Painting an old wrought iron candelabrum

We have a used wrought iron candelabrum made to order by a blacksmith in Switzerland about 70 - 80 years ago. We didn't like the gold paint that someone had added to it, so we removed it, more or less, and want to make it black again, like the original wrought iron.
Can we just spray paint it with a type of paint that is good for metal? Will it be rust proof once it is painted?
Right now, there are slight traces of rust on the bottom part, and we certainly don't want that to spread -- especially if that can happen underneath a coat of black paint, so that we would not even be aware what is happening. We're not sure: Once iron starts to rust, will the rust spread even if the metal is not damp?

Thank you for your help.

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