How Do You Maintain Metal Furniture?

Metal furniture beautifully graces indoor and outdoor décor, making it a great hit among the masses. However, like plastic, glass, and wood furniture, it is prone to grime and dirt and has added oxidation and rusting risks since it reacts to both air and moisture. Therefore, before getting that attractive piece of metal furnishing, it’s essential to learn some maintenance tips to retain its eye-catching look over the years.

To maintain metal furniture, dust it regularly with a soft cloth, clean it with mild detergents, spot-treat rusted parts, and apply paste wax to counter rusting. Additionally, you can repaint it and store outdoor furniture in protected areas during harsh weather (winter, summer, and rain).

Since you don’t plan a yearly replacement of your hundred-plus dollar furniture, it’s important to learn some essential maintenance tips to keep it in good condition. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of basic care tips, and we’ll also address the critical factors to consider when choosing metal furnishings. Read on to enlighten yourself and add to your already existing knowledge base.

Metal Furniture: A Brief Overview

Metal furniture is made from either stainless steel, bronze, brass, aluminum, and wrought iron. Each of these metallic materials is easily identifiable based on their specific finish coats. You can choose one that suits your budget and personal preference. If well maintained, metal furniture can give you a lifetime of service.

With the right ideas in place, taking care of metal stuff is pretty easy compared to wood and glass furniture. Now, let’s dive right into the handy tips.

Dust and Clean It Regularly

Like any other piece of décor, regular dusting and cleaning are the first and easiest steps towards maintaining your furniture’s pleasant look. It’s advisable to dust and clean metal stuff using a soft cotton towel or piece of cloth to avoid scarring and scratching the topcoat.

How Do You Maintain Metal Furniture?

Any sunscreen and bird droppings on outdoor furniture should be wiped off and cleaned as soon as you notice them. If they are left to sit on your furniture for long, they can lead to permanent staining and corrosion.

Depending on the grime’s extent, you may, at times, use mild detergents for a thorough cleaning. However, you shouldn’t use abrasive cleaners and scrubbers that may scratch off the finish, potentially exposing your valuable furniture to rust-inducing moisture.

You can get metallic friendly cleaners from furniture stores or shop outlets. However, in the absence of these metal cleaners, you can use a non-abrasive window cleaner, methylated spirit, or a gentle multi-purpose cleaner.

When cleaning aluminum furniture, avoid using alkaline cleaners because they induce oxidation. After washing your metal furniture, ensure you wipe it dry with a soft towel.

However, most new metallic furniture comes with a cleaning manual that guides on appropriate cleaning unless yours is inherited or purchased as a vintage piece. Either way, you don’t need any extra training on how to clean your metal furniture effectively.

The life-saving tip here is knowing the right cleaners to use, and you are good to go.

Spot-Treat Rusted Parts

When cleaning your metal stuff, give it your all; your mind and energy. Yes, be focused! You should be on the lookout for any tiny detail, including signs of rust or scratches, especially on furniture joints.

Although most metallic furniture is finished with varnish, paint, or powder coat to prevent rust, you may notice scratches that may create room for rusting. In such a case, apply a light touch of coat matching your furniture’s finish (for uniformity) to prevent rusting.

Additionally, if your furnishing has rust or mold, carefully sand the area lightly using a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and apply a layer of rust-proof paint to prevent further rusting. The rust-proof paint is available from furniture manufacturers and dealer shops.

However, if you have aluminum stuff that doesn’t rust but is prone to oxidation, you can spot-treat the oxidized parts using a homemade mixture of equal amounts of white vinegar and water.

Apply Wax

Although storing away or ‘hiding’ your metal stuff can be the most effective remedy to wear and tear problems, there is an effective way to handle this. Applying paste wax on your furniture routinely gives it a fresh look and reduces wear, tear, and rusting. Depending on your preference, you can get liquid or paste wax. This wax is easy to apply; no skills are needed!

Regular waxing prevents tarnishing of metal furniture, helping it retain its pleasant look and bright finish.

Cover Furniture When Not in Use

Let’s be honest; you won’t need or use your outdoor furniture all year round. Therefore, when not in use, consider covering it to keep off dust, effects of harsh weather, bird droppings, and other contaminative debris.

How Do You Maintain Metal Furniture?

Are you looking for an ideal cover for your metal furniture? Go for covers made of breathable fabric to avoid creating mold incubators in the name of protecting your décor assets. Therefore, it’s advisable to resist the urge to use the readily available plastic covers as they easily trap water, humidity, and heat, which is not good for metallic items.

If you don’t have the furniture covers, consider keeping outdoor metallic stuff in a well-shaded and aerated area. Storing your movables away helps shield them from direct sunlight, harsh winter, and rainy conditions and prevents unnecessary fading.


Furniture grows old too, losing its youthful look. As the years’ pass by, your metal furnishings will age naturally and are likely to lose their fresh sparkle and luster. However, it’s upon you to ensure they still look pleasing to the eyes despite their age. To achieve this, you need to repaint them regularly.

Apply a thin coat of matching paint such that it’s hard for one to notice a repaint. You may use nylon, acrylic, epoxy, and polyester paint coating, depending on your furniture’s material base.

A repaint is an easy and cheap way to give your old metal furnishings a fresh and inviting look.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Metal Furniture

If you are lucky enough to choose a perfect piece of metal furniture, you’ll enjoy unmatched service from it for years. However, not everyone knows what to consider when getting metal furniture.

Outlined below are a few factors that will put you a step closer to making a perfect choice.

  • Weight: For metal furniture, lightweight is often taken to mean that thin metal was used while thick material was used for heavier stuff. Although this is not always the case, heavier furniture lasts longer than its lighter counterpart and is considered high quality.
  • Metal joints: Joints are among the major points of weakness in any metal stuff. Therefore the method and quality of work used to make the joints determines the quality of the entire furniture. Joints are mainly formed through welding, bolting, screwing, and riveting. However, each manufacturer has its preferred method, which affects the quality of their end products.
  • Vent holes: Most tubular metal furnishings have strategically positioned vent holes. These vents act as pressure outlets during welding, facilitate the evaporation of moisture, and keep the inside of the furniture from rusting. To check for these vents, turn the furniture upside down.
  • Sturdiness: It’s important to check whether the furniture wiggles under pressure. Are the chair legs and arms strong enough to support any weight? The same case applies to tables and other stuff. The best way to check for sturdiness is to put a lot of pressure on your chosen piece of furniture and study its reaction.
  • Floor protectors: The annoying noise from metal furniture being pulled on the floor isn’t pleasing to the ears. Therefore, always check whether your chosen piece has floor protectors. The protectors come in the form of plastic or rubber fitting at the base tip of the legs. These protectors also prevent your floor from damages when the furniture is in use.


Metal furniture is one of the most durable and easy to maintain pieces of décor assets that you may possess. The proper care and maintenance can give you unmatched services for years, saving you the time and resources you would spend replacing it.

The basic maintenance tips you can adopt to add life to your furniture include:

  • Dusting and cleaning with gentle cleaners
  • Spot-treating rusted parts
  • Applying wax
  • Repainting
  • Covering or storing it away when not in use


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