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 the video above to find out more.


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.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

Learn More