How to Prevent Patio Furniture from Rusting

Seeing rust in your patio furniture is a nightmare for just about everyone. You have this expensive patio furniture and spent tons of hard-earned money on it. But now you are looking at it and realizing that your patio furniture has started rusting. So how do you stop and prevent your patio furniture from rusting further?

Preventing your patio furniture from being exposed to moisture is the best way to prevent rust. Snow, water, and morning dew will rust your furniture before you know it. This could be because you haven’t taken the right measures to protect it.

Even though metal patio furniture is made of sturdy materials, it will still corrode over time due to the environment. However, you can use the various ideas below to stop and prevent your outdoor metal furniture from rusting. 

how to prevent patio furniture from rusting


Causes of Rust on Patio Furniture

Rust is a common and unwelcome visitor on outdoor metal furniture. If your metal patio furniture is left outside or unproperly cared for, it will likely rust over time. This can be a problem if you want your patio set to look good for years to come.

When you see rust on your patio furniture, taking action as soon as possible is important to get rid of it and prevent further damage.

There are several causes of rust on patio furniture, but all of them can be avoided with care and attention. Here are some of the most common causes of rust on patio furniture:

Exposure to moisture

If you live in a humid climate or don’t dry your outdoor metal furniture properly after it rains or washes it, you may notice rust spots on your chairs and tables. The continuous exposure of your metal furniture to moisture will make it worse. 

The reaction of iron and oxygen causes rust, and water acts as a catalyst for this reaction. The most common way moisture causes rust is when water sits on top of the metal and creates an electrolyte solution. 

Over time, this solution will corrode the metal until it forms a coating of rust. The other way that moisture causes rust is when rainwater seeps into cracks or holes in the furniture, where it can sit for weeks or even months before drying out again.

 It can also occur if you leave your patio furniture in the sun for long periods without applying a protective coating.

Exposure to saltwater

Salt is corrosive and can also cause rust on outdoor metal furniture. Saltwater is especially dangerous because it contains salt, which will speed up the process of rust formation on your metal patio chair or table.

Saltwater contains chloride ions that react with metals like steel or iron when they come into contact with each other over time. This reaction creates ions that react with oxygen molecules in the air around them, causing them to oxidize (or rust).

Improper cleaning

Improper cleaning is one of the biggest causes of rust in patio furniture. If you’re not careful, cleaning chemicals can damage your furniture’s finish and leave it vulnerable to rust.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this problem. First, use only mild soap and warm water when washing the furniture. Don’t use harsh cleaners or abrasive scrubbers that might scratch the surface and damage its protective coating.

Second, try to avoid getting water on your chairs’ joints and legs—these areas tend to be prone to rust. If you get water there, dry it off as quickly as possible with a clean rag or towel so that no moisture is left behind.

You should always use a cleaner specifically designed for removing rust from metal surfaces so that you don’t damage your furniture further by scrubbing off any remaining paint or coating that may already be present on top of your chairs or tables.

How to Prevent Patio Furniture from Rusting

Rust is one of metal’s biggest enemies, especially metal not well maintained. It can happen to any furniture, but patio furniture made of metal is vulnerable to this problem. 

  • Choose coated metals.

One is to choose coated metal furniture. Many different types of metal can be used for outdoor furniture, but some are better suited than others. If you choose coated metals, such as stainless steel or aluminum, you’ll be able to avoid most problems with rusting and other outdoor damage.

Coated metals are stronger than uncoated metals and are less likely to rust. When shopping for new patio furniture, look for options with powder-coated finishes. They’re more resistant to moisture and exposure than traditional paints.

You can also choose stainless steel or cast aluminum, which does not rust easily no matter how much exposure it gets. If it’s impossible to choose coated metals, we recommend using a sealant as soon as possible after purchasing your furniture.

The longer you wait to seal your furniture, the more likely it is that rust will form on it over time. We recommend sealing your patio furniture every year if possible and at least every six months if not possible.


  • Protect it from the elements.

Rain and moisture can cause your furniture’s metal parts to rust over time. This happens when the metal is exposed to air, which causes it to oxidize and corrode in an acidic environment.

When this happens, the iron loses its protective coating of oil or lacquer and begins to decay, forming a red oxide that looks like rust. To prevent this kind of corrosion, ensure that you keep your patio set covered when it rains or snows or when not in use so that it doesn’t get wet. 

Also, ensure it’s not left out in the sun without adequate shade protection (such as an umbrella) or tarp so that it doesn’t heat up too much and cook itself dry.

If you don’t want to use these materials, store your patio furniture inside until you’re ready for use.

  • Fix rust before it gets worse

If you spot rust on your patio furniture, don’t panic; First, check the instructions that came with your furniture. Also, if there are specific instructions for cleaning or treating rust, follow them carefully—you don’t want to make things worse. If there aren’t any special instructions, here are some general guidelines:

  • Remove all excess rust. You can gently brush away any loose rust with an old toothbrush or nailbrush.
  • Treat the area with a steel wool pad or wire brush to remove any remaining rust and clean out the pores of the metal. This will help prevent new rust from forming as quickly.
  • Spray on a coat of oil-based paint primer on the furniture to protect against future corrosion, or use a commercial rust remover product like Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Spray Paint or WD-40 available at many hardware stores.
  • Keep it dry at all times.

One of the best ways to prevent metal patio furniture from rusting is to keep it dry at all times by using it under a shade. Shades such as tarp, pergola, gazebo, or insulated roof will protect your furniture all year.

With this, you don’t have to bother about covering your furniture when not in use. This will keep your furniture away from morning dew and all types of exposure that could cause rust over time.

In case of water and or sprinkle on your furniture, ensure you dry it thoroughly using a hair dryer or exposing it to direct sunlight, depending on how wet it is. Ensure they’re completely dry before putting them away.

  • Apply rust-protective coating every few months

Another good way to prevent rust from forming on patio furniture is to apply a rust-protective coating every few months. This will also keep your furniture looking great for years to come while protecting it from elements.

  • First, Clean the furniture with mild soap and warm water solution. Rinse well with clean water and dry thoroughly.
  • Then, apply the coating in a thin layer with a brush, roller, or sprayer.
  • Be sure to cover all furniture surfaces, including inside any tubes or legs where rust can accumulate.
  • Apply a second coat within 24 hours of applying the first coat if needed (depending on the product instructions).

Coatings are available in various colors, so feel free to choose a color that matches your décor.

  • Prevent scratching

Scratch surfaces on metal furniture will begin to rust over time. If you’re looking to keep your patio furniture from rusting, prevent it from scratches. This will help prevent the crust from forming and spreading on the metal.

Keep pets such as cats and dogs away from your furnitureThey love to chew on things, and if they find a piece of metal that’s rusted or has started rusting, they’ll chew on it even more.

Also, prevent using hard brushes on your furniture when cleaning to prevent scratches. In case of any scratch, ensure it is coated immediately to prevent rust.

  • Oil the joints once in a while

The joints are where the chair or table connects to the base. These are the most vulnerable spots on your patio furniture, as they often have bare metal exposed. This can lead to rusting if oil is not applied regularly.

Rust can be prevented by oiling the joints of your patio furniture once in a while. Using linseed oil or grease is best, as these natural products will not harm your furniture. This is important for rocking or swivel furniture.

The oil will seep into the joints and prevent them from rusting together. Joints are where rust typically starts to form, so it’s important to ensure they’re well lubricated.

  • Clean regularly

After all, what do you think causes rust? It’s not just water! If you don’t clean your furniture regularly, all the dirt, grime, and other contaminants that get stuck in it will cause it to rust.

So every time you use your furniture or bring it in for a rainy day, make sure you give it a good cleaning with soap and water.

If possible, store your patio furniture indoors when it’s not being used. If this isn’t an option for you, make sure to cover up your furniture so that rainwater doesn’t get into cracks or crevices that can cause damage over time.

Protective Coating for Outdoor Metal Furniture

Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Spray Paint is ideal for protecting metal surfaces from corrosion. This spray paint helps protect against rust and paint damage with a high-performance formula that delivers exceptional durability.

The rust-preventive coating was designed to protect aluminum, steel, and other metals against corrosion in the long term. This long-lasting finish provides a gorgeous finish that resists chipping, peeling, and flaking while a UV inhibitor prevents discoloration for a long-lasting appearance.

SEYMOUR Industrial MRO High Solids Spray Paint

Seymour is a high solid, water borne, two-component, epoxy monolithic industrial MRO spray paint intended for metal repair and durability. Resists hub rusting, cleans and protects

This product has been formulated to be the best performer in multiple substrates, including galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and other nonferrous metals.

how to prevent patio furniture from rusting

It provides optimal adhesion to most substrates, whether primed or brand new, with no coatings applied. It is thicker than the standard line of Seymour 620 spray paints, which gives you improved coverage without overspray drift.

This ultra-thick, high solids paint provides better adhesion, longer life, and higher wear resistance than a conventional base coat and clear coat systems. The spray pattern can be fine-tuned to achieve an even application with minimal over-spray.

Thompsons Clear Multi-Surface Aerosol Waterproofer

Thompsons Clear Multi-Surface Aerosol Waterproofer is a quick-drying, water repellent for interior and exterior surfaces. It protects against stains and mildew, dirt, dust, and grease.

Protective coating for outdoor metal furniture

This product is suitable for use on all porous surfaces in areas where water damage or unsightly stains may occur, including walls, metals, woodwork, and panels. It can also be used on woodwork such as fences and sheds to protect from rainwater penetration.


Rust is a constant problem for patio furniture owners. None of us wants to stare at a bluish-tan color where we should be seeing the brown or green of our outdoor furniture.

The best way to prevent rust is to ensure that the furniture is well maintained. The techniques described above can help prevent rust from forming on patio furniture. This is a straightforward approach to prevent rust on your outdoor furniture while it is out in the weather, like most other furniture.

Metal outdoor furniture can last a lifetime when properly maintained, and rust is their biggest enemy. Knowing how to prevent your metal patio furniture from rusting will last you for years.