How to Remove Rust from Your Iron Fence and Keep It from Coming Back

An iron fence is an elegant addition to your property. Ornamental iron fencing is not only attractive, it also great for home security since it is so strong and durable. One of these fences should last for decades as long as you take care of it properly. The most important thing you have to do is to keep rust under control. If you neglect caring for your fence, rust can spread and ruin the appearance of your fence and shorten it's lifespan. Here's what you can do to get rid of rust and prevent it from coming back.

Sand Off Rust

Rust has to be removed by sanding it off with a wire brush. You can do this manually or by attaching the wire brush to a sander. Be sure to remove even the tiniest specks of rust in the deep grooves of the fence. Any rust that's left behind will spread, even if you paint over it. Removing the rust also removes the paint because you'll probably have to sand the rusted area down to bare metal. This will make the surface uneven, and may cause it to look bumpy when you repaint the fence. To prevent this, be sure to even the edges, and make sure the surface is completely smooth before you finish sanding.

Apply Rust Neutralizer

Even if you can't see any rust left behind, you may want to apply a rust neutralizer to the sanded area just to make sure there aren't any particles left that will multiply and spread under the new paint job. You can buy rust neutralizer at a home improvement store. It might also be called a rust converter, rust killer, or rust remover. It's a good idea to keep some on hand, so you can dab it onto nicks and cuts in the fence paint to keep rust from spreading until you can make proper repairs.

Paint The Fence

After the rust is removed, cover the iron with paint in order to protect it. You should examine the fence every few months for signs of damage to the paint. When the paint is scratched, water can seep down to the iron below and trigger the development of rust. To further protect the paint, you may want to add a layer of wax to the fence. Just as car wax protects your car from rust and keeps it looking good, waxing your fence will do the same thing. Waxing could be even more helpful if your fence is close to a swimming pool or lawn sprinklers.

Prevent Rust From Coming Back

Once your iron fence is back in good shape, you can prevent rust from taking over again by doing routine maintenance on your fence. You should wash your fence every few months to get rid of dirt and dust. This will allow you to examine the surface closely for cuts and scratches you need to repair. You should also examine areas around screws and hinges for signs of wear and tear. If the iron is exposed in any area, apply touch-up paint to block out humidity and prevent rust from forming.

Since an iron fence is so sturdy, you probably won't have many other maintenance chores. By doing a few routine touch ups now and then, you can prevent rust from taking over your iron fence and causing you a lot of work later.