How to Paint Wrought Iron
How to Paint Wrought Iron TIPS
- Use X-O Rust paint
- Get rid of rust
- WATCH the great video below
- Paint in ideal weather - SEE BELOW
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How many homes in lots of the older cities around the USA have traditional and durable wrought iron porch railings, decorative porch supports or majestic wrought iron fencing? My guess is tens of thousands.
It could be hundreds of thousands.
Wrought iron is one of those materials of old that's proven itself. In almost all cases, it's a high-quality steel with few impurities in it.
That's why it doesn't turn to rust powder in just a few years.
Most wrought iron I've seen has stood the test of time. With just a little care on your part, you can preserve it so other future families that own your home can enjoy it too.
Degree of Difficulty:
Gather the following supplies:
- metal priming paint
- gloss metal paint
- lead-paint-approved dust mask
Get These Tools
- paint scraper
- wire brush
- assorted small paint brushes
- paint cleaning tools
- drop cloths
You may want to consider using a power drill equipped with a wire wheel if you have lots of rusty spots to prepare. You may also consider a versatile oscillating multi-tool to speed up this work.
Paint Is Glue
Paint is simply a colored glue. Any paint chemist will confirm this. All glues like to bond to surfaces that are clean, free of oil, dust-free, no rust, no rust scale, etc. The better condition the thing you're painting is in, and assuming you purchase a high-quality paint and matching primer, you can expect to get ten or more years out of a paint job.
The most common problem with wrought iron is peeling paint with rust under the paint. Scrape off as much of the paint as you can. Use a wire brush or a power tool equipped with one that allows you to remove the rust so you see bare metal. Wear a special dust mask that will keep any of the paint dust out of your lungs. There's a very good chance you might be dealing with older layers of paint that very likely contain lead.
X-O Rust Paint Video
Watch the following video. You'll be blown away by the test panels showing how good this paint is next to the name brand you were going to buy.
The video shows a spray paint, but this same paint is available in quarts and gallons for large jobs.
Rub The Rust
The success of your new paint job is based on the amount of time you spend in getting ready to paint. Most people don't want to invest the time to get rid of any and all rust. You must do this. It's non-negotiable.
Once you've removed all rust, take a dry older paint brush and dust off all bare metal. Wipe down any existing painted wrought iron to remove any dust and dirt. Dust is your enemy.
Follow Label Instructions
Read the label on the metal primer can. Follow all the instructions, paying attention to the temperature limits. If you're trying to paint in the early spring or late fall, you could bump up against the lower temperature limit. Also pay attention to the time it says you have to wait to re-coat with finish paint. Some metal primers will allow you to paint metal that has a light coating of rust.
Finish Paint FAST
You'll get the best results with your finish paint if you apply it as soon as the primer says it can be recoated. You'll achieve a better mechanical and chemical bond. Plan ahead so you can apply the finish paint soon to the primed areas and not have days of time between the priming and the finish paint application.
You may think it's best to paint on sunny breezy days. That's the worst time. Overcast days with light or no wind are the best and if the temperature is around 65 F, it's ideal. Be sure there's no threat of rain until such time as the paint is dry.
Apply the finish paint with the brush of your choice. If it's an oil paint, dip the brush in mineral spirits before you dip it in the paint. Getting the bristles wet with the solvent will make it easier to clean the brush later. If you're using a water-based metal paint, dip your brush in water first.
Don't Put It Off
The key to an easy wrought iron paint job is keeping up with it. If you allow the existing paint to fail miserably, then you'll have more prep work to do that's mind-numbing. Remember, purchase the most expensive metal paint and primer you can. Expensive paint almost always has the best ingredients.