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How To Protect Wrought Iron From Rust

Wrought iron is one of the most beautiful and impressive materials to use throughout your home. Whether it’s a boundary fence to protect your property, a spiralling staircase to upper levels, or a handful of intricate sconces to light up your home’s entrance, wrought iron is an exquisite material that adds a touch of class.

There’s only one downside—wrought iron contains a lot of carbon atoms1, and when these atoms come into contact with moisture, dirt, or grime, rust can quickly form. This means that wrought iron needs regular maintenance to prevent rust from forming, as well as the knowledge required to maintain it properly. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to protect wrought iron from rust, so that you can keep your property in pristine condition.

Clean wrought iron regularly

Dirt, dust, and sand are made of tiny particles that can scratch the surface of wrought iron, wearing away its coating and making it susceptible to rust. For this reason, regular cleaning is one of the best ways to prevent rust from forming, as it washes away any abrasive material that has collected on the surface of the iron. As well as damaging the iron’s surface, dirt, dust, sand and grime can also disguise hidden rust underneath.

To clean wrought iron, you’ll need warm water, a mild cleaner such as liquid soap, a sponge, and a cloth. For through instructions how to clean wrought iron, check out the link at the end of this article.

  • Warm water
  • Non-intrusive soap

Use a mixture of warm water and a non-intrusive soap solution to target any problem areas or build-up, using a toothbrush to really burrow into those hard to reach areas.

Apply a metal protection product

Because metal has a tendency to rust, there’s tons of protective products that you can purchase to slow down the process. These include zinc-based primers, epoxy enamels, and silicone-based products, each with their pros and cons, and varying prices. The products also come in different colours and glosses (satin, flat, etc.), allowing you to select a product that matches your desired look. 

If you’re keen to purchase a protective product for your wrought iron fence, Dulux offers a wide range, which you can browse using the link at the end of the article. A quick visit to Bunnings is often a good bet too.

A word of caution—some of these products can take a little while to dry, so you’ll want to ensure that you complete the job on a day (or few days) where rain isn’t forecast. A thorough reading of the product’s instructions should provide you with the information you need to complete the job effectively.

Lift furniture when moving it

Wrought iron furniture is sturdy and looks awesome, but you’ll need to be careful when moving the furniture around, as knocking it against another piece of metal can easily create chips, which makes rust easier to form. This also includes dragging chairs or tables across the floor—the scrapes that are created can quickly turn rusty, and be difficult to fix. You might consider purchasing some furniture pads to place underneath chair and table legs, to protect them.

It’s also worth noting that when storing wrought iron furniture, you’ll want to prevent them from coming into direct contact with each other, so that they don’t get scratched. If you need to stack them, you can throw an old towel over each chair to prevent them from scraping against each other.

Consider plastic covers, or a tarp

While plastic covers are a little inconvenient, if you’re really serious about protecting your wrought iron furniture from rust, they’re one of the best ways to do so. You might keep an eye on the weather forecast for any prolonged periods of rain, and cover the furniture until the sun returns.

If you have a wrought iron gate that you’re trying to protect from the elements, you can temporarily cover it with a tarp until it blows over.

Fix rust spots

It can be tough to keep rust away completely, so it’s a good idea to regularly check the wrought iron for rust spots, and fix them to eliminate the threat of further corrosion. To clean rust off wrought iron, you can use steel wool or sandpaper to sand it away, and complete the job by applying a metal protection product as mentioned above.

If rust has really taken a hold of your wrought iron, you can give us a call to restore it to its former glory. Ideally, you’ll want to quickly fix rust spots before they get too serious.

Wrought iron is a glorious material that looks beautiful, and can add value to your home. You just need to make sure that you’re cleaning it regularly, applying a protective coating from time to time, and fixing up any small rust spots before they get out of hand. If you’re diligent, your wrought iron fence or furniture will remain in good condition.

Useful links

References

  1. Does Wrought Iron Rust? | Prevention & Treatment, Artistic Alloys
Dean-Wilson Iron