How to Refinish a Vintage Metal Glider

Old metal patio furniture has usually been repainted more than once, and if you don’t like the country primitive look it will need to be refinished. This is a good project for do-it-yourselfers who like to save money and get pleasure of taking something old and making it look new.

If you never have restored a vintage porch glider, it’s really fun. I’ll tell you some of the things I tried and didn’t like and some of the things that worked for me.

Here is my disclaimer: this is information on how I refinished a patio glider. You are responsible for your own safety. Wear safety equipment.

For the best looking vintage glider all the old paint has to come OFF to the metal. First I tried paint stripper, but it just gums up the paint and made a big mess so I moved on to something else very quickly. For starters I use a four inch grinder with coarse sand paper. You go over the whole glider but be careful not to put too much pressure on the grinder especially on the bottom of the seat down toward where your feet rest. That is the first spot to rust on these old gliders and if you are not careful you will knock a hole in it.

The coarse sand paper gets off the biggest part of the paint but in the corners of the design, such as the Pie Crust design, there is some paint left that needs to come off. They make a sanding wheel that looks like a flat Brillo pad that will fit on the 4″ sander and this works well removing the paint in the corners.

After you get all the paint removed wipe the dust off the glider with a little mineral spirits.

Now you are ready to paint your glider. I like to paint the gliders I’m working on two tone. I’ll get about 10 spray cans of grey primer, about 10 cans colored spray paint, about 5 cans of white and about 4 spray cans of clear paint, and a couple of rolls of masking tape.

I first paint the glider all over with the primer and let it dry about an hour, then I mask off the white areas of the bench, and then spray the color. I remove the masking tape as soon as I am through painting (if the paint was dry when the tape was removed the paint might chip).

After the colored paint is dry I mask off the colored paint wide enough not to get any white over spray on the color paint. As soon as I finish with the white paint I remove the masking tape and spray the clear coat on. I normally put about three coats of clear coat for that deep look.

Well that’s it! After a couple of hours you have a nice piece of out door furniture.

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