Spray Painting A Metal Outdoor Table & Chairs With Oil-Rubbed Bronze

Waste not, want not. That was my attitude when it came to using up the rest of the oil-rubbed bronze spray paint from this project that I had leftover. So I turned my attention to the mismatched patio furniture that we inherited from the previous owners (seen here in an old photo with my dearly departed ceramic dog, sniffle).

Sure, I like painting things white (and white ceramic animals, and white chocolate among other snow-colored objects) but sometimes white things outside = grungy. As this shot demonstrates, any time it rained little dirt and leaves splashed into the crevices of the table and looked all grubby.

Parts of it were peeling too:

And you should have seen this guy in March/April in the height of allergy season. Yeah, it was fuzzy and yellow. So I figured a coat of ORB spray paint could cure his everything-shows issue. And unify those chipping black chairs.

So I just dragged everything out to the yard, set them down on items from our recycle bin (namely magazines & cardboard boxes)…

… and sprayed away.

Especially satisfying? Taking the nasty parts like this…

… to this (gotta love that ORB glistening-in-the-sun phenomenon):


Update: Here’s an affiliate link to the spray paint we used over on Amazon for anyone who can’t find it in stores. 

The whole shebang took about an hour and a half. Maybe two if you count brushing everything with a stiff brush (from our dust pan) to shake all the junk off, and carrying stuff out to the grass and back after they were dry. Oh and it took another can of ORB to get all three pieces done, but we figure spending a little more for that second can and using the rest of our leftover one (from this project) sure beats investing in new patio furniture.

You might not see it yet, but adding some pillows (or chair pads), some swagged bulb lights, and a few other festive patio accessories might just take this old set from drab to fab. Yes I just said drab to fab (she types as she buries her head in her hands).

What have you guys been spray painting lately? Any outdoor chillaxing going on? Anyone shocked that I didn’t paint everything white instead of ORB? Anyone turn this post into a drinking game (and sip every time I mention that three letter abbreviation)? Just went back and counted, but I only said it three times. Not enough: ORB, ORB, ORB. There, done.


  1. kathy says

    Thanks so much for this perfect post! I’m about to spray paint some patio chairs almost identical to the ones you show here. I just got them with a table at a local 2nd hand store! I love your table more though!!

  2. says

    Is ORB safe to use on just about surface/medium? I feel like I should know this with my obsessive reading of YHL and your ORB obsession, but… I don’t. And I have a patio set that is metal and wood; I’m curious how it would turn out.

    • Beth says

      I have used ORB on my plastic switchplates in my kitchen, hinges, and I am toying with the idea of doing the doorknobs, so I bet it’s fine for most anything! If you use the plastic primer first, you can even use it on items from your recycling bin…you may laugh, but I have done it. ORB can be an illness.

  3. Kathy says

    Just painted a 4 piece wicker set (settee, 2 chairs and a coffee table) I purchased at a consignment shop. Spray painted it brown and plan on spraying a laquer on it to help preserve it a little longer for outdoors. I only paid $150 for the whole set! Can’t wait to finish it, find some discount outdoor cushions to put on them…and, then enjoy our back deck!

    • says

      Kathy I recently did the same! Gotta say, spray painting wicker is ANNOYING – everytime I looked at it from a different angle I was missing spots! So worth it though, our wicker set was left by the previous owners and several bottles of spray paint and new cushions were much cheaper than a new set! Try overstock.com for cushions, I got a 3 piece set for about $50, which didn’t seem too bad compared to Lowe’s/Home Depot etc.

  4. Mandy says

    Your couch leg project forced me to go out and buy the same stuff and spray my fireplace screen. Love that stuff, but I’m having a hard time with the bottle — like it’s hard to get started. I have another bottle I’m going to use to update my ugly brass fixtures in the guest bath. Love this stuff!

    • says


      I once bought a can that was hard to get started, too! It actually ended up squirting all over my hands. Must have been bad luck, because every can after that (and there have been quite a few) has been just fine for us.

  5. says

    Wow, It looks awesome! I love spray painting furniture but I don’t have a good outdoor space to do it. So Jealous of home owners with big yards, I would be a spray painting maniac!

  6. Sharon says

    It looks fantastic; much better than the original white color. I don’t like the grungy look and that was definitely strolling down the grungy lane. You have given that set new life so ENJOY !!

  7. Amanda says

    Looks great! Did you do any sanding on the chairs before you sprayed it? Or did the paint “fill in” the chips?

    • says

      Nah I didn’t sand, but a few thin coats filled things in really well. Maybe if you felt around you might tell, but by sight they’re invisible.


  8. Christy K says

    When I get back home I will for sure be buying me a can of this ORB! LOL! I’ve been wondering if they really did have something of this sort.

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