The Spray Painting Tip That Every DIY’er Should Know

Transform metal outdoor furniture from old and rusty to sleek and stylish using this spray paint along with the most important spray painting tip you should know to achieve the perfect painted finish.

I like to buy new things as much as anyone, but sometimes it makes more sense to revitalize something already owned using spray paint.  Spray paint is budget friendly, so easy to use and in the case of one brand of spray paint and a few good spray painting application techniques – a very smart money saving choice when decorating a home.

When you can spray paint, there is no need to buy new!  Do you remember this outdoor dining table and chairs with sling seats that I spray painted? 

spray painted metal patio set on deckWhat is the best spray paint to use on outdoor metal furniture?

I spray painted it and posted about it 5 years ago.  The photo above was taken on the deck at my previous house.

lake house gazebo with painted metal furniture on it

Fast forward 5 years. Here is the set with two KUBU dining chairs added. I still have the end chairs, but when we entertain on the gazebo, I bring out two of the kitchen chairs to “up the style factor” of the space.

The spray painted finish on the table and chairs has held up perfectly. No peeling or chipping. The surface looks amazing and I have Rustoleum to thank as well as my patience to make sure I applied the spray paint correctly.

Last week, in keeping with my “use what I have” decorating philosophy, I used the same spray paint to restore two very large wrought iron patio umbrella stands that are on my deck.  In less than an hour, I had brand new looking umbrella stands.

How to Paint a Metal Outdoor Metal Umbrella Stand

Before photo of patio umbrella stands before spray painting

Here is what the metal umbrella stands looked like before I made them over with spray paint.  Both are 20 years old. They were faded green with rust spots all over.

We keep two umbrella stands on the deck which sees sunrise and sunset. The stand on the left of the table is to block the morning sun from the table, the one on the right is to block the afternoon sun.  We just move the umbrella from stand to stand.  We used to have two umbrellas that I bought at Wayfair, but a storm ripped one in half. :-(

supplies needed:

  • Rustoleum Hammered Spray Paint in your choice of color. I used #210880 Brown
  • Wire brush or 60 grit sandpaper
  • Hot water and detergent mixed in a bucket
  • Foam blocks and dropcloth

What is the best outdoor spray paint to use for patio furniture

1. I moved the umbrella stands off the deck to clean with hot water, dish detergent and a wire brush to remove all the dirt and loose pieces of chipped paint.

Two outdoor patio umbrella stands waiting for a spray paint makeover

2. Once clean, I put them on Styrofoam blocks that I save from packaging to lift things I am about to paint off the ground.

Best Paint to Use to Paint Outdoor Metal Patio Furniture and Accessories

Hammered Brown Spray paint from Rustoleum

I used Rust-Oleum Spray Paint in the color Hammered Brown. It is the best spray paint in all regards that has exactly what it states on the label, a hammered finish. I prefer the traditional style can over the newer spray top. You don’t need to use primer for either. Once less step. :-)

Two metal umbrella stands after being spray painted with Rustoleum Hammered spray paint.

  1. Once the cleaned surface is completely dry, shake can well and spray a light coat over surface in all directions.  Shake can a few times while you spray. Wait 5 minutes and spray on a second light coat of spray paint.  WAIT another 5 minutes and touch up any areas that you missed.

My #1 Spray Painting TIP:

This spray painting tip is one of the most important tips I know to achieve a perfectly smooth spray painted finish. It is for anything you spray paint, not just metal outdoor furniture.

DIY-TipTo ensure your spray painted finish on any surface does not wrinkle, you must apply the coats of spray paint within an hour. If you can’t get a second or more coat on within an hour, wait 48 hours to apply the next coat. If you spray a second coat on too soon after the first hour, the paint may wrinkle and ruin your efforts.


Spray painted umbrella standAFTER Spray Painting – Metal Outdoor Patio Umbrella Stand

Quite a nice transformation for about 15 minutes of effort.

Outdoor umbrella on deck

It was very hot and humid when I took these photos. Having a umbrella to shade the table is a must.  Now that the umbrella stands has been painted, they look much more cohesive with the decking.

Newly spray painted outdoor umbrella stand on lakeside deck.

I like things to look coordinated, they don’t have to be matchy-match, but at least look like they are part of the whole.

Now I have to paint the fish candle holders that we have sitting on the railing.  The previous owner of the house left two of them. We have become very fond of them since moving to the house. I think I will be painting them to restore the look of verdigris that they once had.

Uses for WD-40

Another great product to have on hand when you have metal outdoor furniture is WD-40 or a similar product like CRC that is a spray-on lubricant that removes rust, loosens rusty screws and more. These screws that hold the umbrella in each of my stands were covered in rust. A few shots of WD-40 and they were as good as new.

Spray painting tip for a perfect finish

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Looks great. I am a fan of Rust-Oleum Spray paint. It takes less to cover and last longer as you said. I have used it on my outdoor furniture and on a metal headboard. If you prep correctly as you have demonstrated the results are great. I love the color you have chosen. for the umbrella stands. I have a large one I am getting ready to do for my cabin.

  2. You did a great job painting those umbrella holders! They look better than brand new. Thank you for all the helpful tips to spray paint. I wondered why some things turned out great and some….not so well. Now I know. I wish you a Happy New Year full of interesting things, posts, and people.

  3. Sarah Perry says:

    thank you for a great tutorial and information.

    I did have one question Dash you commented that you liked the regular rest oleum hammer opposed to the new style, what are your reasons for choosing the one over the other.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sarah – The reason I like the regular Rustoleum spray cans is the spray nozzle – it doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the paint. The newfangled spray nozzle caps on the new style stop working on 7 out of 10 cans so you can’t use it anymore which is such a waste paint and money. I have returned at least a dozen of them over the years. At least if a spray nozzle on a regular can gets clogged or stops working, you can remove it to clean it out and then put it back on and continue spraying. This is not so with the new fancy spray nozzle caps.

  4. Thanks for sharing! I will paint mine using Hammerite.

  5. Thanks for the tips! I am curious if you paint the underside of the umbrella stand? If so, do you paint the top side or underside first?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vernita – I did not paint the underside of the umbrella stand. If you want to, it I would paint the underside first, let it dry, then flip over and paint the top side.

  6. Thanks for the info – I am going out to clean and paint my old iron stand now – 20 years old and much better shape than the cheap plastic stuff one gets today!!

  7. Genevieve says:

    Love this information. Will sure use it. By the way, how is your husband’s eyes? I have not been on line for awhile, so I am completely out of touch.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Genevieve – Thanks – not sure why you are asking about my husband’s eyes, though :-) He has a website for blind people, but he is not blind himself.

  8. That Sassy Life coach says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. I just found this on umbrella stands. It makes such a difference. I didn’t even consider doing this to mine but now it’s on the list. Thanks! Any advice on where to get umbrellas? The person who owned the house before me left them and they are both paper bag brown.

    Really enjoying all of your content, new and old!

  10. It’s really nice! I love the new brown color. I also have a rusty stand, will try to re-paint it in the spring. Great guide, Diane

  11. It’s really beautiful! I always wanted to learn

  12. Kari Rogers-Miller says:

    So pretty Diane and your tips are so helpful. Glad the chair frames are holding up so well.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Kari – When I painted the set 5 years ago, I had no idea how long the finish would last, but am so happy to see it last for a long time.The paint is really one of the best. :-) It was great seeing you at Haven. It was a good conference where I picked up a few new tips that I hope will help my blog on the back end of things.

  13. Love spray paint. My most surprising and favorite redo was the flag pole that hangs from our house. It’s plastic coating was all flaked off so I grabbed my hammered bronze and went to town. I’m so loathe to spend money on something that can easily be spruced up!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Joanne – I agree with you about not wanting to spend $$$ when a much less expensive DIY is easy to do. I love to hear successful DIY’s like this and the fact that you sprayed it over a flaked plastic coating. WIN!!!

  14. Bridget santangelo says:

    Hi there I didn’t realise your old house was on the water too?
    Or Have I mussed you moving from the lake house?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bridget – My previous house had a pool in the backyard, but it was not on the water. We moved to the lake house 2-1/2 years ago and that is where we still are and plan to stay. :-)

  15. I debated, but decided I should probably tell you there’s a nekkid man in the background of one of your photos.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ellen – Half naked. He had shorts on. :-)

  16. Diane, I enjoy your blog and have been a longtime reader. Recently, however, when I try to read your post there is a “ribbon” that scrolls down the page that has Share, Pinterest, Facebook and Tweet option that obscures what I am trying to read. Is there a way to move this out of the way? It is so annoying I just give up and stop reading. I really hope this can be fixed as I enjoy reading each new post.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Hannah – Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me about the problem with the social media widgets scrolling down the page. There has been a lot of trouble lately with an app I use. It has been going wonky. To get to the root of the problem, can you answer a few questions for me? Has it been happening for a long time or just recently? Are you on a phone, laptop or desktop when it happens? What browser are you using – Chrome? Safari, Firefox?

      Sorry it has been happening for you. Every computer/device is different so I will get your answers to my tech person right away so she can get it fixed pronto.

      1. MaryLou Boudet says:

        Diane, I have the same thing occurring..the pink strip over your words..also a bigger ‘pin’ circle. I am using my iPad . Love your blog…

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi MaryLou –

          Thanks for taking the time to tell me this. I have my tech person on it. It should be fixed early this week. The pin circle never used to show up on mobile devices – tablets and phones. That was changed intentionally so readers could pin easily from these devices. I can look into making that Pin image smaller. The scrolling social media icons going over the copy was not intentional. :-) Thanks for reading my blog.

  17. Glenda West says:

    I love how these turned out! How did you replace the fabric on the chairs?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Glenda – Are you asking about the outdoor table and chairs? I only spray painted the chair frames. Did you see the link in the post to the post I wrote 5 years ago on how I painted them? I will have to make it more visible. :-) If not, here is the link: