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How to Protect Wrought Iron

Becky Lower

Wrought iron has been used for centuries for fencing, gates and outdoor furniture because of its durability and fireproof nature. It is also a great outdoor choice because it is impervious to insects, strong and resistant to rot. The only thing that iron can not stand up against is rust. Simple semi-annual maintenance will keep your wrought iron from suffering the ravages of rust, but it should be re-coated every five years.

General Maintenance

Wrought iron's beauty and durability continue to make it a favorite among homeowners.
  1. Periodically wash the wrought iron with warm, soapy water. Rinse with hose water.

  2. Scrape off any signs of rust with a steel-bristled brush or sandpaper. Wipe clean.

  3. Prime and paint any nicks or dings with a thin coat of oil-based metal paint. Dry thoroughly between coats.

  4. Protect the finish with automotive wax on non-textured wrought iron. On textured iron, use mineral oil or baby oil to protect.

Five-Year Recoating

  1. Scrub the wrought iron with a steel-bristled brush to loosen any paint and rust.

  2. File down any rough edges with either 80-grit sandpaper or a metal file.

  3. Spray all metal surfaces with a coat of phosphoric acid to neutralize. This will convert any specks of rust remaining to a crust, and will prohibit its spread.

  4. Brush away any loose paint or flakes. Apply a heavy coat of primer with a bristle brush.

  5. Paint with an oil-based metal paint, using a chip brush to apply paint from the top of the piece down.