Too often we labor over the aesthetic appeal of our yards, gardens, and patios, only to find that our outdoor furniture is too weathered and rusted to enjoy our outdoor spaces in comfort. But what can be done about avoiding rusty furnishings? What is the best outdoor furniture rust-proof material?
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) lumber is the best rust-proof outdoor furniture material. It is made from recycled plastic which provides high resistance to moisture and other corrosive outdoor conditions. It does not rust, rot, crack, splinter, or wear down from being left outdoors.
If HDPE lumber doesn’t suit your taste, there are other materials that are touted as reliable and rust-proof. To help you figure out which furniture material is best for you, we’ve studied the options and provided a quick and easy guide.
6 Best Rust Proof Outdoor Furniture Options
1. HDPE Lumber
With our growing concern for the environment, finding materials that are sustainably manufactured is a major plus. HDPE lumber has proven to be the most popular alternative to traditional metals and lumber.
Not only is HDPE made from recycled material, but its manufacturing process does not produce any harmful chemicals. It’s coveted for being rust and corrosion-resistant. The only drawback is that painting it is not an option, as its surface repels paint as much as it repels moisture. But paint isnt needed with the huge color selection available.
If HDPE is in your sights, easily the best rust proof outdoor furniture option, we highly suggest checking out Polywood for its high-quality products. You can find Polywood products on their Amazon shop.
Concrete furniture appeals to the minimalistic style. It is undeniably rust-proof and durable. Compared to all other options, this one is by far the most wind-resistant. Concrete furniture can be molded into a variety of shapes and designs. The biggest drawback, of course, is its weight, making rearrangements quite a pain. Also, concrete is susceptible to unsightly discoloration that requires extra cleaning to retain its original, fresh tone.
There are lightweight concrete designs for outdoor furniture, basically, it’s a concrete exterior with a hollow inside. However, the best thing about concrete outdoor furniture is the limitless DIY ideas you can do yourself. Take a look at this super cool DIY Concrete Chair Youtube video by HomeMadeModern, I am totally going to try to make these someday!
3. Wooden Outdoor Furniture
Nothing quite adds the same sense of elegance and comfort to your outdoor living area as hardwood furniture. And of course, wood never rusts. If wood is the way to go for you, then here are our top four choices of wood varieties.
The natural oils present in teak wood provide excellent protection from rot and decay. With proper care, teak furniture will last for decades. Teak is sustainably grown on plantations, making this a popular eco-friendly choice.
It’s hard to find any drawbacks about the quality of the wood itself, but due to high popularity and limited supply, prices tend to exceed most shoppers’ budget. You can also apply teak oil to other woods for a great look but also good outdoor protection.
This is another top choice of wood. Its reddish-gold color is often favored, and it’s stronger and cheaper than teak. Like teak, it has a high oil content that minimizes weather damage.
Shorea is more reasonably priced than teak, but because of low popularity and demand, not many retailers sell it.
Acacia has a lovely mellow glow, and as it ages it turns dark gray, giving a cool weathered look. Because acacia is a fast-growing tree, its prices stay relatively low. As one of the heavier hardwoods, it’s a great option if you live in a windy region.
With a higher tendency to warp and crack compared with the other hardwoods on our list, it’s important to consider the amount of weather exposure your outdoor furniture gets. Having a furniture cover could help protect it in harsh weather.
This tropical tree is well-known as an environmentally-friendly choice. It has a natural, rustic look that blends in well with outdoor areas. This tree is fast-growing, making it easy on the pocketbook.
While Eucalyptus also has moisture-resistant oils, it is still recommended to apply sealant on an annual basis to increase its longevity.
You’ll likely come across many options of hardwood. Ipe and White Oak are both common and are fine choices. Ipe is known for its exceptional resistance to denting or splintering. And White Oak is so sturdy that it’s commonly used for making boats.
Ipe, however, is difficult to work with, making it a bit more costly. And White Oak lacks the amount of natural oils that other types of wood have, requiring occasional painting or sealing to prevent water damage.
In general, it’s good to steer clear of African Iroko, Mahogany, and Roble for your outdoor furniture, especially if wind, rain, and sunshine are a daily matter.
4. Cast Aluminum
As far as metal goes, cast aluminum is the most rust-resistant, making it a best-seller for outdoor furniture. Durable yet malleable, cast aluminum furniture can be found in a wide variety of ornate designs that can withstand the elements year-round.
Also, it’s lightweight, making your tables and chairs easy to rearrange at a moment’s notice. However, on a blustery day, they’ll need to be secured or safely stored to keep from blowing away.
5. All-Weather Rattan
The classic woven style of Rattan furniture is hard to pass up. The traditional, plant-based materials once often used tend to succumb to the elements too easily. This is why All-weather Rattan made from synthetic materials is now a common choice.
Unbeatable comfort, low maintenance, reasonable price, and excellent weather resistance make this material a top choice. Just be sure the if the frame is metal make sure it is made of high-quality cast aluminum to ensure rust-free longevity.
6. High-Pressure Laminate (HPL)
HPL is made from composite materials that are pressed together under high pressure and heat. This material has exceptional durability for outdoor purposes. However, it doesn’t like to sit wet, or it will absorb the moisture and swell. So this material is best for covered patios and decks.
Rust and Outdoor Furniture FAQs
What Type of Outdoor Furniture Will Rust?
Wrought iron is the beloved metal for outdoor furniture. It’s classy, classic, and beautiful. Its durability and wind resistance are also a quality that can’t be beaten by many other materials. It makes as one of the longest-lasting outdoor furniture pieces in our other article if properly cared for.
However, it is prone to rusting over time. If you settle with wrought iron furniture, be sure it’s powder-coated by the manufacturer which will prevent moisture and corrosion longer than traditionally painted sets.
Similar to wrought iron, stainless steel has its benefits. While it is known for its resistance to outdoor elements, it can still succumb to rust if not treated with extra care. A powder-coated finish is also recommended when considering outdoor furniture made with stainless steel.
How to Keep Metal Furniture from Rusting Outside?
No matter what material you choose, it’s always a good idea to show a little love and care every so often to maintain the appearance of your outdoor furniture. For all materials, it’s good to give a regular cleaning using soapy water.
When it comes to your metal outdoor furniture, extra steps need to be taken to prevent rust. After a heavy rain, wipe up the moisture with a dry cloth once the clouds have cleared. If any metal is dented or cracked, fix the damaged area as soon as possible. In harsh winters, consider storing or covering your furniture. Occasional applications of common products such as WD-40 or paste wax are also excellent at preserving metallic surfaces.
Most metal outdoor furniture comes with a powder-coated finish that improves the overall resistance to rust. When shopping for a new set, be sure any metal material has been treated with a powder coating.
Can You Paint Over Rusted Patio Furniture?
Fixing rusted outdoor furniture can seem like a pain. But facing this project head-on will add years of life to your furniture, save money and restore beauty to your outdoor living space. Repainting will require all of the rust and old layers of paint to be removed, try a wire brush attachment for a drill. Then, after cleaning and drying the raw material, add several layers of primer and metal paint.
Read our Related Article: 9 Easy Ways to Remove Rust Stains from Concrete
Rusty outdoor furniture happens, and it’s certainly a matter to take into consideration when shopping for a set. There are plenty of options out there and having a basis of what’s what will help you make the best investment both in terms of your personal taste and in the longevity of your purchase.
Always keep in mind the specific conditions of your outdoor living area. Non-metals are great if your furniture spends a lot of time in direct sunlight, as metal will get too hot to sit on. If you’re in a windy region, heavier materials will be preferred. Whereas wet, humid climates will pose problems for even the best hardwoods.
If metal is a must for you, then cast aluminum is the best way to go. However, HDPE lumber remains the overall best option in terms of cost, durability, and eco-friendly production. Good luck! And enjoy!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.