How To

Powder-coat wrought-iron patio furniture

By Jeanne Huber
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, April 8, 2010

Q: I have wrought-iron patio furniture that I love. But it is white, and I would like to change the color to black. Can you recommend a company that could powder-coat it to make it look new again?


A: Try Extreme Powder Coating in Lorton (703-339-8233,, which specializes in coating architectural railings but also refinishes many other items made of metal. "Anything that can take the heat," says owner Gary Lamb.

To re-coat metal patio furniture, the company charges around $100 to $125 per chair, or $80 if only the frames are metal. The fee includes sandblasting off the old finish, applying an iron phosphate rust inhibitor and a zinc-rich primer that also inhibits rust, and finishing with a top coat in the color of your choice. The turnaround time is generally less than two weeks.

Powder-coat finishes are considered a "green" option because they contain no solvents. Standard paints contain a solvent that makes them liquid during application; the solvent then evaporates. With a powder coat, the finish goes on as tiny dry particles. They stick to the metal because of electrostatic charge; the metal is given a slight negative charge, while the finish particles have a slight positive charge. Then the finish is baked on. The result is far more durable than paint.

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