Decorative wrought iron is a popular addition to many homes, from the traditional to the modern. It lends a bespoke touch to any home that has it and serves many practical purposes too. For example, wrought iron is a popular security installation. It is about as strong as they come, and malleable as well. That means it can be bent into all manner of striking and beautiful shapes.
But perhaps the greatest drawcard of decorative wrought iron, apart from its stunning looks, is its durability. If you go any stately building in the country, chances are you’ll see some wrought iron fittings on it somewhere. In a lot of cases, those stunning decorative wrought iron pieces are over a hundred years old.
So what is the secret behind such unrivalled durability? Well, it’s a combination of things. First, there’s the inherent durability of wrought iron. It’s a tough material, that will outlast most others under any conditions. But that is not to say that wrought iron doesn’t need some care. Like the finest timber furniture, decorative wrought iron will last lifetimes with the right care. So let’s take a look at exactly what that entails. Taken straight from the experts, here’s how to care for decorative wrought iron.
How to polish wrought iron
Caring for wrought iron doesn’t always involve polishing. The appeal of some wrought iron decorations is in their slightly weathered appearance. However, in a lot of cases, decorative wrought iron has a more polished appearance. Keeping that appearance requires a little bit of care, as well. The first step is cleaning it. Wrought iron has a slightly rough exterior; it’s not like stainless steel. That means it’ll never polish into something that’s shiny; that’s not the point of decorative wrought iron anyway!
But you can clean the surface of wrought iron, to take away a layer of dust and grit. Doing so is easy; just take some warm soapy water and gently wash down the exterior. To dry it, simply take a soft clean cloth and wipe away the soapy residue. When that’s done, take a damp cloth and go over it once more. That will ensure there’s no soap remaining on the surface.
When polishing decorative wrought iron, it’s important not to treat it the way you would stainless steel. Wrought iron is famous for its earthy and rustic appearance, and it simply won’t polish up to a shiny and reflective state. Rather than trying to make it do so, we recommend embracing its unique and stunning surface. At the end of the day, there’s no metal quite like wrought iron in that regard.
How to clean rust off wrought iron
Wrought iron weathers the elements pretty well. However, like all metals, it does have one notable enemy: rust! Because its surface is often a little uneven – that is why we love it, after all – dust and grit can collect on the surface. That can then harbour moisture, and create the beginnings of rust. Fortunately, wrought iron is pretty easy to care for, and rust won’t stop it from looking incredible. But you do have to take some steps to stop the onset of rust when it occurs. So what can you do?
The first step to dealing with rust is to stop its progress. The best way to do that is with a wire brush or some sandpaper. It’s easy too! All you need to do is scrub at the rust with the brush or sandpaper, to reveal the metal. Once that’s done, simply wash the affected area with some warm soapy water. Then, take a clean dry cloth and dry off the metal below. The result: clean, rust-free metal! There’s one more step though. Your local hardware store should stock a product called rust converter. That’s essentially a chemical compound that stops rust from progressing in severity. In terms of caring for wrought iron, some rust converter will never go astray!
How to restore wrought iron outdoor furniture
Wrought iron outdoor furniture has one major difference from other decorative wrought iron: it’s often painted. In terms of restoration, that can change things a little. Paint is a great protective coat in terms of metalwork. It stops the weather from affecting the metal as quickly as it might under normal circumstances. However, when the metal does start to show signs of rust, paint can make things tricky.
Generally, full restoration on a piece of wrought iron furniture will first involve stripping back the paint. To do that, you can use a wire brush or some sandpaper. It takes a while though, so be prepared to settle in! Once that’s taken care of, simply follow the steps above. When that’s finished, it’ll be ready for a new lick of paint. Painting wrought iron is a little tricky. Its surface is unique, and paint doesn’t always do what it’s told when you apply it to wrought iron. Our advice: get the painting done by a pro.
How to clean wrought iron stair railings
Cleaning decorative wrought iron stair railings is pretty straightforward. As far as wrought iron ornaments go, stair railings are usually the straightest, and generally, have the fewest bends. That means you can take a generous piece of sandpaper and run it along the length of the railing. If you focus on one-metre lengths at a time, you can ensure a nice even finish once the sanding is done. When it’s done, you can apply the same soapy water solution above. That will ensure any imperfections, rust flecks, and filings are removed from the metal. Then – you guessed it – dry off the railing with a clean dry cloth!
If your decorative wrought iron requires some extra care, make sure you call in the experts
As you can probably tell, wrought iron is a low maintenance material. That, combined with its stunning looks, is why wrought iron is one of the most popular materials to use decoratively. However, there are certain times where the processes we’ve mentioned here won’t quite cut it. For example, if you’ve come across wrought iron that’s severely rusted, a bit of extra expertise might be necessary. In those cases, get onto the wrought iron experts. With our knowledge and equipment, we can return just about any wrought iron to excellent condition.
For all your wrought iron needs in Brisbane, get in touch with the experts at Dean-Wilson Iron today on (07) 3814 0076.