Asked on Apr 02, 2016

How can I get rid of the rust and prepare wrought iron columns?

E.C. P
by E.C. P
What is the best way to get rid of the rust and prepare wrought iron columns on the front of the house before repainting them?
The weight-bearing columns haven't been painted for more than 20 years. It is very difficult to get the old paint and rust off due to the curvature of the wrought iron.
  15 answers
  • Lisa Falkenthal Lisa Falkenthal on Apr 02, 2016
    You can buy a round wire brush that attaches to a drill (wear a mask and glasses).Or you can buy a spray paint that will convert rust so that you can just paint over it after removing any loose rust.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 02, 2016
    Try rubbing the rust with a cloth and mineral spirits,scrap any remaining residue of the paint,if you have to sand to get the iron even,use an outdoor primer for metal let completely dry and proceed to paint with an outdoor paint again for metal.
  • I found a product on amazon with great reviews. You might want to take a look as I think it would ease your with the rust: Before painting again you would need to clean the entire surface from dust and dirt. To do so if you use water ensure you dry all the surfaces sufficiently and changing the towel/rag frequently with a dry one. Before re-painting use a rust preventative spray as the prime coat, then paint at least 2 coats of exterior paint. If you chose oil based paint I believe that would also improve the life of the iron as it doesn't contain water. Good luck with your project! -Handan
  • Deanna.Turetski Deanna.Turetski on Apr 02, 2016
    I've done my balcony railing...I first fine sanded removing rust then did a wash with mineral spirits. My final step was using Tremclad rust paint.
  • Pgl Pgl on Apr 02, 2016
    Use a Dremel tool with a wire brush or use the sander attachment. [ it is small and can get into all the spaces] then wipe with damp cloth to remove rust.Next paint with an enamel paint such as Krylon . Now you do not have to sand you could try the new rust paints that claim you can paint over rust, just remember to use thin coats and paint at least twice.
  • Janet Hargis Folgers Janet Hargis Folgers on Apr 02, 2016
    Coke will take rust right off
  • Julie Rhodes Julie Rhodes on Apr 02, 2016
    Make a paste using Bar Keepers Friend and apply with an old tooth brush and scrub then rinse with your hose. Can be found at hardware stores.
  • Jean Myles Jean Myles on Apr 02, 2016
    Use a dremel tool to get the thick rust off then rinse and then paint with Tremclad rust paint .
  • Any one of these methods will work. Just wanted to comment that those are beautiful columns and certainly worth the effort you are putting forth to clean them up for another 20 or so years of service. They don't make them like that anymore and if they do, the quality is not the same and are very very expensiive. I am so jealous! I would love them at my house! Please post an after pic for us to admire.
    • E.C. P E.C. P on Apr 02, 2016
      @Naomie Moore aka baileyanddaisey Thanks for your comments!
  • Audrey Soldano Audrey Soldano on Apr 02, 2016
    There is a wire brush you can get for your electric drill at Home Depot. Use that brush to get rid of the rust and paint chips. Get a metal primer in a spray can and paint the columns. Then paint with the color of your choosing.
  • Anna M.S. Anna M.S. on Apr 03, 2016
    Mike, on DIY's "Salvage Dawgs" recommends from your hardware store a "rust neutralizer" after using a wire brush to knock off the semi-loose rust.
    • Linda burns Linda burns on Apr 03, 2016
      @Anna M.S. Mike is so right. I just repainted some old outdoor iron tables & chairs and the rust neutralizer is so quick and easy to use. My furniture was very curvy so I just sprayed the solution on, let dry, rinsed off the residue and painted. Looks pretty nice.
  • Angel Angel on Apr 04, 2016
    Have you tried using naval jelly?
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Apr 04, 2016
    Power or Sand blasting is your only real 'best bet'. I would actually bring in a pro, Probably cost a couple hundred at most and done in a day with clean up ready to paint. A good painter could do the job. This is the front of our home, Best have it done right. I would get 3 good referenced painters and get estimates for one or both jobs. You have nothing to lose, but maybe a very hard, laborious and poor quality DIY job ahead of you.
  • Caryn Moy Caryn Moy on Apr 04, 2016
    I don't know what it would cost, but I'd at least look into getting them sandblasted. It will get ALL of the rust off without wrecking the pattern.
  • Della Tompkins Della Tompkins on Apr 15, 2016
    Before the wire brush, try this. Lay vinegar soaked paper towels on them and wrap with plastic trash bags or similar. Leave overnight. Reapply as necessary. Thanks Pinterest.