How to Stop Rust When Painting Wrought Iron Railings

Proper preparation is the key to keeping rust from bleeding back through when painting wrought iron railings. Here’s how to go about it.

How to Paint Wrought Iron Railings

  1. Remove Rust: Use sandpaper, a wire brush, or a wire brush drill attachment to remove all the rust and loose paint. (NOTE: Wear an approved dust mask or respirator when removing paint or spray painting.)
  2. Remove Dust: Blow off or vacuum the railings to remove as much dust as possible.
  3. Clean Surface: Use mineral spirits on a cloth to clean the surface of the wrought iron.
  4. Prime Wrought Iron: Apply a coat of rust inhibiting primer to all surfaces.
  5. Paint Wrought Iron: Apply two coats of paint for metal to all the surfaces.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information


Danny Lipford: Barry wants to know, “How do I keep rust stains from bleeding through wrought iron?”

Everybody knows a successful paint job is all about proper surface preparation. And that’s particularly important when you’re dealing with some rusty, wrought iron handrails like we have here.

First thing you have to do is remove all of the rust and any of the paint chips that you may have. So you can sand that down with sandpaper, or use a wire brush, or—this is what I like—a wire brush attachment on a cordless drill makes it go a lot quicker.

But you want to make sure that you really get everything off that you can, wipe it down, then a very important step is applying one full coat of rust inhibiting primer. Very, very important to make sure that you cover everything—not just the rust spots.

After that, two coats of metal paint of any color that you want. And you can apply that with a brush, but it’s a lot easier to use spray paint in light even coats. Just make sure you cover everything up to prevent any overspray.


  1. I have front steps with outdoor carpet that I want to remove. I’ve looked at different ways on as to how to remove the glue. I know from experience how hard it is to remove and prepare the surface for painting, or whatever. I’ve looked at strippers, pressure washers, scraping, sanding, etc. Any suggestions? Thanks, Larry McCollum


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