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How to Paint Wrought Iron

How to Paint Wrought Iron TIPS

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: Two Hammers out of Five.

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local exterior painters who know wrought iron.

Needed Supplies

 Gather the following supplies:

Here's a great newer paint that's got the primer built in. This saves you TIME AND MONEY. CLICK HERE TO ORDER THIS PAINT. It comes in many colors. While you're buying this paint at Amazon, be SURE TO GET all the other tools you need in the following list.

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.

Scrape Away

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.

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local exterior painters who know wrought iron.

Remove Dust

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.

Best Weather

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.

Brush Tips

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.

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local exterior painters who know wrought iron.

Column: HT042

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2 Responses to How to Paint Wrought Iron

  1. I like to sandblast wrought iron. I was in the sandblasting business at one time so I still have some of my equipment but consumer equipment is available from local suppliers at reasonable prices. One is allsource Blasters and Equipment.
    The big expense is the air compressor but if you have one the rest is quite reasonable.
    Good Luck!

  2. I have used this product on the undercarriage of my camper. I love it. That is not the question. I have a brass bed that needs polishing/coating. Do you know a decent place close to home and reasonable?

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