Paint recommendations

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Established Member
UKW Supporter
12 Mar 2022
Reaction score
Hi all

I need to do some renovation work on a garden bench and looking for some advice/recommendations on paints.

It's cast steel, I guess, with teak slats. The wood is easy enough, I'll just sand then oil it.
For the metal the plan is to wire brush any loose stuff off, (not a lot as it's only superficial rust), apply a suitable rust converter to rusty areas, brush on a red oxide or similar primer, and then top coat with something - yet to be decided.

My first thought was Hammerite, especially as it says no rust treatment or primer required, (though I'm dubious). I remember my dad used to use it years ago and it was good stuff, but I've heard that the formulation has now been changed for the worse. Also considering Paragon paint, after seeing it suggested on another post on here today. Screwfix/Toolstation offer various brands claiming to be "direct to metal" ;- Hammerite, Ronseal, Rustins, Zinsser, Leyland. I've been very impressed with Zinsser in the past, having used a primer/sealer for various indoor jobs, so that's tempting.

Anyone got any experience/advice/thoughts please?


I would go for a galvanising primer then a top coat.

Or take them to be powder coated?

More expensive £50 - I expect but less hassle.(maybe £100 as back too)
Many paints used be very good, unfortunately they were toxic if consumed so now we have safer paints that are often terrible as paint but ok if you drink them. Red oxide, Creosote and hammerite are all examples of where good has gone bad and they do not protect as well or last. If you want good industrial paint then look at Firwood paints, now part of Trimite and the products are called Trimite Firwood .
Rustoleum do some good metal coatings. Have a look at this Holmans paints page, I buy quite a bit of paint from them they are very helpful Exterior Metal

The prep work is important in ensuring a good result and you might need a rust passivating layer.
If you want to get expensive POR 15 is a posh rust preventing paint often used in old car restoration.
Also Bilt-Hamber do different coatings and surface preperation stuff, they are used for painting oil rigs and bridges and stuff.
Thanks all for your inputs, I'll check them out. It's always better to have recommendations rather than random Google results.

Good point about the powder coating, I'd not considered that. I'm tempted by the convenience if I can find somewhere close by.

The thing is that the rust really is just superficial, so it's only a visual thing. It's been like it for the last 15 years or so, barely got any worse. If it was up to me I'd probably just clean and oil the wooden seat and leave the metalwork alone. Not good enough for her indoors though! Speaking of which she's got her mind set on some interior painting and decorating now, (which I've promised to finish for the last few years), so this bench will probably have to wait for a while.