How to Paint a Wrought Iron Fence: Step-by-Step Guide


Brad Ledford

3 June, 2024

How to Paint a Wrought Iron Fence: Step-by-Step Guide

Wrought iron fences require proper care to maintain their beauty. In this step-by-step guide on how to paint a wrought iron fence, we will walk you through the process from cleaning and prepping to priming and painting that will help you effortlessly achieve a polished and professional finish.

How to Paint a Wrought Iron Fence

These easy steps will teach you how to paint a wrought iron fence:

  1. Cleaning: We recommend using warm, soapy water and a sponge or cloth to clean the fence. Rinse it with clean water afterward. Check this article for more details on how to clean a fence.
  2. Removing loose paint and rust: Let the fence dry, then peel and scrape off any big paint chips or rust.
  3. Sanding: Use #60-grit sandpaper to sand away small bits of rust or paint and to smooth the surface. Lightly sanding glossy paint with coarse sandpaper will help the new paint adhere better.
  4. Cleaning: Remove any sanding debris from the fence.
  5. Priming: Apply a coat of primer to help the paint adhere and prevent rust.
  6. Painting: You can apply the paint now using a narrow roller for large areas and a brush for smaller details.
  7. Second coat: After allowing the first coat to dry for 24 hours, you can apply a second coat for better coverage and durability.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use On a Wrought Iron Fence?

For painting a wrought iron fence, it’s recommended to use oil-based enamel paint due to its exceptional durability, strong adhesion to metal surfaces, glossy finish for aesthetic appeal, and resistance to wear and tear. This type of paint provides long-lasting protection against rust and corrosion, making it ideal for outdoor applications where the fence is exposed to harsh environmental conditions.

How Do You Prepare Wrought Iron For Painting?

To prepare wrought iron for painting, thoroughly clean the surface to remove dirt and debris. Focus on removing any existing rust down to the bare metal using scraping tools and wire brushes. Once clean and rust-free, apply a primer designed for metal surfaces to create a protective barrier. Finally, choose a high-quality paint suitable for outdoor use, such as oil-based enamel, to provide durability and long-lasting protection.

Do You Have to Sand Wrought Iron Before Painting?

Sanding wrought iron before painting is not always necessary, but it is recommended in certain cases. Sanding helps smooth the surface, remove any existing rust or old paint, and improve paint adhesion. If the wrought iron surface is rusty, rough, or has peeling paint, sanding becomes essential to ensure a smooth and clean surface for painting.

Typically a wrought iron fence that is going to be repainted will need to be resanded to remove the old paint. But you likely won’t need to sand it if it doesn’t have old paint and there is no rust.

Do You Need to Prime Wrought Iron Before Painting?

Yes, it is generally recommended to prime wrought iron before painting it. Priming helps create a protective barrier on the metal surface, improving the adhesion and durability of the paint. It also helps prevent rust and corrosion, especially in outdoor environments where wrought iron is exposed to moisture and other elements.

Applying a primer specifically designed for metal surfaces ensures better paint coverage and long-lasting results, making it an essential step in the preparation process before painting wrought iron.

What Is the Best Color for A Wrought Iron Fence?

The best color for a wrought iron fence is typically black. Black offers a timeless look that complements various architectural styles and enhances the visibility and craftsmanship of the wrought iron. It also provides excellent contrast against greenery and other elements, adding to the property’s overall aesthetics.

As alternatives, bronze, very dark green, or grey can also work well for wrought iron fences:

  • Bronze adds a touch of warmth and sophistication.
  • Dark green blends harmoniously with natural surroundings.
  • Grey provides a modern and minimalist aesthetic.

Ultimately, the choice of color depends on personal preference, architectural style, and the desired ambiance of the outdoor space.


Painting your wrought iron fence is a great DIY project that boosts how it looks and lasts outside. By following our guide, you’ll ensure the process goes smoothly, keeping your fence looking fantastic for ages. Whether you go for classic black or try shades like bronze, dark green, or grey, your chosen color will add charm and style to your wrought iron fence.

Brad Ledford

Brad Ledford, originally from Chattanooga, TN, brings over 12 years of franchise ownership and extensive construction industry experience, including serving as General Manager of a fencing company. Since September 2023, he has been a Senior Franchise Operations Manager with Top Rail Fence.