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How to Prevent Rust on Wrought Iron?

Wrought iron is a fantastic choice for bespoke gates, railings and handrails. High in carbon, wrought iron is shaped under intense heat and is strong enough to last a lifetime.

That said, like any material exposed to the elements outdoors (especially if it rains as much as in the UK!), there is the possiblity rust will form if not treated correctly. 

We look at the qualities of wrought iron and how to prevent and treat rust to keep your decorative ironwork looking beautiful. 

 rust on wrought iron

Why choose wrought iron? 

When it comes to decorative ironwork, there are several good reasons why you should choose wrought iron, which has been the preferred decorative metal for outdoor use for hundreds of years. For example, wrought iron is pulled and shaped rather than moulded like cast iron resulting in beautiful bespoke designs. 

In addition, wrought iron reacts to extreme forces by bending rather than shattering. As a result, it's far easier to repair and recondition than cast iron.

However, rust can be wrought iron's biggest enemy. Because the metal contains a high number of carbon atoms that can oxidise on contact with dirt, grime or moisture, rust can form if not maintained properly.

Therefore, your decorative wrought iron requires the proper care and attention to stay looking its best when exposed to the elements outdoors. 

Preventing rust on wrought iron 

When you purchase your bespoke ornamental wrought iron gates, railings and handrails from Blake & Bull, you're also buying our lifetime fabrication warranty. We use time-honoured traditional methods to handcraft our gates and railings and ensure that they're installed to meet the highest standards. 

To keep your wrought iron looking as good as new, we recommend the following simple care tips: 

Clean your wrought iron 

If your gates or railings are looking dirty, take a few minutes to wash off the grime. Dust, dirt and other abrasives can work to grind off the finish, allowing rust to form.

So gently spray your gates to clean them from time to time, particularly after a big storm. 

Spot check for rust

It's a good idea to check your ornamental wrought iron for signs of rust periodically.

If you notice any orange-red rust spots starting to form, you'll need to act quickly to prevent any damage. 

Treating wrought iron rust 

It's important to remember that rust isn't difficult to treat. In addition, the following treatment plan is just as effective on old wrought iron that's been neglected by the previous homeowners. 

  • First, strip away all signs of rust. Then, use coarse sandpaper or a wire brush to remove loose paint and any rust spots. 
  • Next, clean the work area thoroughly to remove all dust and debris. 
  • Now thoroughly clean the area you're working on with mineral spirits and a clean cloth. 
  • Apply a primer. Choose one that's specifically designed to inhibit rust. 
  • Finally, paint the area with two good coats of suitable metal paint for added protection. 

To prevent further rust formation, you can also coat the wrought iron with linseed oil as a final step. Follow these steps, and apply a good quality rust prevention coating, and your ornamental wrought iron will return to as-new condition.  

Custom wrought iron from Blake & Bull 

If you'd like to enhance your home with bespoke wrought iron gates or railings, Blake & Bull can help.

Our highly skilled and experienced team has decades of experience creating beautiful, durable wrought ironwork for your home and garden. Contact us today. 

gates and railings no rust

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