Asked on Jun 02, 2012

What is best way to remove rust from wrought iron columns on front porch?

E.C. P
by E.C. P
The columns serve as decorative support for ceiling on front porch. Can the rust be removed with the columns in place? Who does this kind of work?
  16 answers
  • Using a drill with a wire brush attachment would work for this. Just be sure you wear eye protection. There are all shapes and abrasive grits with these drill brushes, so depending upon how rusty the metal is will determine how aggressive you want to be when selecting the attachment for the drill. If you have a lot of detail, you can either rent a small portable sand blaster or hire someone who does this to do it for you as well. Bit on the noisy side and there will be a bunch of sand to pick up after, but that works well also.
  • E.C. P E.C. P on Jun 02, 2012
    I have tried the suggested procedure but the fancy design makes it very, very difficult to remove all of the rust. Is sand blasting feasible?
  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Jun 02, 2012
    E.C. P - I'm not knowledgeble like Woodbridge. I can only tell you what I am trying out. It is called Gempler's rust converter. They say it converts rusty iron to an invert black protective barrier that you can paint. I have already applied it to a number of rusty areas & I am going to see what it does next.
  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Jun 02, 2012
    Oh I forgot to tell you to use a sponge applicator if you try this. The decorative item I'm doing is very hard to work with.
  • If the wire brush did not work, you need to sand blast the metal, Soda blasting also works as well. Look in yellow pages for this type of contractor. The rust converter from my understanding coats the oxidation on the metal, It will do nothing to smooth out the surface of the existing metal. This product has its benefits but not for something exposed to the weather as the iron railing is.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jun 03, 2012
    I have to agree with woodbridge that a "paint" type product with only get you half way there. even with sand blasting the metal may not be entirely smooth.
  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Jun 03, 2012
    Woodbridge & KMS I won't disagree with anything either of you write but I want to tell you that the rust converter product I used did a beautiful job on rusty iron. I only had to lightly sand it. It is a primer so I painted it after that. Will it last? I don't know but it sure looks good now. Try it.
  • Perhaps its the type of metal you used that product on. But like cancer you must remove the rust completely or it will come back. Particularly on wrought iron and steel railings. The metal used to make these fixtures tends to de-laminate as it rusts causing the material to swell as the rust takes over. But in any case, I am glad what you used worked. There is products made all the time us old folks just do not trust like good ol elbow grease. Perhaps you just found one that does!
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jun 04, 2012
    This also depends on the "level" of rust... a simple red tint of the surface may very well last a long time using that product. While "blister type" thick scabs of rust will fail much much sooner. Rust is a by product of moisture and Oxygen reacting chemically with the iron. Paint jobs attempt to prevent these reactions from occurring, by physically blocking them. In the case of thick scabs or blisters of rust the air and moisture will still be present "below" the bubbles of reacted metal. I have used rustolems "rusty" metal primer on some projects with great results...but this was only for firmly connected rust of a "dusty" nature.
  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Jun 04, 2012
    I only completed one small item to see if it worked and it did. I have one very large trellis that I saved for last because of the size. The product works on iron and steel so I don't have to guess what it is. Want to see a picture of rust before I fix it? It doesn't have thick scabs but it does have little bubbles and orange color in many places.
  • Paul M Paul M on Jun 04, 2012
    We do this at my company and you can blast it, or brush it but you don't have to do that. A moderate wire brushing by hand and two or three coats of rust converter and then a couple of coats of primer over that with a couple of coats of paint a viola you are good for a very long time with very little effort and mess. Sand blasting comes with many evils of its own and if you are not familiar with that or are not going to hire a professional I would suggest that you steer clear of sand blasting. Unless you have substantial metal loss the rust converter will work just fine, we have done that many times at old apartment complexes that did not want to have their rails replaced or removed when painted either. Sherwin William has a great converter that is commercial grade and will do the trick for you ECP. Good luck!!!
    • E.C. P E.C. P on Apr 02, 2016
      @Paul M I like your suggestion. Do you think the wire brushing will be effective enough on the decorative wrought iron with all of the curliques and hard to get to areas (note the pictures)?? ecp
  • Lucy Maddox Lucy Maddox on May 31, 2013
    Decorative columns on front porch has a rusted-out sport 3x1/2 inches. How do I repair this spot before repainting?
  • Paul M Paul M on May 31, 2013
    A welded patch is preferred however you can patch it in a strictly ornamental way with epoxy putty. If you are not familiar with either of these methods I would recommend getting a professional. Of course there is always bondo, which is temporary at best.
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Mar 04, 2015
    I have not read all the comments so I do not know if anyone has mentioned this product...Naval Jelly. I have wrought iron around my porch and live in Louisiana..Go over what you want to derust with steel wool to make sure all the loose stuff is off. I paint the Navel Jelly on , let it sit for a short while ( no longer then 15 min.) You can use an old tooth brush to get in any crevices...I use a hose to get rid of all the navel jelly, or saturate a towel and get rid of all the Jelly...dry metal with dry towel.
  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Dec 21, 2015
    I talked about my rusted trellis in 2012. I can now report that the primer I used worked and worked well. The repainted trellis is now 3 1/2 years old and it has no rust.
  • Paul M Paul M on Apr 04, 2016
    As long as you use rust converter and get all of the loose material off yes a wire brush is enough. Ideally sand blasting is the best way to go but that is not feasible in most home environments. If you don't mind spending the money POR 15 makes premium rust stopping products that really work. Corroseal is also a very effective rust converter as it etches the metal while converting the rust to a primer like material. Good luck!