A wrought-iron gate is ornamental and sturdy, and it protects your yard from unwanted visitors. Iron is durable when properly maintained. Problems begin to arise with wrought iron when the protective coating of paint begins to chip. Small chips in the finish expose the metal, and bare metal is extremely vulnerable to rust. Take care of your wrought-iron gate by keeping all bare metal protected. If you have already let it go too far, follow some simple steps to get your gate back in tip-top shape.
Fill a bucket with warm water. Use the water and a scrub brush to remove dirt and debris on the gate. Rinse it with clean water and let it dry.
Scrub large portions of rust with a steel-bristle brush. Focus on any areas where the rust has created small holes in the metal. Remove all visible rust.
Hold a metal file firmly in one hand. File remaining rusted areas with the file. Sand any portions of the gate the file can't reach with coarse-grit sandpaper. Remove scraped-off particles with a tack cloth.
Spray a thin coat of phosphoric acid onto the gate. Phosphoric acid will turn any unseen rust into iron phosphate. Let the acid work on the rust overnight. Scrub the gate with a steel bristle brush to remove the iron phosphate.
Follow the manufacturer's directions to combine two-part metal patch compound. Choose a compound with an epoxy resin formula.
Dip a putty knife into the compound and fill any small cracks or holes in the surface of the iron. Run the knife over the surface to smooth out the compound. Let the compound dry. Skip this step if your gate is free of cracks and holes.
Apply a light coat of oil-based metal primer to the gate with a paintbrush. Let the primer dry for four hours.
Paint the gate with oil-based paint for metal. Start the paintbrush at the top of the gate. Paint downward until you are halfway down the gate. Paint from the bottom upward until you reach the spot where you stopped. Use small, quick strokes and lift the brush before you run out of paint. Apply two coats of paint.
You can also use spray primer and spray paint for metal on your wrought iron gate. Spray paint can be very messy, so cover all nearby surfaces before using it.