DIY: remove paint from cast iron furniture

Cast iron furniture can add a nice touch to your home decor, as long as it isn’t in bad shape. If your iron furniture happens to be worn and aged, with chipped off paint and rust to go with it, that’s perhaps your cue to roll up your sleeves and give the cast iron furniture a makeover. 

You’d have to first get rid of the layer of paint on the metal, and then decide whether you’d like to keep it as is, or apply a fresh coat of paint to it. 

Here are two solutions that help remove paint from cast iron furniture-

Solution 1


Although this solution is not a two-minute process, it is definitely effective and doable at home. 

What you’ll need:

  • Pocket knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Clean, dry rags
  • A wire brush
  • A can of WD-40

To remove paint, scrape the paint off with a pocket knife as carefully as you can

Step 2
Sand the piece slowly but firmly. Remember to try and smoothen around the edges of the old painted chips.

Step 3
Brush off paint residue with a wire brush, and spray a layer of WD-40 all over it. Wait a few minutes, while the solution loosens the rust build-up on the exposed metal frame if any. Scrub and wipe it all up.

Step 4
Let the furniture air-dry for a while, and paint to match your decor needs.

Step 5
Once the paint has dried completely, coat the furniture with another layer of WD-40 as a protection against rust and decay, and wipe it clean. 

Solution 2


This solution to remove paint, although more effective, needs more precaution while cleaning up. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area and have the right tools and safety equipment for it. 

What you’ll need:

  • Protective hand gloves and a mask
  • Chemical paint remover/ chemical stripper 
  • Medium-sized paintbrush
  • Plastic paint scraper
  • Wire brush/tarp
  • A can of WD-40
  • Clean rags

Step 1
Make sure you wear sturdy rubber gloves and a mask before dealing with the paint remover. Chemicals like liquid/gel paint removers can usually be toxic and end up doing more harm than good. 

Step 2
Apply a thick coat of chemical paint remover on a portion of the iron furniture, and wait. You should see the paint slightly bubble up and loosen because of the chemical reaction to the paint remover. 

Step 3
Firmly scrape off the paint with a plastic paint scraper, and scrub off the remainder with a wire brush in circular motions. Wipe the residue off with a clean cloth.

Step 4
If you see rust formations on the metal frame, spray some WD-40 over it. You can scrub it off in a minute or so, and wipe the furniture clean. 

Step 5
Repeat steps 1-4 on other sections of the furniture until all the paint and rust is removed from the cast iron furniture. 


If you intend to leave the furniture bare and unpainted, the layer of WD-40 over the frame will keep the rust away for a long time, while giving the cast iron furniture an extra shine. If you decide to paint over the clean furniture, a layer of WD-40 over the dried paint will also act as protection against rust and the elements. In case your furniture needs a deeper cleaning solution than this, you can always get it sandblasted by professionals. But regardless of whether you do it yourself or get professional help to get the paint off, we recommend keeping a can or two of WD-40 handy for foolproof protection from rust.


The uses shown and described for WD-40 Multi-Use Product were provided to WD-40 Company by the users themselves. These uses haven’t been tested by WD-40 Company and do not constitute a recommendation of suggestion for use by WD-40 Company. Common sense should be exercised whenever using WD-40 Company products. Always follow the instructions and take heed of any warnings printed on the packaging.

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