Should antique metal garden furniture be restored?
While we prefer to retain the antique patina of metal garden antiques whenever possible this is often only practical for pieces destined to remain protected indoors. One might add that finding pieces with the perfect antique patina is extremely rare.
We maintain that garden furniture is best, for the most part, where it's meant to be, out in the garden. If rust deterioration threatens the long term integrity of a piece, or multiple paint layers have obscured detail beyond recognition, then we suggest making the effort to restore using the appropriate method. These would include scraping using paint strippers - tedious, but least damaging to the piece. After stripping the metal surface should be thoroughly washed and cleaned before the application of a rust-proofing (red oxide) primer. Spray painting with high gloss oil paint offers the longest lasting protection (the gloss finish will dull over time with natural weathering).
Sand blasting by a professional should be considered if your main priority is utilitarian. We have found that careful work on the part of a professional results in very little damage from surface pitting. Most metal castings have ample flaws inbuilt at the time of production - it's the nature of the beast. Media blasting (as it is now called as many agents are now available to accomplish this task other than sand) is environmentally friendly. Better however is that it is typically followed by a zinc coating, which prevents future rust, and a powder coating. Powder coating is a solvent-free application of paint where heat is used to bind the pigment to the metal surface. The resultant finish is longer lasting than with regular paint, but virtually undistinguishable from it.
Questions relating to the selling price of items listed as "sold".
We receive frequent requests of this kind, usually from individuals seeking to determine the value of a piece which they may or may not own themselves. Our policy is not to divulge theses prices. Items that we sell have prices determined primarily by what we had to pay for them ourselves when we acquired them, plus some mark up. These prices, and thus the selling prices, can vary considerably and should not be used as a means of appraising or valuing pieces in general. If you wish to know the wholesale or market value of any piece you should have it properly appraised by a qualified appraiser. Such an appraiser will need to see detailed photos of your particular piece in order to determine its condition, or to find any other features that might affect his evaluation. This process, inevitably, involves a fee. There are no instant answers to the question of value and we do not solicit business as an appraisal service, nor should our current or past prices be used for insurance valuation purposes.