How to Fix Rusted Patio Chair Legs

Are you horrified when you look outside and see your rusted patio chair legs? Have the elements taken a toll on your outdoor furniture, making it a less-than-desirable spot to kick back and enjoy some much-needed relaxation time? 

How to Fix Rusted Patio Chair Legs

If so, we feel for you it can be heartbreaking to invest in new furniture only to watch it degenerate with unexpected speed. But don’t worry; we have good news! Struggling against the corrosion of time is easier than it looks. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to fix rusted patio chair legs once and for all.

What Is the Best Treatment for Rusty Metal?

When faced with rusty metal on your patio chairs, it is important to know the best treatment option. The most effective way to remove rust from metal is to use a chemical rust remover. Rust removers are available in liquid, gel, or paste form and come in various strengths depending on the severity of the corrosion. Generally, products containing phosphoric acid or oxalic acid are the most effective.

Before using any chemical treatment, it is important to make sure that you are wearing protective safety equipment such as gloves and eye protection. Additionally, these chemicals should never be used on painted surfaces; they should be used only on bare metal.

To use a rust remover, start by scrubbing off any loose or flaking rust with a wire brush. Apply the remover to the metal and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. After this time, use a scouring pad or steel wool to remove the remaining rust from the surface. Finally, rinse off any residue and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

If you don’t want to use a rust remover, there are also other ways to remove rust from metal. For light oxidation, steel wool or sandpaper can be used to manually remove the rust. However, this method is more labor-intensive and may not be suitable for heavily rusted surfaces.

Additionally, it is important to note that sandpaper and steel wool can also scratch the surface of the metal, so it is important to use a light hand.

It is also possible to remove rust from metal using natural solutions such as white vinegar or baking soda. Vinegar works by breaking down the rust on contact, while baking soda acts as an abrasive cleaner.

To use either of these natural solutions, simply mix the vinegar or baking soda with water to form a paste and apply it to the rusted metal. Allow the paste to sit for 10-15 minutes, and then scrub off with a wire brush. Finally, rinse off the residue with water and wipe dry.

Scrub Off With a Wire Brush

9 Methods on How to Fix Rusted Patio Chair Legs

1. Use Vinegar

One of the most common household items, vinegar, can be used to remove rust. Simply soak a cloth in vinegar and rub it on the rusted area. You can also use a spray bottle to apply the vinegar directly to the rust. Leave it for a few hours before wiping it away with a clean cloth. If necessary, you can use a wire brush to get rid of any remaining rust.

2. Use Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another acidic substance that can be used to remove rust. Soak a cloth in lemon juice and rub it on the rusted area. You can also use a spray bottle to apply the lemon juice directly to the rust. Leave it for a few hours before wiping it away with a clean cloth. You may need to repeat the process several times to completely remove the rust.

If you’re using a spray bottle, make sure it is designated for use with acidic liquids as using a regular spray bottle could damage it. Once you’ve finished, coat the area with an oil such as vegetable or olive oil so that the rust does not return.

3. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can be used to remove rust. Make a paste of baking soda and water, and apply it to the area with rust. With a damp cloth or soft bristle brush, scrub the area with the paste. Rinse off the baking soda, and repeat this process until the rust is removed. You may need to use some force to get rid of stubborn rust spots.

If the rust is still not gone after this, try using a steel wool pad. Be sure to use caution when handling chemical or abrasive products, as these may cause skin and eye irritation.

Scrub the Area With the Paste

4. Use Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar is another mild abrasive that can be used to remove rust. To use this method, simply mix cream of tartar with some water to make a paste. Apply the paste to the rusted areas and scrub gently with a soft cloth. As the paste dries, it will form a hard crust that can be easily scraped off with a putty knife or other blunt tool.

After scraping off the rust, rinse the area with water and dry it completely before applying a sealant or paint. This method works best for delicate surfaces like metal patio chair legs that need to be handled with care.

5. Use Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil can be used as a gentle abrasive to remove rust from delicate surfaces like glass or porcelain. It is also great to use on patio chair legs, as the foil won’t be too abrasive and damage the metal. 

To use this method, simply wrap aluminum foil around a cloth and use it to scrub the rusted area. Alternatively, you can also mix equal parts of baking soda and salt with water to form a paste that you can then apply onto the affected surface before rubbing with the aluminum foil. This will help break up any stubborn rust more effectively.

Baking Soda and Salt With Water

6. Use WD-40

WD-40 is a lubricant that can be used to loosen up rust so that it’s easier to remove. To use, first shake the can and spray a light coat of WD-40 onto the affected area. Wait a few minutes for it to work its magic, and then scrape off any rust with a wire brush or steel wool. 

If there is still some rust remaining, simply apply another coat of WD-40 and repeat the process until all traces of rust are gone. You can also use a dry cloth or paper towel to help remove any excess WD-40 and rust residue after the procedure is finished.

7. Use Steel Wool

Steel wool is a very effective way to remove rust from metal surfaces. Begin by scrubbing the rusty areas of your patio chair legs with steel wool. Make sure to scrub gently in a circular motion, as this will help loosen the rust. Once you have removed all of the visible rust, use a clean cloth to wipe away any debris.

Finally, use a steel wool pad to lightly buff the surface of your chair legs, giving them a nice, polished finish.

8. Use Sandpaper or Emery Cloth

Sandpaper or emery cloth are both effective ways to remove rust from metal surfaces. If there is only a small amount of rust, you can use either fine or medium-grit sandpaper to scrub away the rust. If the corrosion is more substantial, you may want to use coarse-grit sandpaper.

Remove Rust From Metal Surface

When using this method, it is important that you apply light pressure and move the sandpaper back and forth in the same direction as the grain of the metal. This will help ensure that you do not damage or scratch the metal surface. Once you have removed all the rust, you can use fine-grit sandpaper to buff and polish the metal surface.

9. Use a Rust Remover Solution

Rust remover solutions are available at most hardware stores, and they can be used to quickly and effectively remove rust from metal surfaces. Be sure to follow directions on the product label and wear protective clothing, including gloves and eye protection, when using this solution. After applying the rust remover solution, use a brush to scrub the rust away.

Once all of the rust has been removed, rinse the chair legs with soapy water and dry them with a towel. The rust should come right off, leaving behind a clean metal surface. Now your patio chair legs are ready to be painted, oiled, or treated with a sealant.


The next time you find a great deal on patio furniture, don’t let rust stop you from enjoying it for years to come. With a little elbow grease and these tips, your rusted patio chair legs will be good as new in no time. 

And if all else fails, remember that sanding down the rust and repainting the legs can give your furniture a whole new look. Thanks for reading our blog post on how to fix rusted patio chair legs! We hope you found it helpful and informative. Happy fixing!

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