How to make your old wrought iron look new

Wrought iron railings, fences and deck furniture are an integral part of most homes. The only disadvantage is that wrought iron can rust easily and needs refinishing to look fresh.

Pick a warm, dry day to paint your wrought iron pieces. Don’t start painting if surfaces are wet or when the humidity is high. Try painting directly in the sun, if you’re painting movable wrought iron pieces like furniture.

Set up a clear space to work and cover the floor with a drop cloth to protect from splatters and drips. For fences or railings, make sure that the ground, walls and surrounding surfaces are protected by drop cloths and painter’s tape.


Clean the metal with a vinegar/water solution (50/50) or use water with a mild detergent and a brush or rag to scrub of any dirt and grime. Use a bleach/water solution to remove any mold or mildew.

Completely remove old paint and rust for new coats of paint to adhere properly. The surface needs to be free of loose flakes of paint. Sanding and scraping the surface will improve paint adhesion. Remove both rust and paint using a stiff wire brush. Emery board can also be use to sandpaper railings or fences because of their flexibility. Remove sanding dust as you go. You should see bare metal where the rust has been removed.

Do not forget to wear a dust mask, safety goggles, and appropriate clothing that cover your skin while you sand and scrape away metal paint.

Spray wrought iron with a primer made for metals for smoothest coverage results. For best results, apply two coats. When spraying, use a brush to keep painting over the freshly applied paint before it begins to dry to work the paint into the surface for better adhesion and to smooth out drips. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly for at least 24 hours.

Spray paint or apply with a small to medium-sized paintbrush. Spray painting gets the job done fast and provides excellent coverage and a smooth finish. For best results, apply a second coat of paint within one hour of applying the first coat. Let the paint dry for at least 24 hours before using.


Happy Painting!