If It Was Never New And It Never Gets Old How to Refinish a Vintage Metal Glider

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How to Refinish a Vintage Metal Glider

Old metal patio furniture has usually been repainted more than once, and if you don’t like the primitive look of the place, it will need to be refinished. This is a good project for do-it-yourselfers who want to save money and have fun taking something old and making it look new.

If you’ve never restored an old porch plane, it’s really fun. I’ll tell you some of the things I’ve tried and didn’t like and some of the things that worked for me.

Here’s my disclaimer: this is information about how I refinished a jetliner in the yard. You are responsible for your own safety. Wear safety equipment.

For the best looking vintage airplane, all the old paint should come off the metal. I first tried the paint stripper but it just scratched the paint and made a big mess so I switched to something else pretty quickly. For starters, I use a four-inch grinder with coarse sandpaper. You go over all the jets, but be careful not to put too much pressure on the grinder, especially on the bottom of the seat, towards where your feet rest. This is the first point to rust on these old airplanes and if you are not careful you will knock a hole in it.

The coarse sandpaper removes most of the paint, but in the corners of the design, such as the Pie Crust pattern, there is some paint left that needs to be removed. They make a sanding wheel that looks like a flat Brillo pad that will fit in the 4″ sander and that works well removing paint in the corners.

After removing all the paint, dust the glider with some mineral spirits.

Now you are ready to paint your slider. I love painting the two-tone planes I’m working on. I’ll get about 10 spray cans of gray primer, about 10 cans of colored spray paint, about 5 cans of white paint, and about 4 cans of clear spray paint and a few rolls of masking tape.

First I prime the entire glider and let it dry for about an hour, then I mask off the white areas of the bench and then spray paint. I remove the masking tape as soon as I go through the painting (if the paint was dry when the tape was removed, the paint may chip).

After the tinted paint is dry, I mask the tinted paint off just enough so that it doesn’t splatter on the white. Once I’m done with the white paint I remove the masking tape and spray with clear coat. I usually put on about three coats of clear coat for that deep look.

Well that’s it! After a few hours you have a beautiful piece of furniture out the door.

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