Wrought iron railings are beautiful and sturdy, so they tend to outlast other types of railings. Wrought iron makes gorgeous stairway railings, gates, and even decorative accents inside and outside homes. The only problem with wrought iron is the fact that it rusts when elements come into contact with it.
It is not difficult to refurbish wrought iron, and individuals repaint and restore it to its former glory, but they need to clean iron and remove the rust before attempting to restore the railings. Restoring railings may take time, but the end result is beautiful and shiny railings which last a lifetime.
The first step in wrought iron railing restoration is cleaning and removing rust. For this step, consumers need a few things. Use steel wool, sandpaper, wire brushes, or paint scrapers to remove rust from railings. Wire brushes of various sizes help if the railings are intricate or detailed. Once consumers remove rust, they clean the railings with mild soap and water. Use a bucket filled with soap and warm water to gently wash the railings.
Use heavy-duty methods to take away rust if the other methods do not work. These include rust converter chemicals, chemical rust removers, or a sander to buff away rust spots which are hard to remove. Once consumers wash the railings, the railings should air dry before moving on.
Old wrought iron railings may not just be rusty; some railings damage as well. To correct any damage to railings, use special iron-friendly epoxy to fill in bald spots damaged by rust or broken pieces. Sand repaired railings to blend in with the rest of the piece. Use special filler putty to create more structure where rust has done extensive damage to part of the railing. The putty blends in with a putty knife for smoothing out the surface of the railing to match the entirety of the piece.
When iron encounters air, it creates a chemical reaction that results in rust. To avoid this from happening to wrought iron railings, consumers should protect the railings by using a primer or neutraliser, such as a rust neutraliser which brushes onto the railings with a wire brush.
Once the primer or neutraliser dries, rinse the railings and let them dry before preparing and painting the wrought iron. Consumers sometimes choose to mix their own neutralising solution, using equal parts of lemon juice and white vinegar, which has the same effect as chemical rust neutralisers. The mixture should sit for an hour then be rinsed away before priming the railings.
The last step is to make the railings beautiful again by adding paint. Before adding paint, the railings must be primed. Choose a metal primer or an alkyd primer meant for iron or metal. These primers work to coat and protect the wrought iron to prevent further rust from accumulating. Apply primer with a paintbrush to the entire piece.
Once the primer is dry, which generally takes several hours or longer, paint the wrought iron railings. Individuals should use an oil paint made for metal painting, and paint the entire piece with a paintbrush. For a solid, sturdy look, opt for using more than one coat and allow each coat to dry before reapplying. Once satisfied with how the railings look, the pieces should dry for 24 hours.
Once buyers restore wrought iron railings, the work does not end. For iron to maintain its beauty, individuals must clean it with soap and water a couple of times a year. Check the railings and buff any scratches or rust away with steel wool or sandpaper immediately, and keep the latches working properly with regular mineral oil applications.
If you want nothing more than beautiful wrought iron railings outside your home but the ones you have look run down and beaten up, restore them and make them look brand new by purchasing supplies on eBay. Alternately, buy wrought iron railings and fix them up instead of paying a high price for wrought iron at a retail store. Search with keywords like " wrought iron railings" and "rust-resistant paint" to find the things you need for lovely railings.
Wrought iron is beautiful and maintains its high quality and appearance for years, but there is work involved to keep it shiny and new looking. Restoring vintage iron railings is a fun project that is satisfying and creates a new look for old iron in mere hours.