Regularly maintaining your wrought iron will prevent corrosion and unsightly discoloration or staining. Plus, you’ll be giving your home historic curb appeal!
Inspect your iron for rust. If you have rust spots, take a wire brush and remove the flakes.
Once you’ve removed the rust flakes, put on your rubber gloves and grab your steel wool pad. Add a couple drops of kerosene to the steel wool, and then apply pressure to the rusty surface. The kerosene will remove any discoloration or stains the rust may have caused. Continue to apply pressure to the surface of the metal until the stain is removed. Note: Kerosene is toxic and flammable. Only perform this step if you are working in a well-ventilated area without any possibility of fire. Be aware of your surroundings and always use caution.
Once the rust is removed, coat the iron with liquid car wax, which is available at most automotive stores for around $15. To do this, take a soft cloth and apply an even coat of wax to the iron. This will help protect the iron from water, snow and further rust. Note: Check the weather before beginning this step. You’ll want to give the wax ample time to dry overnight, so make sure there isn’t rain in the forecast!
Once your wax is dry, use the reverse side of the same soft cloth to buff the wrought iron in a circular motion.
If you have a severe rust problem on your ironwork, it may be treatable with a gel form of phosphoric acid, commonly referred to as naval jelly. This is a rust treatment formula that dissolves rust when it’s applied to metals like iron and steel and can be found at most hardware stores for around $12. This should only be used when you have exhausted all other options to remove rust from your ironwork.
If you plan on painting your wrought iron, make sure all of the rust is removed before you begin. When choosing your paint, make sure it is a rust-inhibiting paint, which will be available at your local hardware store.