Wrought iron makes a beautiful fence, but like most other types of fencing it will eventually need repainting to keep it in good condition. Most professional fencing contractors will tell you that such a job is usually left for far too long, making the necessary preparation more difficult. But it must be done properly or the paint will simply flake off and the fence will look worse than ever.
Here are some tips for repainting wrought iron.
- As with any kind of steel, the rust must be removed before it is painted. Cordless tools can make this a great deal easier, but if there’s only a tiny bit of rust you can remove it with a wire brush.
- The whole fence will need to be sanded down with medium grit sandpaper to remove chipped or peeling paint and ensure there is a good surface for the new paint to adhere to.
- Wipe all the dust and loose debris off the fence with a soft rag.
- Most people use spray paint for this kind of job, but you have to remember that where there is no fence, sprayed paint will continue on through the air and land on things next to the fence, be they lawn, plants, walls or windows – or children. So get out your plastic tarp and cover up both sides of the fence, because you’ll very likely need to spray from both sides, unless you are double jointed.
- The first coat should be done with a primer that inhibits rust. Aerosol application is the easiest if the scroll work is very intricate. Most need to dry for 3-6 hours before you can paint the next coat on. Be sure to follow the instructions on the can.
- Hold the aerosol can about 10 cm away from the fence when spraying. Most people try to get closer and end up with drips and runs that spoil the look of the finished product.
- Use an enamel paint over the primer once it has cured for the proper time. It should also contain a rust inhibitor.
- Never try and paint anything outside when the temperature is too hot. The instructions on the can or tin of paint will tell you what temperatures to avoid. The reason is that the paint will dry too quickly and you’ll be able to see the joins. Also, the top part of the paint will dry out before the layer underneath and may cause it to bubble.
Preparing the wrought iron fence for repainting is fiddly, but it’s an important step that should not be missed. The best way to avoid doing it is to examine the fence regularly and make sure it is kept in good condition by redoing each spot as it appears. Or you could simply sand it all down slightly and repaint before any rust shows up.