Norton Abrasives Products and Accessories
Norton Abrasives Products and Accessories
Do-It-Yourself/Contractor Markets - North America

Metal Refinishing

Do-It-Yourself Project


Metal Furniture is by far the most durable, long lasting outdoor/indoor furniture. You can keep your metal furniture looking new or change the color at any time with a little prep work using a little "elbow grease". Some common electric tools help speed up the process. If you own a 1/4" or 3/8" electric drill and or a 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 sheet vibrating sander, Norton has the products to make this surface preparation fast and simple.

The most common reason to re-finish metal furniture, other than to achieve fresh new look, is to protect it from the effects of exposure to air and water: RUST.

Here are some simple steps for preparing the surface for a great new finish.

Step 1 

With any project safety comes first. The removal of paint and rust by hand or power tools creates dust and flying chips. We recommend the use of safety glasses with side shields or safety goggles, work gloves, a work apron or close fitting clothing, hearing protection if your using power tools, and an approved dust/mist respirator. If your furniture is more than 20 years old and/or you suspect the paint contains lead, proceed carefully. If you are going to be removing some of this old finish, remember the dust you create and the chips of paint you remove are a health hazard. Make sure you are wearing an approved respirator for lead removal. Use plastic or other type of drop cloth that will contain any paint chips and residue. Keep children and pregnant women away from your work area, thoroughly clean the area and your tools during, and after your project is complete.


Step 2 

Take the furniture apart if necessary. On some large metal tables, the legs can be removed from the top. Some have removable rubber tips or cushions on the bottom of chair or table legs.


Step 3 

Wash the furniture with a mild detergent and rinse. You can use Norton Synthetic Steel Wool Cleaning Pad, Super Fine  to help remove dirt and grime. It won't scratch the surface.


Step 4 

Scrape off rust and loose paint using a wire brush. To speed-up this process use you 1/4" or 3/8" electric drill and Norton's new Rapid Strip Wire Brush. The flexible wire "fingers" of the Rapid Strip Brush conform to any shape, surface or contour and act like a mini sandblaster to chisel away loose paint and rust without damaging the metal surface. Look for areas on the painted surface that are bubbled. This is a sure sign of rust forming underneath. Unless removed, it will continue to rust under any new finish that is applied. For areas that have been neglected and have severe rust build-up use Norton Rapid Strip Discs with your 1/4" or 3/8" drill. A simple hand held wire brush will work for removing light rust and loose paint.

If you’re just putting a new color on the furniture and it has no loose paint or rust a light sanding is all that is needed to prepare the surface for new coat of paint. Use your 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 sheet sander with Fine grit sandpaper like Norton Synthetic Steel Wool Pads, Green - fine.



Step 5 

Clean off any loose sanding dust.
Prime the entire surface with a quality rust resistant metal/paint primer. This protects the bare metal from further corrosion and improves the adhesion of the final coat of paint. Let dry. Apply the final color coats. It is better to apply the paint in light coats rather than trying to cover the surface at one time. This will minimize or eliminate paint sagging or runs. Follow your paint manufacturer's instructions for drying time between coats.


Shopping List 

Safety Equipment
Sandpaper (All Purpose Sheets)
Sanding block
Steel Wool Cleaning Pad, Super Fine, Fine
Rapid Strip Wire Brush
Drop cloths
Masking tape

Norton Project Planning Form   

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Rapid Strip
Norton Rapid Strip have an aggressive free-cutting action for removing light edge burrs, parting lines, flashing, paint, rust and coatings without smearing.