How to Protect Metal Furniture from Rust Damage

2 Comment(s) | Posted | by Norm Kotoch, Jr. |

Rust on chairIron, water and oxygen have the ability to mix in a powerful reactive force to form rust.

Rust is synonymous with corrosion, and once it begins, it’s easily spread, breaking down surrounding elements of the item ever so slowly. Consider the following quick tips to help protect your furniture against rust build-up.

Keep in a Dry Environment with Protective Covers

Moisture is a critical component in rust creation. If metal furniture is kept outside, rain and snow will readily react with naturally present iron (found in the furniture) and oxygen (found in the air). 

Invest in a cover that serves as a protective layer for your items. At the very least, place furniture underneath a patio or porch roof to decrease contact with precipitation.

Clean Regularly with Warm Water and a Dry Cloth

Rust isn’t a reaction that happens instantaneously. It’s gradual.

Even if your items do not appear to be under distress, looks can deceive. You never know when a reaction could be bubbling under the surface. Assess your items on a regular basis and note abnormalities—discoloration, scratches or debris smudges.

Even if the item looks fine on the surface, clean gently with warm water and a cloth. Then wipe dry with another cloth to avoid moisture settling in. If soap is required, only use mild dish detergent to maintain the piece’s finish. 

Sand Scratches and Scrapes

Even a little mark can lead to larger problems, as scratches leave room for dirt and dust to set in and an increased chance for rust to appear.

Should you find a scratch on one of your pieces, sand the area around it to level the surface. Once successfully sanded, add a layer of metal polish over the entire surface for a consistent finish. 

What steps will you take to keep metallic items shining like new? Share with us in the comment section below.

Image Source: Angela Schmeidel Randall under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic


  1. Elton's avatar
    | Permalink
    The main challenge which i have found while furniture shopping is finding distinctive items which still
    go with each other. I'm thinking about making a theme on Elton simply
    so I can adhere to the one period of time or color scheme.
  2. James Bergman's avatar
    James Bergman
    | Permalink
    I don't think it is possible to avoid moisture getting to your metal furniture even if you do your best to keep them dry. So, washing them often is probably the best thing you can do. The only other thing you could do is to try and make sure you got metal furniture that had been powder coated to prevent rust. However, even then you will have to watch out for scratches that let the moisture in to the metal.

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