How to maintain your beautiful wrought iron gates & fencing

So you opted to protect your perimeter with ornate wrought-iron fencing (though, most fencing is made from steel, made to look like wrought iron, so check this first). Great choice! Wrought iron can give your home a classic look while being both strong & resilient, too.

But don’t assume that the material’s strength means that it cannot be damaged over time. Here are some tips for keeping your wrought-iron in tip-top shape to continue protecting your home for years to come.

1. Rust removal

rusted fence

If you find rust spots on your wrought-iron, use a wire brush (you can purchase this at Builder’s Warehouse for under R40) to remove the bits of rust which flakes off from the iron. For very deep rust, use course & then medium sandpaper to sand as much of the rust as possible off. You will then need the following to eliminate all rust:

  • Steel wool
  • Paraffin
  • Rubber gloves
  • Damp cloth

Wearing the gloves (this is very important! You can do damage to your skin if you do not), use the steel wool to sand the rust some more until the metal looks closer to its original condition.

Then, put a drop of paraffin on the steel wool & rub the rust spots with the dampened steel wool pad until all the rust has disappeared.

Now, take the damp cloth & wipe down the areas you just sanded.

2. Coating:

You can now use liquid car wash (purchase at Pick n Pay, Makro or Game), applied to a non-abrasive cloth, to coat the iron. Allow to dry overnight.

Now, buff the iron with a clean cloth (non-abrasive) to give a final shine. Buff in a circular motion.

If you are going to paint your wrought-iron, please view the article on True Value Projects for wrought iron painting.

Safety Notes:


  • Don’t forget to wear rubber gloves.
  • Ensure you do this in good weather (particularly to allow the polish to dry) which you know will last at least 1 – 2 days.
  • Ensure you don’t go around inhaling every bit of paraffin, polish & rust dust that you can! You’ll make it easier on yourself if you cover your face with a mask (note that this is essential when painting!).
  • Well-maintained fences not only look great, but show that you take particular care of your home security. A dilapidated fence may cause a potential burglar to wonder how well-maintained the rest of your home security is, so don’t let it fall apart/look shabby if you can help it.

Enjoy your home & stay safe!


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