An ornamental or wrought iron fence brings timeless beauty to any property. And, for strength, security and longevity, iron fencing is an ideal choice for residential as well as commercial applications.
However, like any outdoor structure made of metal, iron fencing can rust when exposed to moisture. Even though most wrought iron is protected by a rust-resistant finish, rain, snow and increased humidity can still lead to corrosion and damage.
Fortunately, you can restore and protect your ornamental iron fence in three simple steps.
Step No. 1: Remove All Existing Rust from Your Iron Fence
Periodically, walk the length of your fencing and assess its condition. If you spot any rust, it’s important to remove it quickly so that the corrosion doesn’t spread.
To clean those areas with a light amount of rust, rub the area lightly with sandpaper or steel wool. More stubborn corrosion may require a powered disc sander or a stiff metal brush. And, for heavy rust, you may need to apply a commercial rust cleaner or dissolver, such as Naval Jelly.
Regardless of the method you use, always wear appropriate protective gear. Work gloves, safety goggles and a face mask will help keep you safe when removing rust.
Step No. 2: Clean and Dry Your Iron Fence
Once the corrosion is gone, clean away any remaining dirt and loose rust particles on the wrought iron. Wipe the area thoroughly with a cloth dampened mineral spirits or a mixture of warm water and dish detergent. Use an old toothbrush for crevices and other hard-to-reach areas.
Next, rinse the fencing with clean water. Use a clean, dry microfiber towel to dry all surfaces completely. This is the most important step for preventing future rust. If the weather is humid, you can even use a blow dryer or a portable fan to ensure that no moisture remains. Don’t delay in moving on to the next step, however, because new rust can form in a matter of hours if the weather is right.
Step No. 3: Apply a Rust-Proof Iron Fence Coating and Paint
To prevent your wrought iron fence from corroding in the future, apply a coat of oil-based rust-resistant primer. Use smooth strokes with a paintbrush for even coverage. Or, to make the job easier, try a spray-on metal primer. If you suspect that some rust may remain on the iron fencing surface rust converter in place of primer (or beneath it).
Once the primer has thoroughly dried, it’s time to paint your wrought iron fencing with an oil-based metal paint. Paint adds a barrier that helps minimize the risk of rust developing in the future. You can use a small paintbrush; however, many DIYers paint mitts.
Let the paint dry completely, then apply a second coat. If you opt to use a spray-on paint, you may need up to four coats to provide full coverage for the wrought iron.
By following these simple steps, your fencing will remain strong and beautiful for many years to come. If you aren’t interested in the do-it-yourself approach, contact Outback Fencing for professional assistance. We can install maintenance-free new fencing or recommend the best approach for repairing and maintaining your current fence. Outback Fencing serves residential and commercial customers in Utah and Wyoming. Contact us today with any questions you may have about chainlink, wood or vinyl fencing, or ornamental iron fence.