There are a lot of reasons to go for cast iron patio furniture: it's fairly inexpensive and durable; it will lend a certain air of vintage industrial charm to your yard and it doesn't require a lot of upkeep. When you're looking for comfortable, long-lasting pieces to place on your porch, that's the gold standard (or the iron one, if you will).
Furniture that's made of cast iron (as opposed to, say, wrought iron) is made of metal that has been melted down, poured into a specific mold, and then allowed to cool. When contrasted with wrought-iron pieces, those that have been worked by tools, there's a fundamental density and durability that the casting process gives its pieces. Your cast-iron patio furniture will never break.
Why? Cast iron is far harder, making it a good choice for outdoor contexts. It may not be as delicate, but for durability, cast iron simply cannot be beat.
When selecting a good set of porch pieces made from cast iron, you'll want to look for the following attributes:
- An inset stamp or mark from its manufacturer; this will help trace a piece's provenance, particularly if you're purchasing vintage.
- Extreme heaviness: If it isn't very heavy, it's probably not true cast iron.
- Extravagant ornamentation: Because cast iron utilizes a mold and doesn't have to be sculpted fresh each time, cast iron pieces are often far more ornamented than their wrought iron counterparts.
While cast iron pieces can definitely be worth the investment, you'll also need to be aware that they do have some downsides.
- Firstly, as mentioned above, cast iron is heavy. Once you install a piece in your yard, you won't want to move it again. This can make flexibility for those who love to redecorate more difficult.
- Secondly, cast iron pieces are prone to rusting, as they're made of iron (a material that oxidizes easily). If they're in a part of your yard that gets a lot of moisture, that will only happen faster. You'll need to coat your furniture often to keep it safe.
Consider these pieces for inspiration around your home!