Few things are more romantic than a wrought iron bed. Whether old or new, wrought iron beds are durable and beautiful, and come in a wide variety of styles and colours. But what if your wrought iron bed begins rusting? Or, has parts that are getting loose, or has areas that are actually broken? What if the paint is chipping?
Remove any screws around rusty areas, to make the job of removing rust easier and more thorough.
Scrape small areas of rust away by hand, using a fine-grade piece of sandpaper or a wire brush. Alternatively, place two or three drops of kerosene or turpentine on a steel wool pad to remove the rust.
Implement a chemical remover if the bed is antique or has decorative details. Hardware stores generally have a selection of such rust removers, but an organic product like Rusterizer is safer to use than traditional chemicals. Use low-pressure grit sandblasting if there are large areas of rust. This should only be performed by a professional.
Repaint the rusted area yourself by choosing paint products designed specifically for wrought iron. Typically, these are spray on---not brush on---products. Because it's difficult to match paint colours, however, you'll probably have to repaint the entire bed.
Apply a primer, followed by two coats of the colour you desire.
Spray on two layers of an acrylic topcoat for long-term protection. For antique furniture and for furniture that you want to last a long time, a professional powder coating is a better option.
Screw the bed back together and tighten any other loose screws you may find. If the screws are badly rusted, replace them with new screws.
Weld any broken pieces of iron. Do know wrought iron is difficult to weld, so if you've never welded it before, hire a professional to do the job. Most welders are used to working with iron auto parts, which are a bit different than wrought iron beds, so look for a welder used to doing historic repairs.
From time to time, inspect the bed for problems and tackle them right away to prevent more difficult maintenance and repairs. If the wrought iron is dirty, wash it with a mild dish soap and a soft sponge, then thoroughly wipe dry with a white towel. If the paint begins to peel or chip, or if the paint job becomes scratched, touch it up right away (with a paint designed for wrought iron) so rusting doesn't begin. If rust begins to appear, also treat it promptly so it doesn't spread.