There’s little that compares to the gorgeous aesthetic of wrought iron gates around your home or garden. Wrought iron – old English for “worked” iron – is created with a specific carbon content to make it flexible enough to warp into shape, as opposed to cast iron which is poured into a mould and set in the correct form. Unfortunately, with such a high iron content, oxidation and rust is a risk. If you haven’t already, it is vital that you properly prepare the surface of your wrought iron gates in order to protect them from the elements.
Preventing Oxidation and Rust
Rust is caused by oxidation that occurs to iron interacts with oxygen in the air, a process that is accelerated by the presence of wind and rain. Wrought iron gates and railings are at risk of rusting whether they’re brand-new or 100 years old. The easiest way to prevent oxidation, corrosion, and rusting is to coat your wrought iron in a paint or varnish that seals the iron inside from the weather.
Whether you opt for a thick coat of paint or a special treatment like a dry coating, the application process is quick, simple, and easy. Unlike galvanising metal to prevent rust, which involves coating it in a thin layer of zinc, applying a paint or dry coat can be done at home. Opting for paint gives you the opportunity to choose your colour and create the specific aesthetic you want, while a dry coat will dry clear and preserve the current visual of your gates.
Prepare Your Gate First
Slapping a quick coat of paint or dry coating is a simple and effective method of preventing oxidation and corrosion, but to give your gates the best chance, you want to prepare them first. If any rust already exists on your gates, you need to sand it off along with any areas of previous paint layers peeling away, then give it a wipe over to remove dust and dirt. Ensuring you sand and wipe down your gates gives you a smooth and clean surface to apply your new coating to.
But also take steps to ensure your own safety! Many older paints have lead content which can be poisonous when inhaled or swallowed. So when you’re sanding down your wrought iron gates, always kit yourself out with the correct personal protective equipment to prevent you from getting the dust in your mouth, nose, or eyes.