Cast iron fences add beauty to every garden, but when they are not cared for properly they rust. As a new homeowner with rusty iron fences, you want to renew their beauty now that spring has arrived and the weather lends itself nicely to taking on outdoor projects. Restoring an iron fence is not too difficult when you follow these three steps.
Step 1 - Get Rid Of Rust
The first step is to get rid of as much rust as you can so you can see how damaged the fence is. You will need a stiff wire brush for this task, and you can purchase it at your local hardware store. Use the brush to remove the rust and flaking paint by rubbing the brush back and forth over every centimetre of the fence. The aim is to remove all the rust and flaking paint until you can only see metal again.
After you have finished with the wire brush, smooth out the whole fence using fine-grit sandpaper. This can also be purchased at your hardware store. This sanding process smooths out the metal so it is ready for step two.
If the rust has eaten through the iron to the point it is broken, you need to replace that portion of the fence. A fence contractor can source a replacement portion for you and arrange for its installation.
Step 2 - Stop Rust Coming Back
After you have spent the time removing all the rust, you certainly don't want it to return. You can purchase a rust neutralizer at the hardware store. This product is painted onto the rusted areas to stop the rust returning. After it is painted on, it needs an hour or two to dry. After this time, you can wash the area with warm soapy water and allow it to dry before moving on to the painting process.
Step 3 - Paint Your Fence
Choose a rust resistant paint by talking to the paint consultant at your hardware store. You will paint the whole fence with a primer first. The primer acts as a barrier to stop moisture getting into weak areas and starting off new rust growth. Once the primer is dry (normally 4-6 hours), you can then do the first of two paint coats. Make sure you allow the paint to fully dry between each coat. Overnight drying time is the best.
Once your iron fence is brought back to life, be sure to inspect it every three months for rust. The sooner you work on any new rust, the less likely it will make your fence look run down again.