Should You Paint an Iron Fence?

Iron fence in black

If you have an iron fence, would you want to and why paint an iron fence?

Although it may keep critters in or out, depending on how you’re looking at it, an iron fence is more of an architectural design feature. They accent a home while providing the border layout, and iron fence painting keeps it looking good. 

Most iron fence painting is done in black, is the most basic and common color, or white. However, it is your home and if allowed within the jurisdiction you reside, you can choose any color you want for your iron fence painting project. 

Iron fencing may be used in areas other than a decorate border around a home. There are smaller iron fence sections for gardens and other outdoor architecture. Not just to paint for the décor purpose, but you may have the need for Iron fence painting and repairs, because everything will need some attention at some point, including iron fencing. 

And like everything, there are pros and cons of iron fence painting too. Wrought iron fencing isn’t anything new, it has been around for years and is a favorite among many homeowners. It is a beautiful, classic feel and look that is timeless.

With all of that said, there are some pros and cons to having an iron fence, painting  being one of them. The con: They need to be painted periodically to maintain the look. The pro: They can be painted any color that you desire to blend, match, or be a total offset of your home’s appearance. 

The Cons: 

  • Inspection: Here in Texas, we don’t need to be as diligent as they are in northern states, but you should do a monthly inspection of your iron fence, painting may be needed and more as you will read about next. 
  • Rust: Iron fencing is going to require maintenance and a wire brush will be your best friend when it comes to this task. Iron fencing will rust and rust spreads. Do monthly checks of your iron fence for rusted area and clean them immediately, the repaint that specific area. 
  • Clean: For your iron fence to withstand the test of time, along with that monthly inspection, you need to clean it regularly. If your iron fence painting and finishing job is in good condition, you can do a simple wipe with a wet towel. If you come across bird droppings and animal excretion, you’ll need to use paint safe soap with water and a stiff brush to get it clean then rinse with clear water. If your iron fencing is near a road that is salted during the winter for ice, make sure to clean off any salt that gets on your iron fencing to keep the salt from corroding the fence. 

The Pros: 

  • Tough: Iron fencing is an extremely durable fencing. When they have been painted and coated correctly, corrosion and deterioration aren’t going to be a worry.  They can withstand heavy, high winds, it takes a tree limb falling on it to cause damage. 
  • Beauty: As we stated earlier, iron fencing is a beautiful, classic, timeless look that accents any architectural style. You’d be hard pressed to find another fence type that has the elegance of an iron fence. Painting them any color you desire, from the standard black or white to any color that blends or matches the trim on your home. 
  • Painting: We’ve mentioned this a few times, and we can’t stress it enough. A professional iron fence painting job will extend the beauty of your iron fence for years. It makes it easy to keep up and maintain. Today, you can have the iron fence look with other materials like galvanized steel. Have that same beautiful look with the same curb appeal, but the weathering worries are put aside. 

How do you prepare a wrought iron fence for painting?

Over time, the paint on an iron fence will deteriorate from being exposed to the elements and surroundings. This requires iron fence painting every year or two to maintain that curb appeal you desire. Before you start your iron fence painting project, the fence needs prepping first. 

  • Off with The Old and Rust: First step is removing the old peeling paint and any rust that has started. This can be done manually with a wire brush or with a sandblaster. There are products available that remove paint and rust too. No matter what method you choose,  removing the old, peeling paint and any rust is essential in having a good finish. 
  • Clean It Off: Next step in prepping your iron fence painting project, wipe down your iron fence with a clean, dry rag to remove any loose dirt, paint, or rust.  You don’t want any loose paint or rust when you start applying the new coat of paint. 
  • Protect the Area: Whether you decide to apply a primer or go right to iron fence painting, you need to protect the surrounding area first.  Using a clean, dry, old cloth or a plastic tarp, lay it out around the surrounding area so the primer or paint won’t get on any exposed areas. Cover any flowers, plants, or steps too. 
  • Prime It: Experts recommend applying a rust inhibitive primer before you begin your iron fence painting. This optional, but highly recommended so that you won’t have to worry with spot painting with each monthly inspection. 

What is the best paint for iron fence?

You need an exterior-grade enamel paint that has a rust inhibiting ingredient. Do not use an ordinary exterior paint or your iron fence painting project, it will start to chip soon, and you’ll be repeating your iron fence painting project sooner than later. 

We don’t promote specific brands for profit, but most professional paint contractors recommend Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint. The coverage is excellent and dries in two to four hours.

What is the best way to paint a wrought iron fence?

Over time, being exposed to the elements, iron fence painting will need to be done to repair the blemishes and pitting and remove the rust. Or maybe, your iron fence looks fantastic, you just want to change up the looks. 

Either way, knowing how to paint an iron fence is important and we have collected some hints and steps to help you with your iron fence painting project: 

  • One: Do your iron fence painting on a dry, warm day. The fence should be dry, the humidity low and temperature 50 degrees or higher. 
  • Two: You have already followed our suggested steps for prepping at this point. If not, this is the time to prep the iron fence and surrounding area as we described.
  • Three: If you’re going to apply a primer to prior to your iron fence painting, now is the time. Use a primer that is specifically for metal and has a rust-inhibitor. An aerosol primer is recommended, but if you brush it on, apply two coats. 
  • Four: Again, spray painting is recommended, and to minimize the need to repeat your iron fence painting job again too soon use one that is rust-inhibiting paint. Hold the spray can between eight to twelve inches way and apply several light coatings. 

Will painting over rust stop it?

Basically, rust is weak, so apply a good quality of paint over it will stop it from spreading, but you need to use a wire brush or mid-grade sandpaper and remove the rust first.

black iron fencing

Can I spray paint a metal fence?

An iron fence painting job, spray paint is recommended by professional paint contractors. Other types of metal fencing is a different matter.  Spray painting a chain link fence will result in overspray. Professional painting contractors recommend using a brush on the posts and a roller on the chain. 

Iron fencing is a beautiful addition to any home, regardless of the age or style of the home. It may take some regular maintenance, but it is well worth the effort and time to keep this beautiful finishing touch looking good. Call (817) 506-7722 today for your iron fencing needs.