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Painting a Rusted Wrought Iron Fence: A Guide

Certified Welders

Certified Welders







As a property owner, you know the value of quality interior and exterior maintenance. Every component of a well-kept home or business must be cared for and repaired as necessary to maintain comfort, aesthetics, and safety.

If your property has wrought iron fencing, you may have questions about caring for and maintaining it. Painting, one aspect of iron fence maintenance, provides a budget-friendly, easy way for property owners to protect their fences.

At MJ Iron Works, we specialize in top-quality iron applications, including fences, railings, commercial structures, and more. In this blog, you’ll find steps for painting a wrought iron fence, as recommended by our experts.

To learn more about iron fencing maintenance and repair, contact our MJ Iron Works team today.

Steps For Painting a Rusted Iron Fence

While painting an iron fence proves easy and cost-effective, following some logical steps can help turn a good job into a great job.

#1: Make a Plan

Before you get started, save yourself some time and frustration by taking a moment to form a plan. Many property owners skip this step, only to find they missed supplies or made mistakes during the course of their project.

Not all iron fences have the same build or the same rust issues. How many square feet does your fence cover? How badly has your fence rusted? These two factors alone play into many aspects of your project, including:

  • How long the project will take
  • The materials necessary and their quantity
  • How many coats of paint will be necessary
  • Whether the fence needs repairs before painting
  • And more

You might also consider whether you have the personal time and capital to cover the duration and cost of your project. If painting your iron fence yourself stretches your schedule or budget, consider hiring iron fence repair experts in your region.

#2: Gather Supplies and Tools

Once you’ve formed a plan around when and how to paint your fence, it’s time to gather supplies. To take all the proper steps to paint your iron fence, you may need items such as:

  • Drop cloths for protection
  • Painter’s tape
  • A wire brush
  • Paint brushes of varying sizes
  • A roller
  • Paint for main and accent colors
  • Protective clothing and gear

Property owners often choose to save on material costs by investing in professional fence painting services instead.

#3: Remove Rust and Old Paint

Before painting your iron fence, you must remove any rust and old or loose paint. Both rust and worn paint can prevent new paint from adhering and may make the finished product look textured or uneven.

To address these issues, use a wire brush to scrub your iron fence. Remove enough rust to see the underlying iron beneath, and ensure as little paint remains as possible. Use an angled wire brush to scrub tight corners or decorative iron fence posts.

#4: Clean and Dry the Wrought Iron

After removing all rust and paint, clean the entire fence. This process removes any remaining dirt or debris and provides a clean surface for the primer and paint to adhere to.

Use a mixture of water and dish detergent coupled with a scrub brush. Rinse the fence thoroughly using a garden hose, and allow it to air dry in the sun.

#5: Apply Primer

Before applying your first coat of paint, you must prime your fence. Once it is clean and dry, apply even coats of primer to your fence.

Need help determining which primer to use? Reach out to iron professionals in your area for product recommendations and more.

#6: Paint and Seal

Now that you have cleaned and primed your fence, you can finally paint it. Distribute drop cloths and apply painter's tape to protect underlying material or decorative accent features.

Apply one coat of paint to your fence and allow it to dry. For best results, our experts recommend repeating this process one to two times to ensure your fence receives thorough coverage.

Visually inspect your fence for any missed spots or errors. Leaving parts of your fence unpainted can prolong rust issues and cause further damage.

Other Considerations When Painting a Wrought Iron Fence

Before investing in this project, weigh your options. As we mentioned above, it pays to consider the time and expense required to repair, clean, and paint a wrought iron fence. Working with seasoned ironworks professionals can save you time, money, and stress when maintaining your iron fences.

Professional Iron Works in Chicago

Iron fences can be difficult to maintain if you don't regularly clean and repair them. To learn more about building and maintaining iron fences, railing, staircases, and more, work with Chicago’s trusted professionals. Call our MJ Iron Works team at 773-447-5612 to schedule a consultation or find answers to your questions.

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