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How to Refinish an Old Metal Porch Glider

Lisa East Hunter

Old metal porch gliders are available at flea markets, resale stores and online. Just like other vintage metal patio furniture, gliders are gaining popularity with designers and homeowners. Many are over 40 years old and are in desperate need of restoration.

The first task in refinishing a metal glider is removing the rust. Once all of the rust has been removed, the glider can be restored to its original shine with a little paint and put to great use in your garden or patio.

  1. Fill a bucket with dish washing liquid and water. Clean the glider to remove grease, dirt and cobwebs from its surface. Allow the glider to dry completely and move it onto a drop cloth.

  2. Brush any visible rust with a steel-bristled brush. Remove as much rust as possible with the brush.

  3. Spray the glider with phosphoric acid. The acid will react with any remaining rust that you are unable to see and convert it to iron phosphate. Allow the chemical to work on the glider overnight. Use a steel-bristled brush to go over the glider to remove all of the phosphate crust.

  4. Wash the glider again using dish washing liquid and water to remove any chemicals that are still sitting on the surface of the metal. Allow the glider to dry completely.

  5. Tape off and newspaper any areas of the glider that you do not wish to paint or wish to paint a contrasting color, such as arm rests.

  6. Spray paint the glider using a rust-proof, outdoor paint formulated for metal. Rustoleum and Krylon make this type of paint in a variety of color choices. Use a steady back and forth motion, slightly overlapping each stroke of the spray can until the glider is completely covered. Allow to dry for 30 minutes then apply a second coat of paint.

  7. Tip

    Fix drip marks by sanding with fine grit sandpaper and touching up the paint with a light pass of the spray paint.