How to paint and maintain wrought iron

Spanish homes are surrounded by and covered in wrought iron. Most homes have railing and window covers in wrought iron, and these will get both rusty and discoloured if not maintained properly.

Maintenance tips

Wrought iron can rust when exposed to weather like rain or humidity. So even though Spain does not have a lot of rainy days, we DO have a lot of humidity. If the weather forecast tells you of a coming rainstorm, you can apply a coat of wax to your fence or just simply cover it with a water proof tarp. Rust is also more likely to develop if your wrought iron fence is close to a pool. So taking preventative steps will make you wrought iron last for years and years.

Clean

Clean your fence when dirty or a least every 6 months. Use a basic mixture of warm water and dish detergent. Scrub your whole fence using a sponge and use a tooth brush or similar for hard to reach areas. Rinse of with clean water. Let it dry completely in the sun or quickly go over with a dry cloth. Cleaning you fence will keep it looking shiny and new, and also reveal any potential problems.

Inspect

You should inspect your iron gates or fence regularly. Look for small rust spots, loose hinges and cracks. If your fence has recently been painted, look for chipping paint. When noticed early, you can fix most wrought iron damages easily.

Repair rust spots

If you discover small rust spots when inspecting your fence, these can be easily repaired without having to repaint your whole fence or gate. Use sandpaper or steel wool to remove the rust, and stop the corrosion by applying a thin coat of wax. In addition you can retouch the area with some paint, to minimize the appearance of rust. Though, if your fence is severely rusted or damaged, you will need to call a professional for repairs.

Fix bent spots

Wrought iron is tough, but will still bend if pulled, pushed or hit hard. If this happens to your fence, you could easily fix it yourself with the right equipment. Use a blowtorch to heat the damaged section of the fence and then hammer it back into place. Use caution when handling these tools, and call a professional if the damage is severe or you are unsure.

Paint

Giving your fence or gate a fresh coat of paint will also help protect it. The paint creates a layer between the iron and the air, minimizing oxidation and thus reducing the likelihood of rust. A paint job will also make it look fresh and clean for any occasion.

1: Use a wire brush to remove any old chipped paint

2: Sand down the whole fence using sandpaper. Use a coarse grit, like 80.

3: Hose down using just water, let dry or dry of with a clean cloth.

4: Prime using an oil-based rust protector.

5: Lightly sand after it is dry. Use a finer grit this time, around 240.

Step 6: Finally, we paint! Use an oil based exterior-grade enamel paint. Using a satin finish vs. a gloss finish, it will be more for forgiving of your sanding job. The paint is also a bit runny, so make sure to place some paper or plastic underneath to catch any drips.

After you’re done, to make your effort last as long as possible, apply a protective sealant to your fence. You can buy this at most hardware stores like Leroy Merlin or even Amazon.

So, inspect your fence often.
Clean when needed, remove rusty spots and freshen up with a fresh coat of paint every now and then!

If you don’t want to do this yourself, let us help you!
We have cleaned, painted and repaired several fences, and we would love to help you out with yours! Contact us for a free quote on your fence, gate or other wrought iron elements.

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