Surface preparation is the single most important factor in avoiding rust and flaking paint when renovating and repainting wrought iron railings, gates and mild steel ironwork, so it's worth getting it right first time.
This is the way I do it.
Removing rust and stripping old paint with a wire brush drill attachment.
Using a wire brush or preferably a drill with wire brush attachment is the best way to remove rust and flaking paint when renovating iron work. This method of removing rust takes longer than sand-blasting but will completely remove all the rust and loose paint from your wrought iron railings and gates.
It is important to use good quality wire brush attachments or you will waste a lot of time replacing cheap wire brush attachments. Believe me, with this sort of work you get what you pay for! The cheap made in China ones are made of china, they break easily.
Wire brush attachments you will need are a cup shape , a large rotary wire brush and a 25mm wire end brush to get to the ornamental bits. The kit featured here, available from amazon has all the drill attachments you will need.
Click thru for a complete range of tools to remove rust and flaking paint.
Sand-blasting wrought ironwork and metal to remove rust and old paint.
Sand-blasting is the quickest way (but not the cheapest) to remove old paint and rust from metal work and gives a smooth finish. It is ideal for renovation of ornamental wrought ironwork.
Sand blasters can be hired from the larger tool hire companies or you can remove the gate or railings and take them to a specialist.
The cheapest way, if you are renovating a lot of iron or metal work is to purchase a sandblaster.
To stop the rust and paint from blowing all over the patio, place a plywood board behind the railings and a ground sheet under it. You might be able to recycle some of the sand too.
Amazon stock a large range from £20 to £600, this one is about £100 cheaper than the same spec. sand blaster from B&Q.
Cleaning and Painting Iron railings and gates.
Whichever method of painting you use, rust converter type paint or primer and topcoat, it's important to remove all loose and flaking rust and paint from the ironwork before painting.
Use a rough sandpaper until the surface is smooth and free of defects, followed with a smooth sanding if you want a smooth finish. When the rust is completely removed and before the final sanding fill any holes with a metal filler available from car spares shops.
If you use a rust converter paint and providing you have removed all the loose rust it, isn't necessary to remove all signs of rust.
Cleaning the metal work after removing the rust and loose paint.
Clean the surface of the railings and gates with a strong detergent followed by a thorough rinsing and allow to dry, wipe of any rusty stains that can appear after a soaking with paint thinner.
Using Standard metal paint
If you prefer to use a standard metal paint when Painting ironwork to prevent rust, first prime with a rust inhibiting primer, making sure to work the primer and paint into the pinprick holes with a brush and finish by painting or spraying on two coats of exterior enamel.
Small rusty areas on iron Gates, Balcony iron work and railings,
How to remove rust and strip the old paint from small areas of Iron driveway gates and railingsUse a wire brush to remove the rust and flaking paint. Then use a good paint stripper to strip the paint from the iron work. Next brush on a rust converter to convert the rust back to iron. You can use either a metallic undercoat and top coats or use Hammerite type Metal paints, which don't need an undercoat and are hard wearing, to repaint the gates and railings. If you are not a dab hand at painting,make sure to cover the area under the metalwork.
Rust starts deep inside metal, gradually eating its way through the metal weakening it, once it starts you will need a product to not only stop it from getting worse, but to stop it dead. This metal paint does that. It leaves a hammered metal finish. Protects for up to 8 years and can be painted straight onto any rusted metal surface without primer.
Using rust converter paints.
Hammerite type products convert rust to metal and leaves a protective film that protects against future rust.
Easier because once the loose rust and flaky paint has been removed and the metalwork has been cleaned, there is no need for further wire brushing or sanding.
f you use a rust converter paint, providing you have removed all the loose rust ,it isn't necessary to remove all signs of rust.