When we were in Florida about a month ago, I was admiring the bistro set I refinished for my Mom last year.  The paint held up really well and it’s such a bright and cheerful thing to look out into the garden and see.

To be honest, I was jealous.

I wanted one for myself.

So I Kijiji’d (yup, it’s a verb) and found an iron set for $35.  Solid iron.  Heavy, beautiful, old, quality iron.

You saw the $35 too right?  For iron!

Before the makeover - Iron bistro set

But the $35 meant it wasn’t exactly in pristine condition….

Some rust, some paint chips and the table top is fibre glass and has warped with sun and moisture.

Just look at the detailing though – this is definitely worth taking a shot at!

Iron Bistro set - before


It’s really easy to see the cans of Rustoleum spray paint that claim to have a primer and paint in one and just go at ‘er – but it won’t last.  All you’ll be doing is capturing the rust underneath a coat of paint and it will eventually (probably sooner than later) bubble up and chip off.  It really just means more work next summer.

Your best bet is to sand it down as much as possible to get off as much rust as you can.  Tedious – yes, but it will be worth it, I promise.

Bistro set - before

Once you’re done sanding, you can wash it down with a little TSP to remove any residual dust and grime, then rinse thoroughly and let dry in the sun.

Next you will want to prime it.  It’s a small additional expense at $7 per can, but again, it will help to block rust from resurfacing and will provide a strong base for your “pretty” paint.

Bistro set - before

Make sure you get every nook and cranny.  Turn it upside down, fold, unfold, every tiny little crack needs to be covered.

One can of primer did two chairs and the table and I still have some leftover – so you don’t need to put it on thick – just thoroughly.

Once the primer coat is dry, spray light, even coats of your gloss spray paint.

Bistro set - during


This is why my garage is blue – Hubby is less than impressed – but that’s what a garage is for isn’t it?

I did three light coats of the blue making sure to let dry in between coats.

Whaddaya think?

Bistro set - After


I’m still working on the table top, so that will be another post – and the backs of the chairs might need a bit of detail work – but I think it’s turned out pretty well so far?

Bistro Set 7

Bistro Set - after

Grandin Road is selling coloured sets like this for about $550 US.

Grandin Road bistro set

click image for link to Grandin Road

So far, mine’s come it at $35 for the set, $7 for the primer, $30 for the paint – so $72 Cdn.  I still have the top to go, but I think that’s a pretty good bargain?

Bistro set - before and after

… and it’s IRON!

Have a great one!


Too funny: to my daughter



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