Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by lindseymahoney
Last week I found an old metal garden arbor on the side of the road with a “free” sign attached to the front. The design of this metal arbor is perfect for my English garden, and I love it when the price is free!
When I drove past the arbor, I quickly grabbed my husband and we tossed the arbor in the back of our truck.
Today I am going to share how we fixed this beauty up and added her to our garden. It’s like it was meant to be there all along.
If you enjoy upcycling projects, check out the bed frame I refinished for my daughter’s room!
How to Upcycle a Rusted Metal Arbor for Our Garden
With this DIY I am sharing how we fixed up an iron arbor, but the same process can be applied to any iron piece.
1 | Tighten Screws and Bolts
First, we tightened any loose bolts and screws on the arbor to give it more support.
Before sanding and spray painting any iron piece, make any repairs needed to ensure it is structurally sound.
2 | Sand Flaking Paint & Rust
Next, we used sandpaper from our garage to sand off any flaking and rusted parts of the arbor.
This was a fun project to involve the kids and Evie really enjoyed sanding the railings with her daddy.
3 | Spray Paint the Arbor
We broke up a few cardboard boxes and laid the arbor on top to prep for paint.
I purchased black flat spray paint for the finish. Once we sprayed one side of the arbor, we waited for about an hour and flipped it over to spray the other side.
The entire metal arbor took three cans of spray paint to fully cover.
4 | Install Garden Arbor & Secure in Place
Once the arbor dried we set it in place and it is perfect!
We plan on getting stakes to keep it in place, but for now, we just connected each side to a stake in the ground with some wiring.
I am planning on purchasing clematis to climb the arbor for the perfect English garden look. Clematis is another popular perennial that is added to many English garden designs.
Have you ever refinished an old iron arbor? They are such great pieces and last forever!
Metal Garden Arbor Update
Three years later the black metal arbor still looks perfect in our English garden.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an arbor and a trellis?
An arbor is a structure that can offer privacy, charm, and a solid surface for climbing plants, like roses or clematis. Arbors are a beautiful accent to enter a garden or backyard.
A trellis is also used to support climbing plants, however, it can be built to be used as a privacy wall or to create shade over a patio.
Where can I find old iron arbors to refinish?
The best place to find a secondhand garden arbor is at an estate sale, thrift store, consignment shop, or Facebook marketplace. I found ours on the side of the road, but that cannot be predicted when one will be available.
How do you attach a metal arbor to the ground?
Ground spikes are a great solution to secure metal arbors to the ground.
Where can I buy an iron arbor for my garden?
Your local home improvement or garden store will have garden arbors available for purchase. Many big box home decor stores also offer metal arbor products that you assemble yourself.
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