given the love and attention it needs, wrought iron patio furniture can have an incredibly long life. The material has enjoyed lasting popularity for decades. With new applications being offered by websites every day, it’s not likely to go out of style any time soon.

This being said, taking the steps to prevent damage are important. Make the most of your investment, and prevent wrought iron rust before it takes hold.

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