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pnschi 10-17-2010 07:48 PM

Clean up and paint very rusted wrought iron railing

We have about 25 feet of wrought iron railing around our porch that is very badly rusted. We started grinding away at the rust with a variety of tools - a drill-mounted wire brush, hand-held wire brush, a Dremmel tool with grinder attachments, and a Fiens-style Dremmel ("Multimax") tool with sander attachements. After an hour's hard work, we achieved mediocre results on about 3 feet of railing. (Keep in mind, that's about 30 feet total, given the verticals every 4 inches.)

Is there a better way to be doing this, that will take less than 8 hours for so-so results?

And, do any of the rust-inhibitor paints let us get away without getting rid of every last rust patch?

Many thanks,


burnt03 10-17-2010 09:32 PM

When I was removing paint and rust from my old Landcruiser, I found the coarse grinder cup (knotted) on an angle grinder worked the quickest and still did a good job of removal.

Tried various chemical removers (aircraft strippers, etc) and never had much luck.

Thurman 10-18-2010 06:46 AM

I've worked on these before, and they are no fun any way you do them. Sooo many corners to get into. And then you may have some other intricate details that are hard to get into for thorough cleaning. Can you remove the railing, even with some difficulty, and put back into place? Even if you have to use new mounting hardware, can they be removed? IF so-maybe find a local sandblasting business, take them over for an estimate. OR- take many photos from many angles over to get a "ball-park" estimate. Most of the blasters have portable equipment, but do charge accordingly. There are some "Naval Jelly" type paint strippers/rust removers on the market now that work pretty good. They just take time and patience to use properly. Seek advice at a local "good/name brand" paint store, not a big box store on these. One thing about wrought iron railings, if they are the old ones-they really look good when re-conditioned correctly. Good Luck, David

oh'mike 10-18-2010 06:17 PM

Rust-olium used to make a 'Rusty Metal primer'---It worked great--I painted an old fire hydrant that a friend unearthed while digging a sidewalk--solid rust--I half hartedly hand wire brushed off the worst rust --primed it and painted it---8 years ago--stuck it in my garden--still no rust.

See if they still make it.---Mike---

pnschi 10-25-2010 10:07 PM

Thank you
Thanks for all the thoughtful responses!

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