Wrought iron fencing brings a number of benefits to your home, the most notable of which are its aesthetic and high durability. However, wrought iron as a material is highly susceptible to rust, which can ruin the structural integrity of your fence. Thankfully, there are a number of things that you can do to maintain your wrought iron fence and leave it strong and looking its best for as long as possible.
Before You Begin
You'll want to get your tools and materials together before you get started. You'll need fine steel wool, common cleaning detergent, rags, a paint brush, metal paint primer, metal paint, and a general lubricant. All of these items can be found at most hardware stores if you don't already have them at home.
Maintaining Wrought Iron Fencing
First, you'll want to cover up any plants and flowers near your fence that you want to protect with rags (a tarp will do just as well).
Remove any plants that are actually growing on or around the fence that will restrict your access to the fence itself. You may need a pair of garden clippers to do so, but usually your hands will be more than enough.
Visually inspect the fence and use the fine steel wool to rub away any evidence of rust on the metal. Then, make a mixture of common cleaning detergent and warm water, and use a rag to rinse the entire fence, paying particular attention to the areas that previously had rust on them.
Apply the metal paint primer to any exposed metal on the fence. Some primers can be sprayed on out of an aerosol can, but most are applied using a paintbrush. Try to evenly coat the entire exposed part of the fence.
Once the primer has dried, you can apply a coat of metal-based paint over it to cover up the exposed metal. Make sure that the entire area is covered: metal outdoor paint not only makes your wrought iron fence look good, it protects the metal from future rusting and deterioration.
If your fence has a gate, you'll want to apply lubricant to any moving parts, especially the hinges and latch, to ensure that they continue to move easily and smoothly.
In order to prevent rust from developing in the future, you'll want to remove organic debris, such as plant matter, from your fence, and wash off any dirt. Debris stuck to your wrought iron fence can hold excess water, wearing away the paint and causing the metal to begin to rust.