What Kind Of Paint To Use On Wrought Iron Fence? (We Have The Answer!)

Tiffany Nichols
by Tiffany Nichols

Don’t remove a metal fence when you can repaint it. Learn how to update wrought iron, aluminum, and other materials to keep your gates looking great. And find out which types of paint will work best for outdoor metals. Then, follow the steps to upgrade your home.

Always use high-quality exterior-grade enamel paint on wrought iron fences. And if you can, find direct-to-metal (DTM) stains with rust inhibitors. Don’t forget to prep the surface with sanding and primer, or your paint can chip or crack. Then, apply your color with long, smooth brush strokes.

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Can You Paint a Wrought Iron Fence?

Yes, you can paint your wrought iron fences if you use the correct pigments. Also, be sure to sand the surface to help the color adhere. And apply primer before you begin because it preps the metal. Then, your stain won’t soak into the pores or cause patches on the surface.

How to Prep Wrought Iron for Painting

It’s easy to prep wrought iron fences for painting. However, you have to follow a few specific steps to get the job done right. If you skip any of these steps, your color might not stick to the surface. The finish could turn out patchy or uneven as well.

Prep your metal railings for paint like this:

  • Remove the Old Lacquer. Buff the surface with coarse sandpaper to loosen paint flakes and get rid of rust.
  • Clean the Surface. Use a clean, dry cloth to remove dust from sanding and prepare the surface for color.
  • Check for Flaws. You’ll want to cover imperfections with high hide paint.
  • Buff the Hidden Spots. Don’t forget to sand where the eye can’t see, or your lacquer won’t stick to that surface.
  • Use Rust-Resistant Primer. That way, your metals won’t corrode in rainy weather or harsh conditions.

If you paint according to plan, you can finish quickly. But the average paint job for a wrought iron fence can take several hours. And the number of coats you use dictates the project length even more. So, expect at least one or two days for thorough painting.

How Do You Paint Wrought Iron Fences?

The cost of building a new wrought iron fence is significantly more than maintaining an existing one. So, learn how to paint your metal railings or watch your money disappear. You can follow these simple steps to get started:

Step 1: Sand the Surface and Apply Primer

Begin with medium-grit sandpaper. Scuff the surface to remove dirt, oil, debris, and rust. Then, apply a single coat of primer and let it dry. Apply more primer later if you need it. But expect to wait about an hour between coats.

TIP: Match the primer to the color of paint you’re using. Most wrought iron fences are black.

Step 2: Use a Paint Roller for a Smooth Surface

You can paint a wrought iron fence with a brush, but it might leave strokes. So, try using a roller instead. Like brushes, you can reuse rollers after washing them in soapy water.

TIP: Pay attention to the roller nap to achieve your desired finish.

Step 3: Apply Finish If You Want It

Although polyurethane isn’t necessary when painting outdoor metal fencing, you can apply some if you want. But check the label on your paint can for suggestions and warnings first.

TIP: Don’t mess with the finish until your paint dries.

Remember that the outcome of your painting project depends on your technique. However, the type of paint you use plays a significant role as well. So, choose an exterior enamel color from a trusted brand. And look at the return policy for your pigments. Some stores give your money back if you’re not completely satisfied. But other retailers may make you buy more.

What Kind of Paint Is Best for Wrought Iron?

Painting metal vs. painting wood: which one is easier? They’re both challenging. But you can improve project outcomes with the best exterior paint for wrought iron. So, look for oil-based colors first. That’s because oil paints are great for outdoor furniture, gates, fence posts, and old decks.

Can You Spray Paint a Metal Fence?

Once your primer dries, you can use any type of exterior paint you wish. And there’s no limit to the colors you can choose. However, spray paints must contain the same rust inhibitors as traditional stains. So, don’t forget to read the label for a list of ingredients. And remember to apply several coats for an even finish.

High-quality rust-resistant spray paint can withstand terrible weather and rain. It’s also easier to you to control the color and coverage. But keep in mind that wrought iron, aluminum, and vinyl behave differently under the lacquer. Therefore, you must pay attention to the fence materials too.

Related Questions

Can You Paint Rusty Wrought Iron?

You can paint rusty wrought iron if you sand and prime the surface first. Begin with medium-grit sandpaper to remove rust flakes and old paint. Then, apply a rust-inhibiting primer to protect the material from moisture. After that, feel free to paint the metal whatever color you wish.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Metal Fence?

The price of painting a wrought iron fence can vary from one location to another. Supply, demand, and worker skill determine the total cost. However, you can expect to pay around $8.50 per linear foot when refinishing metal fences. And if your painter does a terrible job, you can ask for a discount or start from scratch.

Do You Need Exterior Home Paint or Stain Services?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Beautify Your Backyard

The loveliest wrought iron fence in the neighborhood can be yours with a good coat of paint. So, follow the steps to prepare surfaces and refinish them like a pro. Beautiful backyards begin with one brushstroke at a time.

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Tiffany Nichols
Tiffany Nichols

Tiffany Nichols specializes in aesthetics, design, marketing, and manufacturing. She's a copywriter and editor for several home renovation companies in the U.S. and works alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. Her hobbies include architecture, art, mental health, and fashion.

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