Bob Vila Radio: Repainting Wrought Iron

If you have wrought iron railings, patio furniture, or gates that are peeling and flaking, here’s what you need to know to repaint them.

By Roseann Foley Henry and Bob Vila | Updated Oct 9, 2013 10:02 AM

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Wrought iron railings, patio furniture, and gates are classics that look great with almost any home, but not when they’re peeling and flaking. If you have some wrought iron that needs a facelift, here’s what you need to know.


Listen to BOB VILA ON REPAINTING WROUGHT IRON or read the text below:

Repainting Wrought Iron


On any paint job, the key to success is in the preparation, and that’s especially true of painting wrought iron. The time you spend scraping off the old paint and any rust will really pay off in the results, so take your time.

Use a wire brush, or a wire wheel attachment on your drill, and get the surface down to bare metal. Get into all the crevices and scrolls, and be thorough. If your piece has a lot of rust, you may want to use what’s called a rust converter, which is a chemical that can be sprayed or painted on rusted surfaces to create a paintable surface.

Once you’re done scraping and sanding, wipe the entire piece down with a damp cloth, or hose it down to remove all particles and sand. Dry it completely! Then use either spray paint or a thick-napped roller to cover all the surfaces and crevices with new paint. Be sure the paint is designed for metal.

You’ll get great results, and many more years of good-looking wrought iron.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.