Restoring Finishes on Iron Gates / Railings

The strength and durability of iron is a popular choice when it comes to gates, fencing and railings. As times moves along the weathering and deterioration of the finish will yield to the formation of rust. Rust forms when moisture and air contact a surface of unprotected iron/steel. The best prevention from rust which is the deterioration of iron in metals is performing regular maintenance of protective coatings such as paint, powder coating, etc. If you have to tackle existing rust there are multiple options available. Begin by removing all visible rust from the surfaces. The most effective means to do so include chemical rust removal, glass bead blasting or sand blasting. Chemical rust removal is most effective when the metal is submerged in a tank composed of chemicals that dissolve and remove all rust. Glass bead blasting is the method of dispersing glass beads with air pressure upon a surface removing rust. Sand blasting is an option to bead blasting, however bead blasting will not etch the metal as much as sand blasting leaving a smoother surface. If none of the above methods are an option then a rust converter/stabilizer should be used. These are usually sprayed or brushed on the metal after as much of the rust is removed as possible. Using a grinder / drill motor  with a sanding disc or wire brushes will aid in rust removal. After applying the rust stabilizer per manufacturers directions, it will provide a foundation for a topcoat of primer and/or paint. If you have chosen to bead or sand blast, the exposed metal must be clean and a primer/sealer must be applied prior to paint application. A more durable choice over paint is the process of powder coating. Powder coating is a dry powder applied electrostatically and cured with heat forming a durable coating. It must be understood that rust will return if not thoroughly removed and sealed.
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