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Wrought Iron Finishing

Finishes help keep wrought iron from rusting.

Wrought iron is a popular material for do-it-your selfers to construct fencing, furniture, arbors, security doors and decorative items. Wrought iron is easy to cut, shape and weld but it has one negative aspect: it rusts easily and quickly. Due to corrosion, wrought iron must be finished with some type of corrosion-resistant product. The good news is that many finishing options exist for wrought iron.


Workers weld pieces of wrought iron together to form a structure. It is important to have clean joints before you begin welding. Use a rotary tool with abrasive bits to remove dirt, grease, paint and debris from the area you are going to weld. TIG and MIG welding provides a strong weld for wrought iron and results in little spatter. If spatters do occur, use your rotary tool to grind away excess weld beads from the joints and surrounding area.

Powder Coating

One popular wrought iron finishing option for both the individual and industries is powder coating. This process uses a mixture of finely ground pigments and resin. A wrought iron product, such as a fence panel, is attached to an electrically charged fixture. Sprayers deliver the mixture to the charged surface of the wrought iron, uniformly coating the surface. Heat fuses the coating to the iron, providing a durable and aesthetically pleasing finish. Powder coating is economical and resists chipping, scratching and fading.


To ensure that your wrought iron is ready for paint, clean the surface with a rotary tool equipped with a wire brush bit. This will remove rust, grease and dirt from the surface. In order for paint to adhere to the metal, you need to scuff the surface. Do this with an oscillating tool equipped with a medium-grit sanding disc. Use a tack cloth to remove dust. Apply a rust-inhibitive primer with a paint sprayer or purchase the product in aerosol cans. The finish coat could be enamel that contains exterior rust inhibitive that is also compatible with the primer. Another option is a good quality Direct to Metal (DTM) acrylic paint that dries to an epoxy like hardness.

Galvanizing and Patination

If you like the look of raw iron but don’t like rust, have your wrought iron pieces galvanized. Hot-dip galvanizing coats the metal with zinc, a shiny metal finish that is resistant to rust. Many people like the look of metal patina, the natural aging of metal, but don’t like the rust that develops over time. One way to prevent the occurrence of rust is to have the wrought iron oxidized prior to forging. Oxidizing provides a controlled patina process that prevents rust as the metal ages.

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Hawthorne, Kimberly. "Wrought Iron Finishing." Home Guides | SF Gate, Accessed 03 April 2019.

Hawthorne, Kimberly. (n.d.). Wrought Iron Finishing. Home Guides | SF Gate. Retrieved from

Hawthorne, Kimberly. "Wrought Iron Finishing" accessed April 03, 2019.

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