Restoring Wrought Iron Garden Furniture

22 Oct 2012
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United Kingdom

I've got a wrought iron garden furniture set which is in need of some restoration. I've decided this will be my winter project so would like a little advice.

a) The wrought iron has corroded slightly but we like the weathered effect and would like to preserve this if possible. My two ideas have been to lacquer the metal or to use a car wax. I'd like to prevent it from corroding any more but keep the character. I think lacquer would be prone to chipping and make it look messy. Clear hammerite would be great but I'm pretty sure that doesn't exist.

b) The wood is rotten so needs replacing. I'd like to replace this with some good quality timber but not sure what. I've heard that oak or teak are good options but would need protecting well as they will be outside 12 months per year. Any ideas on the preferred timber for outside use.

Any advice would be gratefully received. Many thanks in advance.

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If your metalwork is genuine wrought iron, then corrosion will be slow .....however the metal will still need to be protected so treat the rust with something like Kurust by Hammerite (a pink liquid thats brushed on which turns blue black after reacting with the rust). After that, spray a matt black exterior enamel paint such as Japlac to keep it smart.
As for the timber, use oak if you can - it will weather to dark grey but hardly deteriorate at all. Teak or cedar is another option.
Use stainless steel screws for reassembly.
John :)
Thanks for your reply.

I think I'll use Oak. Will this need any protection? Varnish, wood stain etc?

I'm glad you said stainless screws, I'd figured stainless or brass but would have preferred stainless.

As for the wrought iron, do you know of any coating I could use without painting the metal. I'm keen to keep it looking as it does if possible. You said it would corrode slowly so maybe just a car wax would slow this process down even further.

Many thanks
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Using one of the various outdoor furniture treatments on oak will delay it from turning grey for a while, but at least this timber is fairly stable out of doors so it won't warp to any extent.
I can't think of anything particular that would enhance the wrought iron without painting - one way would be to heat the metal up and quench in oil but of course this isn't possible in your case.
Maybe a thin cellulose spray lacquer from car shops could be the way.
John :)

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