How Long To Paint A Wrought Iron Fence?

You have decided to paint your wrought iron fence; now, you are wondering how long it will take to finish. We consulted the experts and here’s what they say.

Painting a wrought iron fence can take between six hours up to two days, depending on the span of the iron fence you need to paint.

Before you get started, consider the type of paint you are going to use. More about that and how to properly paint the wrought iron fence below! 

Wrought iron tracery black fence fragment - How Long To Paint A Wrought Iron Fence

What Type Of Paint Do You Use On Wrought Iron?

Metal fence in autumn

Not all paint sticks to the metal/iron fences due to the crystalline structure that resists it. Some professionals need to use a special substance to make them adhere. But the top three choices for a wrought iron fence are:

Enamel Paint

This is compatible with copper, iron, and wood. Also, it’s rust and corrosion-resistant.

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Acrylic-Based Latex paint

This paint expands and contracts under extreme temperatures, providing long-lasting protection on exterior metal surfaces like iron fencing. If you want to increase the longevity of your railings, choose this.


This requires a thin application of zinc to a metal or wrought iron gate prior to painting to keep it from oxidizing. This is effective and can extend the lifespan of the iron fence.

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How To Paint Wrought Iron Fence

detail of the wrought iron fence

Before anything else, prepare the following materials.

  • Aluzinc lacquer
  • Paint and rust stripper
  • Sand block/ fine paper grit
  • Metal filler
  • Degreaser
  • Bucket of water and sponge
  • Anti-rust primer
  • Paint
  • Cloth
  • Round brush
  • Gloves
  • Mask

Steps to Paint Your Wrought Iron

  1. Inspect the paint adhesion: As a general rule, you cannot paint over damaged paint; otherwise, it will botch up. To check if it’s intact, put a metal or aluzinc lacquer on a small area of wrought iron fence. If the paint didn’t bubble, you can skip the rust treatment or primer application. But if did, proceed to step 2.
  2. Strip the old paint: So the paint blisters or flakes, you need to scrape it. Use a paint stripper or scaper. Wear goggles and gloves as a safety measure.
  3. Sand the iron fence: Smooth out the surface with a sand block for a seamless painting, then brush the dust off.
  4. Repair defects: Refill cracks and crevices. For a quick and easy fix, use Epoxy Putty- this dries up no longer than five minutes. 
  5. Remove the grime: To make sure the paint adheres well degrease the fence. Dilute the degreaser in water, apply with a sponge, then rinse thoroughly. 
  6. Put the primer: Apply one coat of primer to the entire wrought iron fence with a round brush, then let it dry. A primer plays a major part in keeping iron fences rust-free, so choose a quality one preferably oil-based or rust-resistant.
  7. Paint the iron fence: Once the primer’s dried up, paint the fence with your preferred color. Make it two to three coatings- give the coats time to dry to avoid bubbles.

Can You Use A Spray Paint?

Spray Paint Can

Yes, spray paints are the quickest way to paint a fence as they cover large areas quickly. But choose exterior-grade spray paint suitable for outdoor and durable enough to withstand unpredictable weather conditions.

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Follow these steps on how to apply spray paint:

  1. Prepare a spray gun and at least 4 pieces of flattened cardboard boxes. You need to put these cardboard boxes behind the wrought iron as a reinforcement for your spray paint.
  2. Spray paint on the front side of the fence, then repeat on the backside. Do five spindles at a time so you won’t lose track of your progress, and remember to move the cardboard boxes along with you. 
  3. Once done, let it dry for four hours or depending on what’s indicated on the label.
  4. Spray the second coat. 

How Long Will It Take For The Wrought Iron Fence Paint To Dry?

Most wrought-iron fences take approximately four to twelve hours to dry up. Check out the weather forecast before painting; direct sunlight can dry out your paint quickly, while cold weather makes it difficult for it to dry due to condensation.

How Much Will It Cost To Paint A Wrought Iron Fence?

Image of a Beautiful decorative cast iron wrought fence with artistic forging. Metal guardrail close up.

Painting a wrought iron fence only requires a primer, paint, and other basic tools needed to complete the job which might cost up to $150. But it could get higher if your project requires extra supplies such as semi-gloss or gloss sheen finish.

How Often To Repaint?

You need to re-paint it every three years to keep your decorative iron fence looking good. This will also protect from rust. As we all know, a wrought iron fence is sturdy and durable, but they are not exempted from harsh environmental factors that cause oxidation.

How To Remove Algae From The Wrought Iron Fence?

Algae grow on iron fences exposed to high humidity. If neglected, they can ruin your fence aesthetic. Fortunately, it’s easy to get rid of them, Mix detergent with water, dip a soft bristle toothbrush in it, then scrub the spindles. Rinse. 

Can You Pressure Wash A Wrought Iron Fence?

A pressure washer can strip off paint, so use it only if you are removing chipped or blistered paint or preparing the fence for repainting. But it’s not a viable option for cleaning. Stick with a garden hose.

How To Maintain A Wrought Iron Fence

Black Wrought Fence. Iron fence

Do An Inspection

You should inspect your wrought iron fence every three months. But if you live in an area with high temperatures, or where it rains or snows frequently, we recommend checking it monthly to detect minor cracks early and repair them as necessary. 

Clean Periodically

Periodic cleaning also reduces the likelihood of damage. If you’ve got a good paint job on your fence, all you need to do is wipe it down with water. But if you’ve got animal droppings, use detergent to clean them up. The same is true if you notice salt buildup from snow removal as it can cause early corrosion. 

Paint As Necessary

A wrought iron fence without paint will be exposed to different elements, increasing the risk of early deterioration. So if there’s any sign of damage such as flaking or bubbling, tackle it before it gets worse. 

As we’ve mentioned, strip away the chipped paint, smooth it out, then apply a primer and paint. A minimum of two coats would suffice. For added protection, coat it with rust-proof paint.

How Long Does A Wrought Iron Fence Last?

Wrought iron tracery black fence fragment

A wrought iron fence is one of the most durable fences. It lasts up to 50 years, but when maintained properly, it can last almost a lifetime. You need not worry about frequent fence replacement.


Generally, it takes six hours to two days to paint a wrought iron fence. It can get shorter or longer, depending on how many iron fences you have to paint. Remember that paint and metal are quite ill-suited for each other, so use only the paint compatible with a wrought iron fence; otherwise, it will wear out quickly.  

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