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How to paint a wrought iron gate

Updated February 21, 2017

Before you attempt to paint your wrought iron gate, understand that metallic surfaces like wrought-iron are subject to rust when exposed to moist conditions. You must coat the wrought-iron gate with a special type of primer, formulated to seal existing rust and prevent future outbreaks. In addition, you should apply a topcoat of a particular type of durable paint, or you will ultimately end up with heavy flaking and peeling.

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  1. Clean the iron gate, using a pressure washer. Wait two to four hours for the gate to dry.

  2. Eliminate existing rust, using a wire brush and 80-grit sandpaper.

  3. Cover the area beneath the iron gate with heavyduty dust sheets.

  4. Coat the iron gate with red oxide primer, using a mini-roller. Smooth drips and runs using a paintbrush made for oil-based coatings. Wait two hours for the primed gate to dry.

  5. Clean your painting tools with white spirit. Fit a new mini-roller cover to the mini-roller frame.

  6. Coat the primed iron gate with an oil-based enamel, using the mini-roller. Smooth drips and runs, using the clean paintbrush. Wait two hours for the primed gate to dry. Add another coat if the red oxide primer bleeds through.

  7. Warning

    Do not paint directly over an unprimed iron gate, or the finish will peel.

    Do not use an ordinary base primer on a wrought iron gate, or you will eventually end up with rust.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Wire brush
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheets
  • Masking tape
  • Red oxide primer
  • Mini-roller frame
  • 2 Mini-roller covers
  • 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inch) oil paintbrush
  • Oil-based enamel

About the Author

Ryan Lawrence

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.

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