Sign Maintenance Australia


How do you keep outdoor metal decor from rusting?

How to Keep Outdoor Metal Decor from Rusting

Metal decor can add a touch of elegance and style to your outdoor spaces. Whether it’s a metal sculpture, garden furniture, or decorative accents, keeping them rust-free is essential for maintaining their beauty and longevity. Rust not only diminishes the aesthetic appeal of metal decor but also weakens its structure over time. To ensure your outdoor metal decor stays in pristine condition, follow these tips and tricks:

1. Choose the Right Type of Metal

When selecting outdoor metal decor, opt for materials that are naturally resistant to rust. Stainless steel, aluminum, and wrought iron are popular choices due to their durability and corrosion-resistant properties. These metals are less prone to rust formation, making them ideal for withstanding outdoor conditions.

2. Apply a Protective Coating

Applying a protective coating is an effective way to safeguard your outdoor metal decor against rust. Clear polyurethane or lacquer can create a barrier that prevents moisture from reaching the metal surface. Before applying the coating, clean the metal thoroughly to remove any dirt or existing rust. Ensure the surface is dry before proceeding with the coating application. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

How do you keep outdoor metal decor from rusting?
How do you keep outdoor metal decor from rusting?

3. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial for preventing rust and preserving the beauty of your outdoor metal decor. Wipe down the surfaces with a clean cloth or sponge to remove any dirt, dust, or debris that can trap moisture. Use a mild detergent mixed with water to gently scrub away stubborn stains or grime. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or steel wool, as they can scratch the metal’s protective layer.

4. Keep Metal Decor Dry

Moisture is one of the primary causes of rust formation on metal surfaces. Ensure your outdoor metal decor stays dry by taking precautions during wet weather conditions. If possible, move the decor indoors or under a sheltered area to protect it from rain or snow. If the metal decor is too large or impractical to move, cover it with a waterproof tarp or furniture cover.

5. Provide Adequate Ventilation

Good airflow is essential for preventing rust on outdoor metal decor. Avoid placing metal objects directly on damp surfaces or in areas with poor ventilation. Moisture can accumulate and linger, increasing the chances of rust formation. Instead, use risers or protective pads to elevate the metal decor slightly, allowing air to circulate freely and prevent moisture buildup.

6. Touch Up Any Damaged Areas

outdoor metal decor from rusting

Over time, outdoor metal decor may develop small chips, scratches, or areas where the protective coating wears off. It’s crucial to address these issues promptly to prevent rust from taking hold. Regularly inspect your metal decor for any signs of damage and touch up these areas with a rust-inhibiting paint or a specialized touch-up product recommended by the manufacturer.

7. Avoid Salt Exposure

If you live in a coastal area or in a region where de-icing salts are commonly used, your outdoor metal decor is at higher risk of rusting. The corrosive nature of salt accelerates rust formation. To protect your metal decor, rinse it with clean water regularly to remove any salt residue. Consider applying a corrosion-resistant wax or sealant for added protection.

8. Seasonal Storage

If you experience harsh winters or extended periods of inclement weather, consider storing your outdoor metal decor during the offseason. Choose a dry and well-ventilated area, such as a shed or garage, to protect the decor from moisture and extreme temperature fluctuations. Before storing, clean the metal thoroughly, apply a protective coating, and ensure it is completely dry to prevent rust formation.

9. Professional Restoration

If your outdoor metal decor has extensive rust damage or you’re unsure how to restore it, consulting a professional restoration service can be a wise choice. They have the expertise and tools to remove rust, repair any damages, and apply protective coatings that can significantly extend the life of your metal decor.


With proper care and maintenance, you can prevent rust from compromising the beauty and durability of your outdoor metal decor. Choose rust-resistant materials, apply protective coatings, regularly clean and maintain the decor, and provide adequate ventilation. Avoid salt exposure, store the decor during harsh weather conditions, and consider professional restoration for extensive rust damage. By following these guidelines, your outdoor metal decor will continue to enhance your outdoor spaces for years to come.

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