Iron gates are timeless; and their history dates back thousands of years. They offer classic sophistication, unrivaled durability and enhanced security. Maintaining these beauties – whether wrought iron or cast iron — is not difficult as long as a little proactive TLC is part of a regime to keep rust, at bay. Rain, snow, salt and humidity will eventually take its toll on even iron, if left unchecked, and rust formation will begin. With that being said, nearly all ferrous metals rust, but wrought iron is a high-quality steel with few impurities which means it takes a longer time for rust to form – it is rust resistant, but not rust-proof.
If you cherish your iron gate and want to keep it regularly maintained; all you will need are a few simple tools; and your gate will maintain is beauty and durability for many, many decades!
A Wire Brush, Scraper and/or Electric Drill
If you have an iron gate that shows signs of flaking or rust formation, a wire brush is the perfect tool to combat the issue. The steel bristles work, beautifully, to scrub away any loose paint or debris, especially in areas that are hard to reach, such as scrolled areas or twisted rods. Rounded areas, such as these can be a challenge to completely reach; and it is then that a wire-wheel attachment on a drill comes in very handy or an oscillating multi-tool that can sand, scrape and grind. Then, there are sandblasters that can be used to remove rust formation if you have the required space to use one. Flat surfaces, too, are conducive to electric tools; but it you wish to do it the old-fashioned way, a wire brush can be used or a coarse file.
For stubborn areas of an iron fence where removing rust may be more difficult, spray phosphoric acid in tinier areas; and any remaining rust will turn into loose, black flakes, within 24 hours. These flakes can be effortlessly eliminated with a stainless-steel wire hole-cleaning brush. Wire, hole-cleaning brushes are specially designed to clean recessed surfaces very effectively. Don’t forget to wear a dust mask to ensure you don’t breathe in any older paint (if present) that could contain lead.
Regular Paint Brushes
Applying a generous coat of oil-based metal primer on completely-cleaned wrought iron is an important step to prevent future rust formation; and a good-quality paint brush would be all you would need. Once the primer is completely dry, another good quality paint brush for the application of an oil-based metal paint should be part of your gate maintenance toolbox. As a side note, do not use a regular exterior paint for your iron gate since this type of product does not contain the necessary rust inhibiting components that DTM (direct-to-metal) paints do.
Fighting corrosion doesn’t have to become a battle as long as iron-gate maintenance is dedicated and proactive. Keep paint brushes on hand so you will be able to touch up any dings with some primer and paint, once each year.