Painting A Wrought Iron Fence

Wrought iron is used around homes as fencing and in the railing area of stairways installed by companies like Anvil Iron Works, Inc. They can make your home have a distinguished, older feel. They are often seen on Victorian homes. The look of wrought iron can be updated by giving it a fresh coat of paint in a new color. Here are some tips for how to go about painting wrought iron.

Clean The Surfaces

You will first want to clean the entire surface of your fencing or stairway railing. Wrought iron has intricate scrolling patterns and is ideal for spiders to hide in and make webs in the crevices. You will want to first use a hose or pressure washer to get the bulk of the grime removed from the fencing. Then you will want to go through every rail by hand with a clean cloth and water. Rub down every piece including the undersides. 


You will next want to make any repairs necessary to your fencing. Wrought iron is known for rusting easily, especially if located with no overhang to keep off moisture from the rain and snow. You will need to check all surfaces for scratches and peels. Rust will need to be removed and the iron will need to be sanded so that paint will adhere.

You will first want to use a wire brush to scrape along any obvious rusted areas. Use a medium grit sandpaper and rub lightly over any surface that has signs of wear, such as bubbled, flaked or scraped paint. When you get down to the iron underneath the rust or paint, use a fine sandpaper to smooth the area. You will want to clean your fencing again to remove all remnants of sandpaper.


You need to apply a rust-inhibiting metal primer to your fence before adding any color. It is best to use two coats, drying in between applications.

Use a direct-to-metal paint (DTM) when working with iron. When painting, use a roller or a sprayer to apply. If using a sprayer, you will want to cover all areas anywhere near your fencing, such as the staircase itself, to make sure you do not get paint on them. Wrought iron isn't the same as painting a flat surface, so paint will get through the intricacies and adhere to other surfaces easily!

After doing a coating with a roller or sprayer, use a small paintbrush to add paint to any area that can't be easily reached. Dry completely and repeat with another coat of paint.