What have I gotten myself into? Temperatures aren’t much above freezing around here, our next few weekends are filled with activities and I just signed myself up for a MASSIVE six-week challenge – the One Room Challenge (ORC) to be exact.
I first found out about the ORC last spring when I was looking for inspiration to redecorate our upper-level deck after quitting my job. In a nutshell, the ORC is six weeks of intense renovation/redesign of a single room in your home, and you blog about your progress during those six weeks. I’ve looked back at some of the rooms that are done, and the transformations are often stunning.
The problem is, I didn’t sign up for a single room…I signed up to do both of our back decks. That means not one, but TWO living areas. Right now, the upper deck (right off of our kitchen and dining area) is a mess of pots that were left out over winter and an unfinished project from last year. The lower deck (off of our family room) has a giant deck box that currently holds the kids outdoor toys. However, it’s nearly impossible to find the toys the kids want through all the clutter, and it stopped closing correctly last year – which means there’s about an inch of water collected on the bottom. Yuck. The lower deck also just needs some general sprucing up.
Thankfully I did a lot of work while I was pregnant last spring. And the very first thing on my list was to renovate our cheap old rusty dining set.
I think at least half of the homeowners out there start off with a set like this. We bought it the first summer we were living in this house, and had spent most of our cash furnishing the place with important things like bedrooms and dining rooms. Pinterest didn’t exist yet, so we just went to our local Lowe’s and picked out the cheapest, easiest set we could find. That was 9 years ago. We didn’t really do anything to protect the set over the years, and the elements had definitely taken their toll, leaving a rusty mess.
How to Paint Rusted Metal Furniture
Metal brush attachments for drills
Rustoleum Rust Reformer Spray Paint*
Spray paint in your preferred color*
*I found that a table and four chairs took at least 3 cans of Rust Reformer and about 6 cans of colored spray paint.
- Hose off the dining set as well as possible. Using a scrub brush, get all the dirt out of the grooves. Let the table dry off completely
- Remove as much rust as possible with a wire brush. I used wire brushes that attach to a power drill. The brushes got caught sometimes and at other times it felt like the drill was going to get away from me, but it was the best way to scrub off some of the tough rust.
- Give the set another good cleaning with a soft scrub brush and the hose.
- Set up a large drop cloth with wood boards to raise the furniture off the ground. This help to keep the furniture from sticking to the drop cloth, and prevents missed spots due to wrinkles or debris.
- Spray any remaining rusty areas with Rustoleum Rust Reformer. This will help encapsulate the rust and prevent it from coming through the new paint color.
- When the rust reformer is dry, spray paint the set with your preferred color. Use several coats of light spray paint until you get the set completely covered.
Enjoy your new dining set! This project took me a few days to complete, but I wanted to make sure it was done right. Our family is already too big for this set, but we want to wait as long as possible before replacing it. Heres a shot of it now after sitting in full sun throughout the summer and winter (please pardon the mess, clean-up is first on the to-do list).
So what’s left? Here’s a quick rundown of what we need to do between now and May 8th:
For the Upper Deck:
- Clean up winter debris
- Finish the canopy
- Make a privacy screen
- Refresh old pots with paint if necessary
- Spray paint the bar cart
- Start the herb garden
- Plant fresh flowers
For the Lower Deck:
- Figure out a new storage solution for the kids’ toys, preferably with decent organization
- Revitalize or replace the furniture
- Replace the hanging plants
- Figure out a safe way to help repel bugs
- Add new decor and plants around the seating area
That’s a lot to get done in 33 days. It’s time to get started!
What would you do with this space?
What’s your favorite way to get your outdoor space ready for summer entertaining?
Other ORC Posts: