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How to Choose the Best Metal Patio Set

by Christina Wright

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Five-piece iron patio set with lattice pattern and scrollwork

A beautiful patio furniture set enhances a home's unique ambiance, but before purchasing a patio set, you must consider what style best suits you and your home. Metal became a widespread and inexpensive furniture material during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. Metal outdoor patio furniture and patio sets are treated to resist rust, and many feature lattice or woven patterns to prevent water from pooling on the surface. Durable metal patio sets comes in a wide array of styles from vintage, with its curved legs and lacy patterns, to contemporary, featuring minimalist, angular lines. There are three main metals used to make outdoor patio furniture and three popular ways of forming and finishing those metals, both of which affect the look of your outdoor garden furniture. Read to discover the best combination for your new patio set.

Metal Patio Set Options:

  1. Aluminum: Aluminum is lightweight and resists corrosion, making it a favored material for outdoor garden furniture. Manufacturers construct products from aluminum tubes or by casting. Aluminum patio sets are rustproof and easy to clean, making it a low-maintenance option.

  2. Steel: Steel is often formed into traditional cast-iron designs. Because steel is more flexible than the heavier iron alloys, steel patio dining furniture and patio sets are more comfortable than iron to many people. Be sure to purchase stainless or galvanized steel patio sets to avoid rusting. Steel weighs less than iron, yet it is very durable and able to handle high traffic and repeated use.

  3. Iron: Iron has been used by man for millennia. Iron patio furniture, especially cast iron, is heavier than aluminum or steel. Choose cast iron if you don't want the patio-set pieces blowing across the yard during a storm.

  4. Metal Patio Set Forms and Finishes:

    1. Casting: Cast items are made by melting a metal, such as aluminum or iron, and pouring the molten material into a mold to set. Big pieces of furniture are cast in small pieces first and welded together. Many bistro tables and chairs and other patio dining furniture are formed this way, as are many patio-set pieces with a lattice or woven pattern.

    2. Powdercoated finish: This dry finishing process involves spraying an electrostatically charged coating onto furniture and then heat-curing the items in an oven. Made of ground pigment and resin, powdered coating adheres to metal better than liquid paint. Used on many metal products, including cars, the powdercoated finish is strong, long-lasting and scratch-resistant.

    3. Wrought: Blacksmiths form wrought-metal products by heating metal, usually iron, to a pliable stage and then hammering it into shape. Wrought-iron patio set furniture features elegant design elements, such as slender bars and curved patterns.

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