How to remove rust in just a few minutes…
A while back, I wrote about the rehabilitation of a sweet, elderly little chrome chair I found curbside. Since then, I’ve gotten some questions about that DIY project, specifically regarding how to remove rust.
The great news is that removing rust from a chrome plated chair like this one, or really any other metal chair can be super duper simple. Even better? You don’t need any expensive tools or supplies to get the job done!
Here’s what you can expect in this article:
The quick and (very) dirty backstory on this rust removal project:
First, here’s the backstory on our rust removal patient…
Here’s the ol’ girl right here, “Margaret”. And when I found her, Margaret wasn’t doing or looking so hot.
Pretty decrepit. She was a whole lotta age, and hardly any beauty.
And the worst part was the rust.
It was everywhere…
Did you read the Judy Blume book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. A Classic. The epitome of an awkward, coming-of-age story, am I right?
This chair makeover was a little like that book. Awkward, because I didn’t quite know what I was doing. I fumbled my way through much of this process, just praying that it would all turn out ok for Margaret.
In Margaret the chair’s case, we aren’t really talking about a coming of age story, but more of a reversal of age story. And at this particular phase in my own life (which I will NOT call middle age, but rather “above average”) I am a big fan of age deniers.
There are all kinds of “deniers” in this world…and this is one kind of denial I aim to embrace wholeheartedly. Anyone else wanna join me and Margaret in our club? We’ll call it the ADA. “Age Deniers Anonymous”.
So, in the spirit of Judy Blume, and our protagonist, Margaret, I’m going to share with you how to remove rust, and polish up old, banged-up chrome. Altogether now…
“WE MUST, WE MUST, WE MUST DECREASE OUR RUST”…
That still sounds awkward, even with the wording-change-up. Thank God puberty is behind me.
Supplies for Removing Rust:
How To Remove Rust:
1. Grab a small wad of clean aluminum foil. Dip it in some clean water.
2. Rub the dampened aluminum foil all over the rust.
Rub small sections at a time, intermittently adding a bit more water to the foil. Once the foil becomes really ratty, exchange for a new piece.
3. There is no #3! You’re done!
Yep, that’s literally all you do. Keep rubbing pieces of wet aluminum foil over the rusted areas of your piece of furniture until it’s rust-free (or as close as is humanly possible).
Can one of my ADA members up here in da club pop a bottle full of bub? Because this is a flipping miracle, I’ll tell you. Seriously, that’s all you do. Below is a shot of the same section of the chair, after the tin foil/water treatment.
I scrubbed a tiny, itsy bitsy amount…not hard, just went over each section a couple of times with the tin foil/water treatment. This procedure for removing rust alone removed 85% of it.
Now, truth be told, this little chair will never again be completely rust-free, but considering where we started, I’d call this a serious victory! And if/when the rust starts to creep back, I’ll simply repeat this procedure as needed.
Hey, we all need a little “upkeep” as we age, right?
Just to help out a little more, after the tin foil/water, I rubbed the frame down with chrome polish. The same kind that people use on their cars (we don’t use it too often for that purpose, which is why this bottle looks like it’s from 1985).
I can’t say this step really improved the chrome’s condition more than the water/tin foil alone, but I think it may help protect the finish a bit moving forward. So it’s an optional step, but probably a good one.
I have heard others swear by using Coca-Cola on their chrome to restore it. I haven’t tried it but would love to know if someone else has and how that worked out for them.
For now, I’ll show you how things turned out for our friend, Margaret.
The big rust removal reveal!
She’s a beaut. I’ll tell ya, it makes me feel like breaking into song. Possibly a little Sinatra… “You make me feel so young…”
Or perhaps a rousing rendition of “Forever Young” by my man Rod Stewart?
Maybe a little MKTO “Out of my league, old school chic, like a movie star, from the silver screen…baby you’re so classic”… Regardless of the tune, the bottom line is Margaret may be an oldie, but she’s definitely a goodie.
And since age is “just a number”, I’m gonna say hers is a PERFECT 10.
But since we’re not mentioning age here in the ADA club, we’ll just leave it like this…
You’re only as old as you feel, and if this chica is “acting her age”, she’s got a long, spunky, fun-filled life in front of her. No more elderly or awkward here. She’s even been a centerfold in Reloved magazine.
And now being the believer that I am, that perhaps I’ll go and try that other “must, must” thing again…you ladies know what I’m talking about (wink, wink).
Pin this project for later! And if you decide to try it, leave a comment on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try it, too!
Looking for more furniture renovating inspiration? Check these out:
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