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How to spray paint metal garden furniture

Posted by Celtic Sustainables on

Our Andrea tells us how she gave her old mesh metal patio furniture a new lease of life in a few easy steps…

We must have had our little metal patio table and chairs for 10 years at least and although they were still sound to use, they’d started to look a bit flaky and tired (think less shabby-chic and more plain old shabby) - so this year I decided to try sprucing them up.

Metal Garden Furniture in need or repainting

This was the first time I’d tried anything like this before and I had zero knowledge of how to paint mesh metal patio furniture - but there’s a first time for everything and after a little bit of research, I felt ready to take on the challenge! 


The table and chairs are made of aluminium so I had to do some investigation to find a suitable metal furniture paint that was durable enough to cope with the changes in weather. In the end I plumped for Eico Alterior Satin paint together with its super tough stick-to-almost-anything Grepp V primer

As you can see from the pictures, the chairs had suffered more than the table over the years with flaking and chipped paint, so they took a little more time to prepare… 

Preparing metal garden furniture before spray painting

I started by scrubbing off all the loose paint with a wire brush and followed on with some course (80 grit) sandpaper. This uncovered a few more areas of flaky paint at times, so I did a bit of juggling between wire brush and sandpaper until everything was sound and the surfaces were all scuffed, giving them a good key ready for painting. Lastly, I gave everything a thorough wash down to remove any dust and left them to dry.

Andrea's partner modelling the paint sprayer Andrea used to paint her metal garden furniture

Following the guidance in the Grepp V datasheet, I thinned down the primer with 10% water and gave it a good mix before loading it into my sprayer. I did some test spraying on an old piece of board to start, adjusting the nozzle and air flow until I got a smooth even application of paint, then it was time to start painting our metal garden furniture. 

The chairs were a little bit tricky because of their shape so I started with them upside down. Resting them on an old paint tin at an angle seemed to work best. From there I could spray the underside of the seats and most of the legs before turning them over and finishing the rest. 

The table was much easier although I still started with it upside down, spraying the stand and the underside of the table top, before turning it over to finish the top. 

Metal Garden Furniture sprayed with Grepp Primer

How to spray paint metal

Paint Spraying Tip: I found that if I started the sprayer to one side to get the paint flow going before moving it across the furniture in a sweeping motion, it gave me the most even results and helped to reduce a build-up of paint when I turned on the sprayer. (Too much paint all at once causes ripples or runs so it’s best to keep each coat pretty thin and build them up). 

Even with this method, I found that the intricate filigree design of the furniture caused a few little dribbles at times. This was most noticeable after the first coat of primer, because I was still finding my way with the sprayer and I think I must have been a bit heavy handed. Thankfully it wasn’t a problem. I just let everything to dry completely (overnight) and then with some fine sandpaper (150 grit), I carefully sanded any dribbles, before giving them a light second coat.

I repeated the whole process this time with 2 coats of Eico Alterior Satin Paint (colour: Island Blue) and again left them to dry each time overnight. Just like the primer, I found a few odd dribbles from the latticework on the first coat but a light sanding again before applying the second coat seemed to sort them out. After leaving everything to dry one final time, they was finished and ready to use…

Metal Garden Furniture spray painted with Eico Alterior Satin eco paint

Metal Garden Furniture Paint

Andrea's used tins after painting metal garden furniture

The Alterior range from Eico can be used to paint metal and wooden garden furniture when used with the Grepp V Primer. It can be either spray painted (as Andrea did here) or painted with a brush or roller.

For this project Andrea used about two thirds of a 0.9l tin of the Alterior Satin in Island Blue and about half a 750ml tin of the Grepp V Primer.

Eico Alterior paints are available in Matt, Eggshell, Satin and Gloss finishes in over 100 beautiful colours.