Wrought iron gates create a classical feel in outside areas and can bring a real old world charm to any exterior, but original wrought iron designs will become dull with time, while paint finishes can begin to flake leaving gates looking tired. Painting wrought iron gates can help protect them against the elements and give a great looking and long-lasting finish.
Preparing Wrought Iron Gates to Paint
All old surfaces need to be carefully prepared before any fresh paint can be applied and wrought iron gates are no exception. In order to achieve a flawless finish with the new paint, you will need to take the gates back to a smooth finish, which can be something of a challenge. Depending on the level of rust and flaking there are a range of preparation choices available.
Removing Rust from Unpainted Surfaces
Unpainted original surfaces that are showing signs of rust may have the potential to be prepared by hand. Visible rust should be removed using a wire brush and a hard scrubbing action. If this does not shift the deposits you may need to use a wire brush drill attachment for greater abrasion.
Removing Old Paint from Wrought Iron Gates
There are a range of options open to remove old paint from your wrought iron gates in preparation for refinishing. As with rust, old paint can be removed manually using a wire brush or wire brush attachment, and while this is the most labor intensive approach it also allows you to ensure all deposits are completely removed.
Other approaches to paint removal include the use of a chemical paint stripper, which you can do yourself following manufacturer’s guidelines and ensuring you wear the necessary safety gear such as goggles and gloves. Alternatively removable gates can be entrusted to a chemical stripping company and will be returned paint free and ready for a fresh coat.
The final option for paint removal is sandblasting. Sandblasters can be rented from tool companies, or again, gates can be detached and entrusted to the professionals for sandblasting.
Painting Wrought Iron Gates
Once all rust and paint has been removed from wrought iron gates they will need to be primed for the new paint. Starting with a coarse grit sandpaper (between 40 and 60) give the surface a good rub down followed by a second sanding with a finer grit (between 150 and 180). Once this is done the metals should be wiped with a solution of detergent and water to remove any residual dust and allowed to dry thoroughly.
Before the painting of the desired finish can begin, the newly cleaned and sanded wrought iron should first be given an all over coat of rust inhibiting primer in order to prevent further rusting marring the new finish. Once this has dried you can apply a coat of metal paint in the finish of your choice. Paint should be applied starting from the top of the gates and working downwards to allow you to catch any drips as you progress. One coat should be enough to give your gates a lasting new finish.