How can I repaint my heavy iron bed frame?

by Tamara
It's been painted and repainted many colors, and chipped between coats. It's now bright blue, among other things. I want white, like an old hospital bed you'd see in a horror flick. What should I do?? thank you in advance!!
Blue paint has to go, I want an old, white, hospital bed look, so some chipping is ok, but bright blue???
  21 answers
  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Sep 05, 2013
    Clean it, sand it, prep it with a primer, then paint! xox
  • Likely need to strip off the oldpaint (Dad's Stripper at Ace works well). Sand smooth and then finishwith a metal coating. Make sure you remove any rust. Then use a spray like Rust-Oleum or for abetter more durable result consider a product like Sherwin’s DTM (Direct toMetal). For more info on paintingprojects visit
    • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Sep 06, 2013
      @ProTect Painters of Oviedo ~ Winter Springs I've rarely stripped these old metal beds, and have never had an issue in 20 years. ;)
  • Shabby Paints Shabby Paints on Sep 06, 2013
    I've done a few, no prep, no prime, no toxins with Shabby Chalked paint. Just be sure and remove any peeling pieces of paint and it will work perfectly. I can't find a picture of the last one. rrrr
  • 117135 117135 on Sep 07, 2013
    You will need to sand down the chipped spots and make sure you sand any bubbles as this maybe rust spots under neath. A really good metal primer is key. The best way to sand is with an electric drill and go purchase an attachment to sand metal. This process is way easier than sanding by hand or a brush!
    • Tamara Tamara on Sep 07, 2013
      @DeDe @ Designed Decor Thank you! I just saw a recipe for the chalk paint! (You can see I'm new at this -- it's been years -- and I'm a bit nervous! Thanks so much! Can I share the finished project? It will be a little while! :) Thanks again!
  • 100699 100699 on Sep 07, 2013
    You can also have it sandblasted to strip the paint. How old is the bed? Is there a chance that any of the layers of paint contain lead?
  • Found & Fancied Goods Found & Fancied Goods on Sep 07, 2013
    If you don't want the blue to show through if the paint chips, you will need to remove the blue paint. Honestly, with the amount of layers that are on the bed already, you may need to sandblast it for the best result. After that, use a good metal primer like Rustoleum's White Primer for metal. Then you can paint it. I would again use a Rustoleum product. They really are the best for metal. You can choose to use a clear topcoat as well to further protect the beds finish. If you want an older look to the finish, choose a satin finish, not gloss. Good luck.
  • Grandma Lorna's Attic Grandma Lorna's Attic on Sep 07, 2013
    Make sure to remove loose pieces of paint. Clean the iron well, then apply liquid sander, (follow directions). Paint using interior latex flat paint, (any color) mixed with Seal with Johnson's paste wax or matte finish polyurethane. You can see many pieces that have been painted on my page. ;(stop over and LIKE my page, browse and Email me with any questions. Hope this helps, Judy
  • Dianne Ballesty Dianne Ballesty on Sep 07, 2013
    An alternative to sandblasting is to have it dipped to remove all the old paint, then spray it with Rustoleum. With the many layers you have on there already it will be worth it; it will look new.
  • Nancy Nancy on Sep 07, 2013
    I saw a lady painting a metal fence the other day and she used a clean car wash mitten. She used a nitrile glove under it and just dipped the whole mitt into the paint and basically wiped it on. If you want to make it look like the old hospital beds in a horror flick, I wouldn't worry about the paint chips but I would rough it up before painting with something like a sanding sponge. Both the mitt and the sponge would conform to the shape a lot easier.
  • Tamara Tamara on Sep 07, 2013
    Thank you for your reply!!I would have to remove this blue semi-gloss paint, wouldn't I? And how do you do the part that makes it look old well-worn? Where can I buy Shabby Chalked paint?
    • Shabby Paints Shabby Paints on Sep 17, 2013
      @Tamara No you can leave it as is as long as it isn't flaking off. Just use an old towel or stiff broom to make sure all loose chips are off. Paint with one to two coats and then you can paint on a layer of VAX for protection. takes no time each coat dries in 15 to 20 min. I know it sounds to good to be true but it really is a great finish that is made to last. We have Stylist in CA..and will add two more next week. you can also buy from our site.
  • Debby Boyle Debby Boyle on Sep 07, 2013
    Yes, I did mine. Just use metal spray paint. It turns out great!!!!!
  • Barbara Barbara on Sep 07, 2013
    how about using an auto-body paint shop?
  • Waysouth Waysouth on Sep 07, 2013
    just make some chalk paint and use that, just as Sia@ Says. Who wants to do more work than is necessary? You may want to seal it
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Sep 07, 2013
    I also agree that you should sand any bubbles or rusted areas. Too much work to take the blue paint off. A couple coats of either DIY chalk paint or purchased chalk paint will work perfectly. If you want to spend some $$ you could take it to an auto body shop and they can clean it up and repaint it using automotive spray paint. It will probably look as good as new but you'll pay the price. A hospital bed that would be old would have had its share of bumps and bruises so if you paint it yourself with chalk paint it would look more authentic
    • See 1 previous
    • Shabby Paints Shabby Paints on Sep 15, 2013
      @Tamara It will. I painted my wrought iron bench and used VAX instead of wax because it last without reapplying and isn't toxic. It is in the sun and rain with no issues..other than daily bird poop.
      comment photo
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Sep 14, 2013
    @Tamara chalk paint adheres to just about anything. I've painted everything from Formica, wood, metal even a coffee table that I glued crumbled brown bags on before I painted. If you aren't sure about the glossiness of the bed use a fine sandpaper lightly to give the old paint some "tooth" to hold on to. One of the keys to a successful chalk paint is the wax after you are all painted. Wax will give a protective finish
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Sep 15, 2013
    @Shabby Paints I've never heard of VAX but you know I'll be doing my research now. Sound like a great product :)
  • Waysouth Waysouth on Sep 16, 2013
    Searching for VAX, all I can find is a vacuum cleaner, so please, what is it?
  • You can use chalk paint on pretty much ANYTHING! I would give it a try!
  • Waysouth Waysouth on Sep 18, 2013
    have you painted it yet?
  • Tamara Tamara on Sep 18, 2013
  • 62q10370829 62q10370829 on Aug 28, 2016
    spray primer then what ever color you want. sand before. have you checked to see if it's brass?