How to Restore Rusty Wrought Iron

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire brush

  • Medium-bristled paintbrush

  • Coarse sandpaper

  • Medium-grit sandpaper

  • Water

  • Commercial rust remover

  • Bucket

  • Fine steel wool pad

  • Sponge

  • Rust-resistant primer

  • Rust-resistant paint


Use a commercial paint stripper if you want to strip all of the paint off of the wrought iron prior to repainting. Cover up wrought iron furniture when not in use to keep out moisture.


Wear rubber gloves when restoring wrought iron to protect your skin from the chemicals being used.

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Wrought iron that is left outdoors is susceptible to rusting. When moisture comes into contact with the iron, rust forms. Whether the rust is on iron railings, furniture or decorative ornaments, removing the rust and restoring wrought iron is important in preserving the beauty and structural reliability of the iron. When rust forms on wrought iron, it slowly eats away at the material, leaving it unstable and weak. Removing rust from wrought iron will not only restore the appearance of the iron, but also increase its life span.


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Step 1

Scrub the wrought iron with a dry wire brush. This will remove any loose or flaking rust. Go over the wrought iron with a dry paintbrush to remove any tiny rust flakes or dirt.

Step 2

Sand the wrought iron with sandpaper to further remove rust. Use the sandpaper to also remove any flaking or loose paint. Begin by using a coarse sandpaper to remove deeper rust. Go over the wrought iron with a medium-grit sandpaper.


Step 3

Mix a solution of water and commercial rust remover in a bucket. Refer to the label on the rust remover for specific mixing instructions.

Step 4

Dip a wire brush into the solution. Scrub the remaining rust spots on the wrought iron with the solution, scrubbing in a circular motion. Be sure to remove all of the rust; even a tiny spot left on the wrought iron will spread in the future.


Step 5

Brush of the rust residue with the paintbrush. Go over the wrought iron with a fine steel wool pad, again working in circular motions, to restore the iron's appearance.

Step 6

Dampen a sponge with plain water. Wipe down the wrought iron to remove any further residue.


Step 7

Allow the surface to dry. Apply a coat of rust-resistant primer to the wrought iron. Allow the primer to dry completely

Step 8

Apply two coats of rust resistant paint. Use a medium-bristled paint brush to apply the paint in smooth, even strokes. Let the paint fully dry in between coats. If you do not want to repaint the entire wrought iron structure, just touch it up with matching paint.